HAUNTS – Rotten Manor – MI

ROTTEN MANOR

Rotten Manor had incredible potential, but was one of the experiences I’ve had at a haunted attraction.

There were a few great actors, beautiful sets and some cool moments. The actress in the gingerbread house and the actor with the pig mask that did the countdown were awesome! The gingerbread house scene was actually my favorite moment in the entire event. The set, scents, props, lighting and actress were all top notch. The payoff of the oven was lacking though…we expected something, anything in that moment but nothing happened. The foam rooms were creative, but there could’ve been fewer. The dark tunnels and tight spaces moments were great the first few times but did get a bit overused. The facades were gorgeous!!! We did meet a few very competent and kind staff members that seemed passionate about the haunt and customer service.

However, Rotten Manor had some of the worst crowd control I’ve ever seen at a haunted attraction. I’ve seen crowds with similar energy at haunts like Haunted Hoochie or House of Shock except at those events the cast and crew are able to keep the crowd in check. Unfortunately this staff and cast didn’t have the same expertise.

A few moments really stood out as disappointing. I asked the staff member that let us into the trail what the rules of the haunt were and he replied, “There are no rules” which seemed to be the major issue. We had an actress say ,”sorry I broke character” and then continue to talk about how hot the guys in front of us were instead of scaring us. The guys in front of us on the trail managed to hide away in the crypt and proceed to jump out and attempt to scare my husband and I but no one stopped them even though we waited and tried to stay far behind them we’d catch up to them harassing actors or making what appeared to be tiktok videos on different sets (with actors watching them do it). One of the actors just blew directly in my face as a “scare”, which isn’t scary but probably going to lead to me catching a cold. Inside the manor an actor separated my husband and I, which we’ve seen done effectively in other haunts, however there was no purpose or payoff we just ended up not being able to enjoy the haunt together. It was so packed we were often standing around waiting to move, I stood trapped in an airbag for a really long time due to lack of purging the line properly. I had strangers grabbing me and running into me through the majority of the dark sections because we were crowded in the space and couldn’t see.

There was a large crowd out, so lines were long. It was mostly frustrating because the people in front of us chained smoked even while standing in front of the NO SMOKING sign. Security appeared to say something to them but instead of putting out their cigarette they passed it around and tried to finish it then lit up again as soon as he walked away. It seemed security didn’t want to eject anyone even if they clearly were breaking the rules.

Overall the haunt has massive potential, but lacks tremendously in skilled actors and an overall effective staff. It seems a bit of training might change this from a hot mess to one of the nation’s top haunts. Unfortunately at the moment they are just a hot mess.

HAUNTS – Museum of Monsters – CA

MUSEUM OF MONSTERS

Museum of Monsters is a fun monster themed popup just in time for Halloween! It’s a perfect event for all ages. The monsters are creative and a little weird but not especially scary. It’s a great stop for anyone looking for fun Halloween Instagram pics too!

HAUNTS – Indy ScreamPark – Indiana

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.

 

HAUNTS – The Scream Zone – CA

THE SCREAM ZONE 2018

The Scream Zone in Del Mar California is a fun fairground haunted attraction with two walk through mazes and a hayride. There are also food trucks, merchandise and a mini escape room. You can purchase each maze individually or as a combo.

My husband & I ended up here after attending two other events in the area on a Saturday night. Unfortunately due to heavy rains the hayride was closed. We had done the hayride here years ago and were looking forward to seeing if it had changed, but safety is always most important.

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House of Horror is the larger of the two walk through mazes. Both are a fun time. There are a few really impressive moments with set decor and ideas, but overall the set, props, costumes and actors are just good. Neither really tell a story, but are rather a bunch of scenes thrown together. At least KarnEvil has strong theming throughout. They do a pretty good job of purging the lines. They put us through in a group of about 10 at a time in House of Horror and a bit smaller group for KarnEvil.

Overall it was fun. It is the perfect type of event for the location and crowds. It’s a professional fairground haunt worth checking out if you’re in the area.

 

HAUNTS – The Haunted Lodge (Scareventures) – CA

HAUNTS – The Haunted Lodge (Scareventures) – CA

The Haunted Lodge (Scareventures) 2018

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We were warned not to go in the woods for fear of a half man half elk creature…but we continued anyway and luckily lived to tell the tale.

My husband and I went to The Haunted Lodge last night while down in the San Diego area attending haunted attractions. This was our second stop of the evening. I wasn’t sure what to expect since it appeared to be a plywood maze built in the front yard of an Elk’s Lodge. However, I was quite impressed with the set design and attention to detail. The actors worked very hard. The costumes and make up looked good. It told a story and even had a couple of moments that were very in line with immersive theatre in the way they have you sit in the scene and become a character in the story. Overall we had a fun time.

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I especially enjoyed the opening two scenes because they set up the story and tone for the adventure to come. Both actors in the beginning did a splendid job of communicating the story in a fun and creepy way. I also enjoyed the photo op (on my own phone) at the beginning because it fit in the scenario well and left us with a memory to post online.

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After sitting around the campfire listening to the tale of the monster to come, we were given a red flashlight and sent on our way into the maze. We encountered many ghouls along our path.

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We caught a scare from the anticipated ElkMan a little early on while in one of my favorite scenes. The set up was great and had us skeptical that we were really entering a safe homey cabin no matter how much the actors tried to convince us we were safe. It was wonderfully done.

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I also really enjoyed the tent area. I’m sorry we couldn’t save you young man, we had to save ourselves!

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However the maze kept going and seemed to go a little off track from the tale at times. It was fun, but lost that beautiful storytelling from the beginning as we progressed through the attraction. I did enjoy that the haunt staple “monster with chainsaw” fit into the scene in this attraction. So many times it’s random, but they made it work well. Great job to all of the designers and actors.

Overall it was a lot of fun and I’m glad we got to experience this attraction. I recommend checking them out if you are in the El Cajon (San Diego) area.

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*More photos from this event on Instagram @TheHauntGirl

LIST OF HAUNTS I’M ATTENDING 2018 (Tentative Schedule)

9/15 Six Flags Magic Mountain Fright Fest – CA

9/16 Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights – CA

9/21 Stillwell Manor – IN

9/21 Indy Screampark – IN

9/22 Dungeon of Doom – IL

9/22 Abandoned Haunted House Complex – WI

9/23 Six Flags Great America Fright Fest – IL

9/27 Haunted Jail in Colombia City – IN

9/29 Midnight Terror Haunt – IL

9/29 Dead Rising – IL

9/29 Undead Acres – IL

10/4 Sinister Pointe Scary Place – CA

10/5 HorrorWorld – CA

10/6 WB Horror Made Here – CA

10/7 Reality X Immersive Escape Experience – CA

10/12 Reign of Terror – CA

10/13 Haunted Amusement Park – Ca

10/13 The Haunted Lodge (Scareventures) – CA

10/13 The Scream Zone – CA

10/14 Backwoods Maze – CA

10/19 Invoke – CA

10/20 The Haunt in Atascadero-CA

10/20 The Haunt on Main – CA

10/20 Lompoc Haunt- CA

10/21 Fear Farm- CA

10/21 Rotten Apple 907- CA

10/24 LA Haunted Hayride -CA

10/26 Theatre Macabre-CA

10/27 Queen Mary Dark Harbor -CA

10/27 Dia De Los Muertas at Hollywood Forever Cemetery – CA

10/28 The Opeechee Haunt -CA

10/28 Theatre Macabre (again) -CA

10/29 Boney Island -CA

10/30 Spooky Hallows -CA

10/31 VooDoo on the Bayou – CA

11/1 HHN Orlando – FL

11/2 Paranoia- FL

11/2 Theatre of Terror- FL

11/2 CarnEvil- FL

11/3 Scream-a-Geddon -FL

11/16 Delusion – CA

My current schedule is changing drastically this season. I was planning on Florida this weekend but due to weather changed plans last minute.

Message me on Instagram with your suggestions of other Haunts I need to see this year!!!

https://www.instagram.com/thehauntgirl/