2014-2016 Reviews

2016 Haunted Scarehouse Review

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Location: 105 W Dewey Ave, Wharton, NJ 07885

Web Page: http://www.hauntedscarehouse.com

Introduction

Haunted Scarehouse, in Wharton, NJ, continues to be the most technologically advanced, detailed and genuinely scary indoor haunted walk-through attractions in the tristate area. Every single season a painstaking attention to structural detail, and scene design while creating an extensive two-floor walking attraction that at times feels like a horror “museum”. The intricate custom built sets feature disturbing imagery, gore and impressive animatronic props, which make it easy to get lost as each room encourages exploration. This season the attraction has made several changes to both its “House of Nightmares” and “Attic” attractions. The additions/changes add creative elements to each attraction including an attempt at a “mini-escape” games challenge for an ending, and a twisted, downright creepy “funhouse” style “merry-go-round” featuring dangling heads and blood stained mirrors.  While they were missing a few actors during our visit, we still thoroughly enjoyed our trip through the Haunted Scarehouse. Haunt fans of all backgrounds will appreciate the incredible details, and design of this attraction, as they continue to find new innovative ways to generate scares.

Haunted Scarehouse, features two connected indoor attractions; the “House of Nightmares”, “The Attic” and a fantastic pre-show, which is on the level with interactive attractions featured at major amusement parks that transport guests “back in time”. The opening pre-show is entertaining and unique to this attraction. The entire experience is reminiscent of an interactive 3D simulator and creates a powerful opening for a trip through the attraction. The quality of this preshow alone tops most haunted attractions and helps guests forget they are in a large industrial building.

The intricate details and fantastic set designs are experienced in small groups, and the Haunted Scarehouse does not disappoint. Guests will travel through time to visit the infamous “Hayden” family homestead. A house of horrific slaughter, twisted imagery, and insanity set upon two floors of fear. Haunted Scarehouse continues to improve each year, adding new surprises, scares, and interactive thematic sets. Overall, the attraction is similar to last year’s show, but noticeable changes and improvements make it still one of the best walk-through attractions you can visit this season. This is one of the best designed attractions you can visit this year and is within manageable traveling distance from Northeast PA.

Attractions

Haunted Scarehouse places an emphasis on the “legend” behind the attraction’s creation. The legend of the “Hayden” family places guests back in time to an era in which a farmhouse stood on the grounds of the Haunted Scarehouse.

Haunted Scarehouse is composed of two different attractions, a downstairs attraction known as “House of Nightmares” and upstairs attraction “The Attic”. Both attractions are connected, diverse in design and theming. Groups enter each attraction in small groups, and the length of each attraction, as well as the interactive elements of the designs,  does a good a job at separating each group from the others, although we did run into some backup issues due to a group in front of us that was moving at an extremely slow pace. This did hurt some of the scenes as we saw actors get into place but overall didn’t have an impact on the attractions entertainment quality.

Each room/scene is perfectly designed to create anticipation and build fear. Doors violently slam open, life-like animatronics from flying demons to a Hollywood quality “werewolf” are found in every corner of this fantastic attraction. The talented scare actors, work tirelessly and engaging set designs continue to stay ahead of the curve in adding a modern twist to a classical, traditional walk-through haunted attraction.

House of Nightmares

download-2The first floor attraction of the Haunted Scarehouse “House of Nightmares”, features detailed props and large-scale animatronics which serve as a backdrop for talented scare actors hidden throughout each corridor. The animatronics and set designs are of the highest quality and balance perfectly with actors who are always well hidden and ready to scare. From to a dragon that “eats” unlucky guests, to movie-quality large scale prop monsters, the creativity of the design of the “House of Nightmares” is second to none.

Haunt fans will appreciate the sheer quality of the props/animatronics must be seen to appreciate. Each set is gruesome and gritty, this is a mature themed attraction, and encourages guests to cautiously explore the “House of Nightmares”.  A new demented “merry-go-round” scene is violently disturbing, interactive and one of the stronger sets featured in the attraction. It is a memorable scene featuring a gruesome scene of slaughter and twisted character actors that control the entire experience.

The insane actors of the “House of Nightmares” effectively use the detailed set designs and animatronics to hide in tight spaces, use different types of scaring techniques to generate scares and create unique interactions with guests. interactive nature of the attraction makes it difficult to predict what will happen next, and the attraction uses darkness and ominous sound effects to build anticipation. Walls will collapse, floors rumble and slide and animatronics grasp at guests as the “House of Nightmares” is continuous non-stop relentless action, capped off by a jump scare finale which sets the perfect tone for a trip to the “Attic”. We did find that overall the attraction was in general similar to last season, but the additional scenes, and continued attention to detail makes this attraction a memorable one. Very few attractions feature a level of detail like the Haunted Scarehouse. Life like large scale animatronics and props are used effectively to hide scare actors in a high budget experience.

The Attic

download-1After an always shocking, yet expected jump scare ending to the “House of Nightmares” we make our way to the second floor of the Haunted Scarehouse. The “Attic” forces guests to enter into its detailed, intense scenes in small groups. Each scene is interactive, each corridor features the effective use of misdirection, confusing mazes and actors who are dedicated to confusing guests, as well as scaring them. Guests enter a twisted carnival, and must escape a maze which is controlled by various evil clowns. A trip through a disturbing doll room, a haunted library, rooms with chainsaws coming out of multiple directions and a room of rather life-like “wax” figures are some of the scenes guests will see as they enter into the sinister “Attic”.  Each scene is unique from the other, and several changes have been made including a redesign of a rather infamous animatronic “werewolf” scene. There were some issues in this attraction, including a noticeable lack of scare actors and backup which caused actors to be out of place. Despite these minor hiccups The unsettling, highly detailed set designs and creepy use of animatronic scares carried the dark atmosphere of the “Attic” attraction. An escape-room inspired ending in which guests are challenged to find a “key” to earn their money back and save a prisoner felt slightly rushed but was a unique take on a climatic ending.

The Final Word

Haunted Scarehouse continues to improve and perfect its show every year and is by far once again of the best indoor walk-through attractions you can visit this year. The amazing, Hollywood quality detail coupled with a continuous buildup of fear is at times exhausting and this attraction never lets up. We hope the attraction continues to find ways to generate scares in its detailed set environments and look forward to their continued dedication with regards to technology implementation. We also hope that in future seasons the attraction expands upon and advances the legend of the “Hayden” family to continue to implement a story within the context of an almost flawlessly designed haunted attraction. The attraction also features expanded “escape games” events which we did not get the chance to try this season.

For those traveling to New Jersey, Haunted Scarehouse is within driving distance of two other unique, and impressive haunted attractions. Brighton Asylum and Bane Haunted Attraction are both near the Haunted Scarehouse and must visit this season! Haunted Scarehouse will also be offering a multitude of off-season events, including a new “extreme” horror experience in which guests will be abducted at home, and taken to the haunt while being filmed. This is an innovative concept unlike any other and if successful can provide an immersive horror experience for those looking to live out their horror-movie fantasies!

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