INDY SCREAMPARK 2018
Indy ScreamPark boasts big scares, but is it true?
I was pleasantly surprised to find such a large Halloween event while traveling through Indiana so early in the haunt season. I had seen billboards promoting the haunted attraction and everyone I asked locally seemed to have heard of them. I decided to make the drive to Anderson to find out for myself.
I could tell it was a large event as I pulled up into the large parking area. I didn’t have a lot of time due to my busy schedule and had gotten there very late in the evening. The box office was kind enough to send me through VIP so I would have the opportunity to see all of the haunts. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this seemingly pop-up Halloween fair.
There were 5 different mazes and a nice midway area. Most of the haunts were enclosed and at times even quite claustrophobic depending on whether or not you allowed the actors to make the experience interactive. The Backwoods haunt was much more open and a very different type of walk through than the others. It honestly was my least favorite style of haunt, but allows for the guests to have that dark alone time to get themselves in the mindset to be scared. It’s just not really the type of scare that works on me personally, I imagine many others find it terrifying. I enjoyed the interactive moments in the other attractions. I liked being pulled from the group and inserted into the storytelling and scenes. I loved the personalized moments the most. The actors did a wonderful job throughout the event. I found many of the scenes in the attractions to have impressive set design and props. I especially liked the use of electricity in one of the scenes that stood out the most to me.
Overall I found this to be a very well done event with great actors. Was I scared? A few times they really got me with the jump scares. Do I think the average person (that doesn’t travel the country going to haunted houses) would be scared? Yes. I recommend Indy Scream Park. I think you’ll have a great time.
Colombia City Haunted Jail
I can’t say enough good things about The Haunted Jail!!! This experience is definitely one of my highlights of the 2018 haunt season. I drove about 2 hours from my parents’ house in Indiana to attend The Haunted Jail on a Thursday night in September. It wasn’t a particularly busy evening and I was able to go through the attraction alone. I purchased the upgrade so that I could experience the VIP section on the third level of the haunt.
First I want to point out the venue…it’s an ACTUAL haunted jail. The jail was decommissioned several years ago and has become a permanent home to the haunted attraction, but contains cells from it’s time as a jail as well as possibly some of the souls that were kept here. It’s naturally creepy without the props and actors. However the props and actors add a level of scare factor that would be impressive in any venue. I was given special permission to film inside the haunt as I walked through (which I will post on my YouTube Channel) and normally when I am filming I’m pretty difficult to scare. I was shocked at how many times the hardworking actors “got” me. I screamed more walking through the Colombia City Haunted Jail than I did the entire night at Universal Studios HHN. Kudos to the incredible cast! I’m impressed. I love the dedication to their characters. You can tell they are well trained. The art throughout the attraction is beautifully done. The props are professionally made with a level of detail that I found impressive. I love the creativity throughout. The Haunted Jail is a wonderful stand alone haunted attraction and worth the trip even if you aren’t located in Colombia City.
I also had the pleasure of speaking with the owner and I love the way they support and work with the youth of the community. Not just what you see as the general public, like the Boy Scouts selling popcorn out front, but also from within the ranks of the cast. It’s not your standard haunt. It’s something special. I highly recommend The Haunted Jail. Be sure to buy the upgrade to VIP and do their coffin ride experience too.
*Note: There are a lot of stairs in this attraction.
Espionage Escape Rooms Pharaoh Game
The Pharaoh Game at Espionage Escape Rooms is a topnotch escape room that could hold it’s own in a much more competitive market than Northern Indiana. I was pleasantly surprised by this game. My team consisted of my parents and myself. They’ve played a few other games with me over the years.
We were transported to the Pharaoh’s tomb as we entered the game. The room was beautifully decorated to look like a tomb complete with a bit of sand on the floor. The props in the room reacted to our actions, as well as a few standard locks. However most of the puzzles were very well integrated into the theme and story. I especially enjoyed one prop that was built in a unique way that I hadn’t experienced quite like that before. I always love when a designer can surprise me. The puzzles were all very logical and fun. There is a small amount of searching that could be easier with a larger group, but our group of three had no problem with a small nudge from the game master.
The owner was our game master and she was very professional and passionate about the industry. I’m excited to play her next game when I am back in town for the holidays.
I highly recommend Espionage Escape Rooms!
Below is a list of the Escape Rooms I’ve played roughly in order of MY favorite to least favorite by city. Note: I especially enjoy horror, paranormal & magic themed escape rooms and recently realized I don’t enjoy physical puzzles like moving furniture or fishing for keys very much, so my preferences may be different than yours. Feel free to tweet me questions.
Room to Escape: Nightmare at the Museum
Fort Wayne Escape Room: Uncharted
Locked Up Mishawaka Escape Room Experience- Alcatraz
Locked In NWI Escape Game