13th Hour is one of the most intricately detailed indoor “scream-parks” you can EVER visit, featuring three core “haunted attractions,” industry-defining escape rooms, Virtual Reality Experiences, axe throwing, and hosting numerous off-season events. It features rooms and hallways filled with unique items, interactive animatronics, and strange oddities that are the perfect set up for endless distraction scares. 13th Hour masterfully combines “traditional” scares with interactive animatronics and a sense of realism that creates a story of being trapped in a house of horrors. Over the past several years, 13th Hour has relied heavily on set design and technology, creating a fun-house style haunted attraction that is innovative, continuously improves from season to season, and spares no expense in utilizing “big-budget” animatronics and interactive elements to generate a variety of mature scares.
Faced with the challenges of the COVID-19 global pandemic, 13th Hour made numerous modifications focused on separating groups, reducing the interaction between guests/actors, and enhancing cleanliness and sanitation. While the always impressive “opening” scene, which was a representation of a “time machine,” was removed in favor of an extended waiting line, the overall show was not negatively impacted. Furthermore, in the previous season’s the performances of each actor were always extremely “hands-on,” and due to restrictions and operational safety, these once “up close” interactions were eliminated. However, while not as frequent, the performances themselves of each “actor/actress” were strong and as disturbing as ever. From a twisted “cross-dressing” “superstar” to human butchers and operators of a “flesh-filled” carousel, the performances, as well as the gritty yet modern nature of each attraction, create a hellacious experience. A mature haunted attraction, guests encounter displays of human slaughter, depravity, chilling imagery, twisted human doll makers, infected monkeys, and insane monsters (including werewolves), and pure insanity intertwined with a new demonic overture. No expense is spared in turning each room and corridor into an interactive, immersive experience. It is easy to become lost and a potential victim of the infamous “Hayden Family” that resides on each floor!
13th Hour Haunted House features three core haunted attractions and various “escape rooms,” off-season, and special events. The three core interconnected attractions are the “Hayden House of Nightmares,” “The Attic,” and “The Darkside of the Hayden House.” Despite its industrial location, the entire attraction is entirely immersive, with massive scenes, large-scale animatronics, and props and special effects that help guests forget they are within the confines of a larger industrial building. Outside of the attraction is an expanded “midway” with merchandise, food, and photo opportunity options rounding out an entire “scream-park” experience within the confines of a warehouse complex.
“Hayden House of Nightmares” is the first floor of the core structure and really is a throwback to the ’60s, 70’s theme-wise, a mixture of the indoor “farmhouse” and outdoor scenes featuring rich detail and intense scenes of “grindhouse” inspired horror and bloodshed. Bizarre family members and their victims are around every corner and command attention. For example, a conveyor belt of human parts is designed to disturb and capture immediate attention. A plunge into the “Hayden Swamp” results in a less than pleasant encounter with a twisted family member, and even a “shopping cart” will make one feel uneasy and crippled with fear. The first floor also features one of the most twisted scenes in any haunted attraction, “The Carousel,” a demented merry-go-round experience filled with guts and gore, that adds a sense of torment to the attraction, in which the twisted family enjoys playing with their helpless victims.
The second floor, “The Attic,” is by far the most terrifying attraction featured at 13th Hour this season and has received extensive upgrades over the past several seasons. Scenes such as an encounter with infected monkeys/animals, a hallucinogenic sideshow circus, and one of the most disturbing “human” doll scenes we have ever witnessed are housed within the confines of the “Hayden” family “Attic.” “The Attic” is designed to create nightmares and highlights the darker, more diabolical overtones infused throughout the attraction this season. Brand new scenes of Satanic Sacrifice/Worship (featuring Satan’s Goats) and an animatronic/interactive “exorcism” left us absolutely in shock as they are unlike anything we have witnessed at ANY haunted attraction, both large or small. Combined, both attractions create a house of horrors that challenges its guests to even finish and has become a far more sinister attraction, focusing more on the “horror” and targeting a wide array of phobias cultivating genuine fear. As a package, both attractions complement each other while maintaining a “storyline” associated with the “Hayden Family” and their sadistic acts of horror.
“The Darkside of the Hayden Household” is perhaps the most effective “dark maze” of any haunted attraction visited this season or last. Countless haunted attractions have adopted “pitch black, or blackout” style mazes that generate effective scares and use different sensory techniques to create reactions. What 13th Hour does well is not going overboard with the sensory assault aspect of such a maze and allows for the maze itself to generate a sense of panic and fear. Unlike so many of these mazes were simply following the “wall” will lead you to escape, 13th Hour prevents this “easy” way out, leaving guests in wide-open spaces in complete darkness with little to no hope at times at escaping. Actors can see guests whom each have a glow-bead neckless, but it is impossible almost to see what is in front or back of you except for the occasional animatronic prop or actor with a light/loud noise (startle scare). Pure isolation and tormenting actors that appear out of thin air create an atmosphere of tension. Unlike so many of these similarly styled attractions, isolation is the key to fear. “The Darkside of the Hayden Household” is almost designed to trap guests, and the actors, unless necessary, do not give hints or give away a position which is vital to escape (actors will flash bright lights with horns from time to time to keep pacing). An unforgiving take on a familiar attraction theme, “The Darkside of the Hayden Household,” is a scary, lost in the darkness attraction where you feel completely alone and at the mercy of the “Hayden” family. ” The Darkside” attraction is unique from most “pitch-black mazes” as it embraces openness and isolation, at times pure silence, to create fear. All of the attractions featured are designed logically, tell a “story” without defining the details and allow the “guest” to experience horror created by interactive scenes, world-class animatronics, and scare actors hidden effectively within the madness created throughout one’s journey.
The Final Word
Despite facing the uncertainty of this season’s show, 13th Hour forged forward and added several new scenes that were absolutely jaw-dropping and a shocking diversion from the “legend” usually used to drive the storyline underlying each of the three core attractions. With less emphasis on a “story,” 13th Hour actually focused more on its actual strengths, quality set design, intense attention to detail, and using diversion, visual and interactive tricks to effectively hide those actors present in each attraction. Some of the finest scenes of horror are on display in each attraction featured at 13th Hour. Every single aspect of the operation is carefully planned to ensure guests experience the entire show in their individual groups. Continuously becoming darker and more diabolical in nature, the infamous legend of the “Hayden Family” spawned by the 13th Hour continues to evolve each season into a hellacious indoor “scream-park” that provides nonstop action and pure terror.
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