House of Nightmares & Dead Acres

Went to two different haunted houses over the weekend, thought I’d share the experiences with you all;

Friday night was Dead Acres (or the Haunted Hoochie – depending on the billboard sign, they seem to go by BOTH names). Personally I like ‘Dead Acres’ better – ‘Haunted Hoochie’ leaves me expecting zombie skanks wandering around in leopard mini-skirts and 3 inch heels. Come to think of it, that could be a new metal band – 3 inch HEELS of blood. I’m hilarious.

Anyways, this house is ranked among the top in the country by Hauntworld.com, a haunted house industry website, so I was expecting some good stuff. It was raining & I hoped the possible 3 HOUR (!!!!) line would be significantly shorter. It was but I still ended up waiting for 45 minutes in the rain while they did ‘maintenance’. Nevertheless, it wasn’t 3 hours so that was a relatively minor inconvenience.

Once inside, we were treated to a roughly 20 minute tour with gallons of blood, some really decent animatronics and lots of creepy horror scenes (including a funny one involving a baby delivery & a sledgehammer – say no more). Everything looked pretty slick but I still couldn’t help but be a little disappointed. Many scenes were contained to one area rather than having actors that could chase you around further into the house. I also think a lot was lost by the sheer size of the group they send through each time (about 10 of us) which made many scenes seem less threatening. A pitch black maze for example, was easily navigated because we ran into the people ahead of us who had already figured out all the dead ends. Had there been only 4 of us, we’d have been there for half an hour! Ultimately, the houses’ popularity may be working against it as the staff tries to contend with the huge mob waiting to get inside. Still, a lot of attention was paid to details and I would definitely go see this one again (maybe with a coupon, that ticket price was pretty steep).

Saturday was House of Nightmares, which was also pretty damn scary. They kept the group size small (only 2 of us) and there was a LOT of darkness to contend with. Darkness with scary people waiting in it. I remember thinking about half way through the thing, that it was being harder on my nerves than I’d expected.

Scenes were fairly elaborate and there was some interestingly varied situations (creative use of bungie cord, for one). All in all I liked the house a bit more than Dead Acres as the decaying building added tons to the atmosphere & it was just genuinely creepy. I’m old school, what can I say.

I’ll probably hit one more before the season is out – if my heart holds out. Stay tuned.

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