Location: 320 Delaware Ave, Palmerton, PA 18071
Imagine your sickest, darkest nightmare, one that you would NEVER share with your closest friends or family. Now imagine that nightmare with a bit of humor injected into it (literally), close your eyes, and now imagine there is a place you can visit that strives to bring these unspeakable horrors and perhaps twisted fantasies to life. Believe it or not, such a playground of the macabre exists, an experience that defies the conventions of typical “haunted attraction” performances and creates a show that goes beyond one’s wildest expectations, this “special place” in the Halls of Horror! We have visited HOH for numerous seasons (going back before the time of the infamous “Blood Experience”) and feel as though each year is a different “chapter” in a long-running story. Some seasons are more “dark humor” based on their approach and others more on the side of pure violence and chaos. This season’s show is a mixture of dark humor, violence, creepiness, and some new scenes which are refreshing takes on traditional haunted attraction design. From a shockingly effective representation of an abandoned “mine shaft” too creepy hallways that lead in some cases nowhere, traditional haunt design is juxtaposed with insane sets, with disturbing characters and scenes that have no problem making guests feel “real” fear (and laugh as well).
Halls of Horror is off-color, they do not want your business if your easily offended or triggered by ANYTHING as you will be playfully insulted, toyed with, touched, at times aggressively forced into chairs and on beds, be subjected to sexual comments, maybe tickled and pinned against walls and guided ever so not-gently to interact with the insane characters which inhabit these walls. However, as grotesque and disturbing as all this may sound, this adrenaline-pumping experience is an almost perfectly designed haunted attraction from a theme and set standpoint, and the “horrors” themselves somehow come together and create an atmosphere that is pure “fun.” There is something special about losing one’s inhibitions, letting go of the world around them, and allowing for almost “anything” to happen in a safe, controlled yet chaotic environment. Halls of Horror is a work of art from a psychological and design perspective, and while likely not for everyone if you open up your mind and are not afraid to let go of inhibitions it is almost impossible not to become addicted to the experience.
What makes Halls of Horror stand-out from ANY haunted attraction is by and large the sinister creativity and insanity of “scare-acting” featured at this attraction. We have always opted in the “Blood Experience” and while numerous haunted attractions seem to be jumping on board with throwing “Fake Blood” on guests, this experience goes far beyond cheap gimmicks. While at HOH you will be forced to sit on “toilets” and assaulted by demented ice-cream men, locked in a “pig’s cage,” get “stabbed and slashed” by an insane scare-actor who loves to “dance”, visit with a gruesome “proctologist” who luckily happens to moonlight as a “funeral director,” be forced to submit to a sexual predator/hillbilly and for fans of classic horror “escape” from a life-like “Leatherface.” Moments and interactions such as these (which may defy an ability to explain on paper) are strong points and genuinely terrifying. HOH also builds in extremely dark humor in scenes such as a visit to a demented barber and aggressive yet disturbing visit with “Harry the Bastard” the new “resident butcher” and chef at Halls of Horror. While by and large, the more “humorous” characters are excellent, we found, for example, a “meth dealer” to be lacking in terms of any point except to stall and another “live birth” scene to be too familiar. While that may sound insane even to read, these types of interactions (even when not as effective as others) still are unlike anything you will ever experience at a traditional haunted attraction.
While Halls of Horror is still the “king” of adult-themed borderline “extreme” haunted attraction entertainment, we would like to see a more dedicated approach towards “fear” next season. Furthermore, some of the actors felt less aggressive than those we encountered in previous seasons, and we spent some time waiting for something “insane” to happen only to be left waiting. Halls of Horror has perhaps set the bar so high in terms of its interactive, intense and downright insane presentation that one’s expectations will exceed the boundaries of reality. HOH is so exhilarating and psychologically addicting yet intense that one is almost addicted to the experience. HOH takes you into an entirely different universe, where you genuinely feel at the mercy of the freaks that roam the endless halls. The experience is so immersive that even the smallest hinderances or periods of downtime result in a sense of confusion and a desire to keep moving forward. What has been created in this traditional, yet very unique haunted attraction is unlike ANY haunted attraction in the country, and we challenge any haunt to master this unique attraction that perfectly marries “extreme” with “traditional” haunted attraction design. With a few more actors, and perhaps less emphasis on comedy, the next chapter of HOH will indeed send guests into the pit of pure insanity.
If you are a fan of horror, a true fan of Halloween and have the ability to let yourself go into an immersive experience unlike any other “haunted house,” you need to make Halls of Horror a MUST-see destination each season. Every year is almost entirely different, and while like any attraction some scenes are familiar, the diversity in interactions with each character, and extensive efforts they undertake to generate “reactions” ranging from pure terror to uncomfortable laughter. “The Blood Experience” is a must for anyone looking for an experience that will forever become etched in your psyche, and one that will leave you wanting more.
Do not worry about getting “dirty” as the blood (and perhaps excrement) will come off, leave your ideas of what haunted houses are at the door, and embrace the controlled chaos and mind-bending universe that exists within the dungeon of the infamous, Halls of Horror! Finally, it is important to stress that despite the pure insanity which takes place within these halls, the entire attraction is exceptionally safe and staffed by some of the nicest people you will ever meet. Halls of Horror is a meeting ground, an outlet to let go of your inner demons, embrace darkest thoughts and laugh at those horrors in an attraction that must be experienced to truly understand and appreciate.