13th Hour Haunted House Review 2023

13th Hour Haunted House: A New Nightmare Unveiled in 2023

13th Hour Haunted House (Wharton, NJ) has unleashed a fresh wave of terror in 2023 with extensive upgrades and spine-chilling alterations to its “two floors of fear.” It continues to immerse visitors in the horrifying saga of the malevolent “Hayden Family.” Renowned for its exceptional set and scene design, with an emphasis on “quality,” the massive renovations and set/scene improvements to the “second-floor” attraction will leave guests in complete shock. After years of primarily being untouched, the revamped “Attic” attraction features some of the most innovative illusions, unique takes on traditional haunt themes (such as a “clown factory”), and always a sense of being immersed in a larger-than-life experience with giant props, scenes and sites that torment guests. With more aggressive acting in some areas, this can be the perfect horror experience, and 13th Hour never disappoints. It is a focused operation with word-class designs, unique themes, and layout, making it a yearly favorite and must-see. 13th Hour is one of the finest, scariest mixes of an “old-school” haunted attraction with modern technology. It always boasts first-class scenes of terror, technology-infused theatrics, and special effects that are atypical of other haunted attractions.

Interactive Horror: 13th Hour promises an even more heart-pounding experience. It’s not just scary; it’s intense and prioritizes tailoring each performance to individual guest responses. Unlike many haunted attractions where performers recite tired lines, 13th Hour’s actors adapt their acts based on guest reactions. Expect eerie sounds in the darkness, ominous stalking, and disturbing actions that will make your skin crawl. These performances shine against the backdrop of a two-story mansion of horrors.

Thoughtful Design: Careful planning goes into the design of all three interconnected haunted attractions. Scenes go beyond industry standards and are designed to evoke visceral reactions rather than relying solely on impressive props. 13th Hour meticulously crafts its experience from start to finish, focusing on fear, exploring various horror themes, and creating a platform for disturbing actor-driven performances.

This Season’s Highlight: The Attic In 2023, the spotlight shines on “The Attic,” the second floor of 13th Hour. This attraction has undergone drastic changes that will leave you breathless. Not enough praise can be heaped upon the level of detail and improvements to the Attic (second floor) attraction at 13th Hour House. Scenes such as a twisted doll scene (where the dolls are the puppets), evil child’s playroom, “masquerade dressing room,” “clown industrial factory, where human remains are part of the processing line,” and more add new scares and some freakish surprises. We have never seen, for example, a clown “eating” the brains of a helpless victim using an “ice cream scooper,” and that always evil Satan worship scene, leading into an exorcism gone VERY wrong, scares and stuns as a finale featuring a somewhat unnerving “nun” that also surprises with a memorable performance.

What makes 13th Hour, in general, always stand out are the unique custom set designs that add scope and depth to each room. Each room, followed by a corridor, is massive, and one has to look “up” and “down” to garner the entire effect of each scene. Misdirection and jump scares are generally the norm, and the maze-like design is close to what one would expect in a “modern” take on the classical haunted attraction approach to scares.

Scenic Immersion: 13th Hour continues to rely heavily on scenic design, employing immersive animatronics, special effects, and sound to provide a stage for scare performers. While some rooms could benefit from additional performers, the actors’ performances are consistently solid and disturbing. From reapers to twisted family members, each character contributes to the attraction’s gritty yet modern horror atmosphere. Rooms feature chilling imagery, including twisted human dolls, infected monkeys, werewolves, and a “merry-go-round” of gore, all designed to evoke fear and disturbance.

Attractions: The 13th Hour Haunted House comprises three core attractions: “Hayden House of Nightmares,” “The Attic,” and “The Darkside of the Hayden House,” along with various “escape rooms” and special events. Despite its industrial location, the entire experience immerses visitors with massive scenes, large-scale animatronics, and effects that make them forget they’re in a warehouse complex. The expanded “midway” outside offers merchandise, food, and photo opportunities, creating a complete “scream-park” experience.

“Hayden House of Nightmares” on the first floor is the same as previous seasons but a detailed “classical” haunted mansion-style attraction with a gritty, violent underpinning enhanced by intense scare acting. It blends the ’60s and ’70s aesthetics, featuring an indoor “farmhouse” haunted mansion and outdoor scenes with rich detail and intense “grindhouse” horror. This floor introduces bizarre family members and their victims at every turn, from a conveyor belt of human parts to a plunge into the “Hayden Swamp.” The vile, gore-soaked “Carousel” scene is incredibly twisted, offering a blood-soaked merry-go-round filled with torment. The first half of this attraction is entirely new for 2023, with new hallways, pumpkin scenes, animatronics, and classic scenes such as a library ghost and butcher’s den, all contributing to the immersive experience.

“The Darkside of the Hayden Household” is a pitch-black maze, the final attraction, where guests must navigate through sensory assault and isolation. Unlike typical “dark” mazes where following a wall leads to escape, 13th Hour prevents this easy exit, leaving visitors in wide-open spaces in complete darkness. It’s almost impossible to anticipate what’s in front or behind, adding to the tension. Pure isolation and sudden, tormenting actors who appear out of nowhere create an atmosphere of fear. Unlike similar attractions, “The Darkside of the Hayden Household” doesn’t give hints or positions to escape, making it a truly frightening experience. Just enough jump scares, lighting effects, and surprises allow guests the moment to escape, and it is scary in its simplicity.

13th Hour Haunted House is one of the most interactive and innovative indoor “scream-park” style attractions, consistently adding new scenes and scares each season. Quality acting, diverse themes, and immersive design make it a premier regional attraction. Every season, the upgrades and surprises continue to impress, promising visitors a fresh and terrifying experience. The element of surprise is expertly executed, and the performers bring to life the horrifying story of the Hayden Family, known for their brutality, cannibalism, and exploitation of their victims.

Location: 105 W Dewey Ave Suit 5, Wharton, NJ 07885

Website: 13th Hour Haunted House