What could creepier than a haunted attraction built in a former mortuary in one of America’s most haunted cities New Orleans. Another bonus is that the building is actually haunted and has been investigated by numerous ghost hunting teams including Ghost Adventures. The classic Greek revival style building makes for an imposing backdrop as you enter the haunt. The mortuary had served the city of New Orleans up until Hurricane Katrina. Cool outdoor lighting and huge animatronics dress up the outside.
You are then split up into groups of about 5 to 7 and begin your journey. When we enter the front parlor we are met by our host, a vampire and the ghost of his wife. They explained that have collected great artifacts from around the world, including zombies, and there is no telling what we will encounter as we make are way through the home. The first room is very theatrical and sets a great tone. I am struck immediately by the level of detailing and only wish we had a little more time to observe the vast collections before moving on to the rest of the haunt. The animations used for the “wife” were impressive. As we venture along we are encounter a variety of environments and are greeted by an assortment of creature. In the first few room we are welcomed by vampires and then more and more zombies. The first few rooms are more like a traditional, manor style haunted house. You are immersed in highly intricate sets and between actors and animatronics, things come from everywhere. The action was non-stop. Things get scarier as you travel downstairs to the basement. Here you encounter dark caverns and twisted experiments in the medical examining rooms. The caves were one of my favorite areas with dripping water, spiders and other creatures.
For the most part Morturary was a great show. It had impressive technology mixed with a very classical environment. Every detail was considered from lighting and sound to smells. I loved the way that props were used because you often could not tell what was an animatronic or static prop and what was an actor until it was too late. My biggest criticism is that the show seemed disjointed. They covered vampires, zombies, medical, clowns and dark caves but there wasn’t always a logical transition. However, this concept would probably go unnoticed by the average patron. The acting here was good and there were some very creepy characters. I only wish that there were a few that got the opportunity for more dialogue to tie back in the theatricality of the front room. The Mortuary was a fun time and a good classic haunted house. No visit to New Orleans during the Halloween season would be complete without a stop at the Morturary.
Chaos Crew Presents:
Doors Haunted House and
The Dark Carnival
Saturday, October 11th, 2014
When walking through different haunts year after year, you notice what the latest trends are and the latest effects and tactics to scare you with are. It starts to become a cycle that you see over and over again. You will travel far and wide to experience something new and fresh. Your hope is that you find that one place that makes you feel fear again. A place that shows you things you haven’t seen before and to have an experience like no other. Mystery and magic are what we seek and sometimes, when we try hard enough, we find it lurking behind the door. In this case, there are 3 doors! Which one will we pick? Let’s find out as Chaos Crew Presents: Doors Haunted House and The Dark Carnival!
We arrived at 11:30pm shortly before closing. The building simply has a large banner hanging across the front that gets straight to the point. It also ensures that you understand what you are getting yourself into. Later I would feel that this was a clever way of letting your guard down before entering the attraction. Let’s face it, when I see a building with hanging banner that just says, “Haunted House”, I’m not really expecting much to happen here. Especially at 11:30 at night. However, my doubt soon turned to fear as this was no ordinary haunt. Whenever you enter into the haunt, you are faced with 3 doors to choose from. Depending on which one you choose, that decides how you will start your journey through the haunt. As you walk through the house, you will encounter dead ends, wrong ways, good and bad choices that you have to make and walls that move. Sometimes you have to turn around and go back the way that you came, however the scenes were not the same as you left them! All of the actors were very intense, energetic, persistent and interactive with us. They were in your face and very loud! Their timing was right on. They were coming at you from below and above you. There were a few actors that when they jumped out or slid across the floor, their mask lit up! Very cool! Some of the contortionist and other actors that are normally in the other attraction were inside Doors tonight due to weather. The house was full of actors. One of the most memorable actors was a jester that kept popping up everywhere. His humor was on point and indeed clever. I would have to say that these actors were by far the scariest and most intense actors I have come across in a while. The actors here were young but they were working the house like pros with big scares and awesome timing!
There weren’t really many sets, but rather a maze of hallways and curtains that we felt lost at times. The misdirection was a really cool effect. There were some very dramatic torture scenes and some children’s rooms that had some girls singing nursery rhymes that brought back memories of nightmare on Elm Street. One of the special effects was a green laser and fog hallway that made it seem like you were walking into a tunnel. There was an intense room with screaming girls and just pure chaos in every direction. This was when the fear started to set in. That room was intense and I was ready to run! But wouldn’t you know it? They wouldn’t let you leave at first. Soon we were let go only to find ourselves coming back on the other side of the viewing window. This was not your typical haunt. Some of the things that we saw and experienced blew us away. This was a very innovative way to make you actually get into the experience and interact with the actors. We were very impressed that the actors were so good with it being so late in the evening. There are some intimidating chainsaw yielding creatures near the end that will make sure you get to your car in no time. No need for a valet here. Why wait when you can run? I must tip my hat to the Chaos Crew. They had me fooled into believing that this was just another small town haunt with people in sheets jumping out and saying boo! Instead, what I found was some of the greatest acting, special effects, and real fear! This was an amazing experience here at Doors Haunted House. We highly recommend that you go and experience it for yourself!
The Dark Carnival was closed tonight due to weather. – Texas Team D.G. and J.G
Combo Ticket: $22.00
The Doors Haunted House only $17.00
The Dark Carnival only $7.00
Cash and Credit Cards Accepted
7829 E FM 917
Alvarado, TX 76009
Friday, October 10th, 2014
Our last stop on Haunted House Day 2014 had us in Midlothian, TX to visit a haunt that we stumbled upon on the internet recently. Creekside Manor is a trip back in time with special effects and great scares that go a long way. There are not many haunted houses out there today that are in real houses. I am a big fan for that because there’s just something about a real house versus a building with mazes. The exterior of this house is brilliantly done with great care from the boarded up windows to the façade attic on the roof. My eyes may have been playing tricks on me but I was quite certain there was someone upstairs looking down at me. The house is creepy and the lighting is perfect. Prior to your visit inside the manor, you find yourself walking through a spooky cemetery that has open graves and tombstones.
Legend has it that many years ago a family by the name of Von Hagles had purchased some land and built a mansion there known by the local townspeople as Creekside Manor! This family soon after, was dead and graves were seen in front of the manor. Years later a Hurricane flooded the shores of Louisiana where a mysterious building had been holding hundreds of coffins. How this building released hundreds of coffins and how they were swept towards the manor is a mystery. But the creatures that arrived in the coffins now make their home at Creekside Manor.
Once inside the manor, you are introduced to the hosts by the ticket taker. They are a pair of animatronic twin skeletons. One can be intimidating while the other can be humorous. They are there to fill you in on what’s going on and to lay down the rules. Soon the door opens and you enter into a series of rooms. As you walk down a hallway you see a little animatronic girl that looks so real and creepy as she is claiming that there is a monster in her room. You’ve been warned! There is a scene where a skeleton is playing an organ, a giant vampire that hangs high above your head and some very creepy home décor that will keep you on edge. There is a lot going on in here with many tricks and good scares! The house is brilliant and I don’t want to give too much away, so that you may experience this gem for yourself.
We later find ourselves outside the house through a series of mazes with different scenes and young actors. The actors here were loud and full of energy. Some good startles from this bunch that never quit. I was impressed! I have been looking for a place like this for some time now and after experiencing this I truly appreciate what Creekside Manor has accomplished. The creativity here is amazing. I would describe it as the result of a mad scientist’s great imagination. Pure genius! There are many things here that you may not see anywhere else. This was a smaller haunt that took about 15-20 minutes to walk through with never a dull moment! I predict big things for this haunt in the near future. Great Job Creekside Manor! We will be back!
Children under ’48: $10.00
Each year, Creekside Manor sponsors a child from the community who is fighting cancer. They donate a portion of their ticket sales to the family to help with their cancer treatment.
2411 Plainview Rd.
Midlothian, TX 76065
Let me start this review by saying that I am writing it because House of Shock is the haunt that I least wanted to visit on our tour. I only came because Karl had be bugging me to go here since I began attending haunts and with this being the attractions final season it was now or never. House of Shock had a reputation as being offensive, gory, sacrilegious and even satanic. I gave in to get a stop in New Orleans but I knew this was not going to be my type of show. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Needless to say I was not a happy camper when we arrived but my husband wouldn’t let me stay back at camp. We had trouble getting to the haunt and once we did parking was almost non-existent within a half hour of opening. Finally, we were able to find a parking spot and get our tickets. We asked the lady selling us our tickets if this was a normal crowd. She explained that it was and it actually wasn’t bad yet. By the time we left the regular line stretched back to the ticket booth and was a good three to four hours. The fact that House of Shock was closing brought out even more fans than normal.
The VIP line was not too bad early in the evening and we took our front row spot for the famous pre-show. The stage show takes places a few times a night and is undoubtedly the best and most original part of the House of Shock experience. While waiting for it to begin, I noticed the stage and the outside facades. It looked like the ruins of an European church complete with stone work, classical window carvings and sculpted faces. The outside reminded me of sites I had seen in Scotland and England. The level of craftsmanship was on par with anything I had seen at Universal Studios or any of the large theme parks. Once the show started it was a twenty minute assault on your senses complete with video, lighting, music, actors, fireworks and pyro. The show did a great job at tying up HOS’s continuing story line. The 2013 show ushered in the birth of the spawn of Satan and the video explained that he aged at an accelerated rate and now appeared to be a pre-teen. Lord Bellail and General Abaddon had been helping young Cameron develop his powers. This final performance was a show down between the evil forces, the Reverend Levicus Clark and Christ himself with some unexpected twists. I thought they did a fantastic job at bringing the story full circle. The Pyro and fireworks were amazing and the stage acting was equal to what you expect to find at any popular tourist attraction. Plus that was one creepy child.
After the show is over, actors are loaded back in the house and we can start to enter. The front of house did a good job at breaking up entrance between the regular and VIP lines and everything ran very smoothly. Finally we are in. There was no less attention to detail inside and while dialogue was extremely limited, the actors were spot on. We walked through several distinct environments. We started with a voodoo themed section that easily could have been hokey but wasn’t. I noticed candles, dolls, markings and art work comparable to what adorns the cemeteries and voodoo shops of New Orleans. The caverns and bayou swamps were complete with dripping water, fog, dank smells and uneven walks that all added to the experience. There was a great post-apocalyptic street scene complete with crashed cars and store fronts that easily could have been our world on Judgment Day. Every haunt seems to be doing a doll section and I don’t see that trend stopping anytime soon. I can say that the doll area here was unique and especially eerie. It had clippings and cut outs of girls and dolls wallpapering the room with doll part strewn everywhere and girls in cages. The main characters and the religious aspect did not come back into play until the final rooms which some may consider blasphemous.
After the main show there are several things to entertain crowds for the rest of the night. A concert stage hosts local and national acts. A small stage featured suspensions performers and a side show act performed on the main stage in between stage shows. The haunt also had several full bars which also sold there specially themed cocktails. There was also an assortments of food and merchandise for sale.
While House of Shock definitely lives up to the name, my preconceived ideas were worse than the actual show. I have been to haunts that were more violent and distasteful but not as well produced. I think the extreme nature of shows like this is fine as long as there is a basis behind in and it is not just done for shock value. It is obvious that as much as HOS is extreme and irreverent it is also obvious that they take the craft of haunting seriously. You will not see another show like this for sure I can’t wait to see what the talents behind House of Shock have in store for us next.
Saturday, October 11th, 2014
In 2013, Hangman’s celebrated its 25th season. It was a time that saw the end of an era. The Hangman was ready to give his final scare and give up the rope. He was captured and taken to a public hearing where he was found guilty of all crimes and he willingly took his place in the gallows to be strung up and left for dead. This would be his final hanging, or was it? As he began to hang behind a shroud of mystery, his legacy would begin a new chapter. The most anticipated hanging of all time became more of a conspiracy. Did he really hang? Where did he go? All he left behind was his infamous black hood. Was this really THE END? By the looks of Pinocchio’s nose from the 2013 poster, the answer was right in front of us the whole time. Ladies and Gentleman, Hangman’s House of Horrors Presents…A New Hangman, A New Location, A New Owner….A NEW INSTITUTION!
This year it is under new ownership and has moved to a new location that was previously an old helium plant. Hangman’s is the top charity benefiting haunted house in the world! They have donated $2million to local charities.
We arrived about 30 minutes after opening and the line to the ticket booth was about 30 minutes long. We then proceeded through security and into a large building. Once inside we were walking down a very long hallway which led us to the festival area. In the hallway were strobe lights and a devilish character hiding in the dark. The festival area consisted of a concession stand, food trucks, funnel cakes, photo ops and several characters including the Hangman himself. They also have a huge stage for live bands and Thriller Dancers. Hay bales are spread out to provide seating opportunities to enjoy the festival area. The McDagenville porch hosted a few hillbillies for some comic relief.
Each year, Hangman’s changes the theme to the main house. This year’s theme is “New Institution”. Two side attractions are also located on the property, the zombie themed OUTBREAK and the 3-D wonderland. While going through OUTBREAK, you will be walking through the inside of a jailhouse and then proceed to the yard. The old police van was a nice touch to the yard. A bald, bearded zombie that we came across outside looked like he was right out of the Walking Dead! Creepy eyes and very good acting! 3D Wonderland is not a scary attraction, but more of a fun house. It is themed after Alice in Wonderland. Put on your 3D glasses and enter the rabbit hole to visit characters such as Alice, the red Queen and the Mad Hatter. This attraction is perfect for young and old.
We were in line for the main house for about 45 minutes. There were a lot of people there! With friends to talk to, queue line actors and music, it made the wait not seem as long. The first room was hanging bodies from Nooses, very fitting to start the house with. As we were walking through the house, we recognized some of the old Hangman’s staple rooms. The Disorientation black and white checkered room was much bigger. There were 2 spinner tunnels, a smaller one and a long one. I was a little disappointed the longer one was not spinning when we were there. We went through a sheet maze, and a mirror maze, getting lost both times and running into the mirrors a few times as well. The clown room consisted of a bungee and some very energetic clowns. These clowns did an awesome job! Another favorite character was a giggling squirrel in an animal testing room. There was a laser hallway that is always fun to walk through, and you never know when someone is blending in or hiding behind the lights! We went through several insane asylums and Dr’s office rooms encountering some mental patients. There was a toxic waste area, a nursery, a library and a funeral scene. In one room actors swing torsos toward you making it look like they are going to hit you. A few of the rooms were a little confusing with mannequins thrown in piles and heads in cubby holes. A room that we did enjoy was the school room. The kids in this room were very energetic and persistent, we weren’t sure how this room fit the theme, but it was one of the best rooms of the night. There were several places that you had to duck or crawl under. One of the creepiest parts was a bathroom that you had to enter into one of the stalls in order to enter into the next room!
It took us about 30 minutes to get through the main house. With as little time as they had to prepare for this year at the new location, they were able to put a lot together using only about half of the building! I am looking forward to seeing the main house get even bigger next year! With as much land and empty buildings on property, there is plenty of room to expand over the years. This was a good night and a lot of fun! Great Job! -J.G
Fast Pass $35.00
Flashlight Night $25.00
Scaredy Cat Night $12.50
4400 Blue Mound Rd.
Fort Worth, TX 76106
Friday, October 10, 2014
On the evening that we celebrate Haunted House Day, we wanted to go somewhere very special and unique. A place that gives you goose bumps the moment you hear the word ZOMBIE! Now with the recent uprising and popularity of zombie themed media, it’s a no braaaaainer to have a 100% zombie themed haunted attraction. The way the movies and television has changed the way we look at zombies is amazing. We’ve gone from the very slow zombies of the Living Dead to the high-speed zombies of WWZ. But somewhere in the middle is where we find the just right zombie. You know, the ones who appreciate a good meal and take their time devouring their victims with passionate bites to the human skin and the appreciation of a good intestine. This my friends is where zombies go to feed, Zombie Manor!
Our story begins in the late 1800’s. The original Manor stood in the lowlands of Louisiana. The proud owner of the manor, Branson Delacroix, saw the manor standing deep in the marsh and was afraid that the sea would take it over. So he moved his entire estate to the rolling hills of Texas. He named his new home, The Delacroix Estate. The estate rests next to an old cemetery and flowing creek. One of the house servants was a Haitian Creole named Bedula, who practiced voodoo and spiritual rituals. After several years she married the manor’s stableman, Virgil Abraham and had a daughter named Tamera. After two decades had passed, Branson Delacroix revealed his passion for Tamera. The outraged Bedula could not hide her powers any longer. She called upon her ancestors to summon pure evil upon Branson and upon anything and everyone that stepped foot on the manor’s property. All of the crops, livestock and servants began to die. The dead then became cursed, and began to rise! This manor is now overrun by Zombies!
As you are traveling down HWY 287 in Arlington, TX, you can see the bright skylight welcoming you for miles. Zombie Manor is just ahead. They are located right off the highway in an old warehouse building. The flashing sign pointing you to the attraction gives me a case of the chills knowing where it leads to. There’s free parking here but get here early because it fills up fast. After purchasing our tickets, we saw a Zombie Survival Gear booth where you can pick up t-shirts, popcorn and drinks. We then proceed to the queue line and immediately noticed the new facade that had been added since the last time we visited. It was surrounded by brick pillars and creepy branches above your head. The wall on the outside of the manor displayed pictures of some of the zombies that you might come across inside. But be careful, because one of the pictures might come to life! It wasn’t long before we were at the front of the line. The ticket taker warned us that the zombies hadn’t been fed, and were very hungry! She then had us to ring the doorbell, and we entered into a straw covered hut with an animatronics skeleton. The skeleton was a nice touch. He was somewhat humorous yet creepy at the same time. As we entered we encountered a few zombies as we made our way along the pathways leading to the manor.
We then stumbled upon a caged head zombie that led us inside into the trapped area of the foyer. There was a sitting area and bookshelves in the foyer, but we were unsure of where to go next. We were trapped! But soon the caged head zombie led us to the secret way out. We immediately got the sense that we were walking inside of an old Mansion as we walked down the first hallway. The walls were covered in wallpaper and there were picture frames filled with old zombified family members. Every room was covered in dust and spider webs really giving it an eerie effect. The room designs gave amazing detail from floor to ceiling. There was a room that was covered in zombie props climbing the walls and animals heads posted all around you. Our favorite room was the master bedroom. As you walk in you see a big four-poster bed with decaying bodies lying on top. You could literally smell the decaying rotting bodies as you were forced to walk around the bed wondering if a zombie was underneath the bed or not. Our senses were in over drive from the smell and the horrific scene. Walking into this room was the most intense real fear that I haven’t experienced in years. This was the real deal! Very creepy feeling!
It seemed as though they might have been a little short on actors tonight, but that did not take away from the experience at all. The zombies went above and beyond to bite at you, chase you into other rooms, groaning, moaning, growling, hissing and getting in your face! There was a small girl that came out of a closet that really was scary. An actress that came out of a dark spot was very good on timing causing me to scream! A bearded zombie toward the end was eating a rat and was trying to come after us with it. The details in the actor’s costumes and makeup were amazing. I would have to say that they had the best zombie makeup I have ever seen. Even their eyes glowed in the dark!
Special effects included animatronics, pneumatics, very loud air cannons, and a laser hallway. There were several 4D effects in this haunt. As you are walking down hallways, there are windows with projections on them of scenes such as shooting off zombie heads. You then feel the “blood” splatter on you! Other windows just gave the effect that they were being shattered, or that someone was running toward you. One area had some flooring that made you feel like you were walking on a sponge mattress. Another part of the floor you could see lighting coming up from underneath which was a cool effect. There was a draw string bridge that shakes back and forth as you walk on it, but be careful not to get shocked from the shock panels! YIKES!
We were disoriented a few times. We got scared and startled many times tonight. We would have to say that this show was even better since the last time we visited them. Zombie Manor is one that we will continue to go back to, as they always deliver a good show, and you never know what to expect! -J.G.
Regular Admission: $17.00 and worth every penny!
Fast Pass: $22.00
7501 US HWY 287
Arlington, TX 76001
When we were first in Orlando in September we made a road trip about 45 minutes south of tourist area to Winter Haven. Even under construction, The Shallow Grave impressed us so much that we planned a return trip to see the full show. They did not disappoint. For a second year haunt, Shallow Grave gave any veteran haunt a run for its money.
The Shallow Grave is comprised of two shows: Haunted Hills and the all new ADHD. Both houses involve the main character Thaddeus Van Buren and his two daughters. Thaddeus was the caretaker for the Hills of Arietta Cemetery. When the Depression set in, he went mad watching his daughters go hungry. It was then that the caretaker became a butcher to keep his family fed. In Haunted Hills, Thaddeus’s victims arise from the dead to exact their revenge. ADHD takes you inside of the twisted mind of Thaddeus Van Buren to experience various horrible nightmares.
We loved both haunts and they were very different. The new addition, ADHD had some of my favorite scenes and actors. Although it ties into the haunt’s icon character, the nightmare concept allows ADHD to cover everything that creeps us out from snakes and spiders, clowns and rednecks. When you walk through the caverns you feel transported into a dark world. I especially liked the final circus themed section. The clowns here were creepier than I have seen in any haunt. You get to walk through the midway games, a freak show complete with a two-headed boy and part of a fun house. The clowns were everywhere and this area had some very inventive “gags”.
Haunted Hills gives more of an up close look at the Van Buren family and the monsters they have become. While both attractions are highly detailed you can appreciate the quality a little more at this attraction. The sets and make up are as detailed as any corporate haunted attraction and make you feels as if you entered a horror movie. We stopped in awe at the entrance which was the front of the Van Buren home with some unwanted guests lurking in the windows. The living room was gorgeous and provided great scares. The little girl in her bedroom was reminiscent of one from Poltergeist and every bit as scary. Some of the best design and detailing was in the cemetery section so try not to run through it too fast. Also keep an eye out for the Van Buren girls as they creep around the haunt.
Only in its second year, The Shallow Grave is as polished as any veteran attractions. Their operation ran smoothly from tickets and queue line to acting and parking. Although dialogue was limited, the actors here did not need it. They were pros at scaring you with a grunt, snort or warm breath down your neck. Those characters that did speak gave you chills. The production value was impressive. Everyone involved with the operation of The Shallow Grave started because they were passionate about haunting and that resonates in the show. So if you find yourself in Central Florida in October, come and see what twisted things Thaddeus is up to.
We paid a return visit to Central Florida to visit friends and see the area’s haunts in full swing. They had also recommended we make a stop at A Petrified Forest in Alamonte Springs. The haunt, celebrating its 7th season offers two trails and a variety of other entertainment options. Petrified Forest offers a unique show with enough to entertain you for the night.
The haunt is divided into two trails: The Farm and the Factory. The Farm was my favorite. This trail had one of the most unusual entrances to any haunt I’ve been in. The very first sections could have used a few more props or actors but once the action got started, it did not stop. The clown section had a few unique twist. I also liked that Petrified Forest grows their own corn to create a corn maze. The actors here had some great scares. Other highlights included a laser swamp and some very creepy children near a decaying school bus. Some of the most memorable characters were in the Factory. However, I didn’t see a big difference in theme from the two trails. They easily could have been parts of the same show. Some of the actors had great one liners. There was also a impressive scare with a steam train. You can tell that the trails were not high budget and that the sets and props were made by hand. However, that allowed for more originality. The trails themes are different each year.
A Petrified Forest also offers a variety of food and entertainment keeping guests busy while they wait to enter the haunts. Another popular add-on is the Backstage tours. A personal guide takes patrons behind the scenes at the haunt and even gives them a chance to scare. You can also opt to play laser tag and shoot at mutants and zombies. Soon guests will also be able to stay overnight in a tree house where they get a birds-eye view of the action. Food will also be provided and guest will be presented with an scary story to set the tone for their stay.
Our only issue with A Petrified Forest were the crowds. The chaos up front may have driven off some potential haunt goers. Large groups blocked the ticket line and the entrance. When you enter the park you are assigned a color. You can line up for the trails when your color comes up on the wheel in the middle of the grounds. While it does give people a chance to enjoy the entertainment, some people might pay for a front of line upgrade. I would highly recommending coming early and buying tickets online to save time. This unique attraction is a must see and a great part of the growing Central Florida haunt scene.
This year Orlando’s Old Town entertainment districts gives area families good old-fashioned Halloween fun. Old town Halloween will be presented Friday and Saturday nights from October 11th to 31st. The family friendly event features Halloween displays, roaming characters, live entertainment, and costume contests. It also showcases Old Town’s own award-winning haunted attraction Legends: A Haunting at Old Town.
When the evening starts at 7pm the roaming characters move to their places in four distinct themed areas: Monster Cut Throat’s Curse (pirates), Old Town Graveyard, Classic Halloween (scarecrows and spiders) and the Monster Midway (mummies and werewolves). The sections feature displays conceived and created by the crew at Legends Dark Amusements. The Pirate section features a pirate show that takes places a few times each evening. The cemetery includes characters that wandered off from Ashdown and Sons Undertakers, the home to Legends. Keep a special eye out for the violin player in the cemetery. In the next area you can often find children talking to a dismembered scarecrow. The Monster Midway features your favorite classic monsters in a carnival type setting. This area in the back is probably the darkest and scariest and it features some of my favorite costumes. The crowds wait for dancers to perform “Thiller” a few times each night. There are costume contests for adults and children and car cruises. You can also browse the shops and attractions of Old Town.
No stop is complete without visiting Legends: A Haunting in Old Town which just celebrated its first anniversary in the district. The show operates all year but definitely gets stepped up for Halloween. Additional characters can be found on the street in front of the haunt. As Halloween approaches you will get to see Mr. Ashdown preparing for the holiday. There will be special scenes set up only for the season.
LEGENDS : A HAUNTING AT OLD TOWN
Legends took over the former Haunted Grimm House just over a year ago. Other than location, nothing is the same. Ashdown and Sons Undertakers had been offering their services to the people of the town since 1889. The Ashdowns make their living on death and when business started to slow down Mr. Ashdown had no problem helping it along. Visitors to the establishment may find themselves caught between the wicked living and the wrath of the dead.
From the moment you step into the doors you are immersed in turn of the century funeral home. The movie quality sets are heavily detailed and many of the props were custom-built for this show. The fixtures that decorate the halls are often antique and you can easily notice something new each time you walk through. As beautiful as the haunt is, the actors still make the show here. A guide always ushers you in to the funeral home and gives a little background to start your tour before you venture upstairs on your own. We have seen to very different actors here but they always do well to set the tone. The actors have great timing and event after I had walked through before, I did not know when they would come at me. The haunt has a great way of combining dark humor and scares. I also like that high-tech effects like animations are incorporated without destroying the period feel. The cast and crew have worked hard to bring a high quality show to this area and give haunt fans an alternative the seasonal events at area theme parks. If you survive, be sure to visit the Stuff of Legends gift shop for attraction branded merchandise, masks, Halloween decorations and other gifts for the horror fan. If you’re in town on Tuesday or Wednesday, the haunt also offers a guided ghost tour. ( See our other review)
The Old Town Halloween event has taken place for several years but has taken on new life now that Legends has moved in. There is something for everyone here. You have a top-notch haunted attraction but the characters and live entertainment offer plenty for those not brave enough to attend the haunt. It was great to see so much life back in this older entertainment area so if you have not visited in a while give it another look. It has changed drastically in the two years since we visited. Old Town Halloween should be a part of annual seasonal stops while in the Orlando/ Kissimmee area.
Dark Legacy is a first year haunt located in Wixom, Michigan. It offers three separate attractions, The GOH (Government Owned Haunt) Experiment, Kensington Detention Center, and Fang Cemetery. The GOH is a military based haunt that dives into such topics as aliens, mind control experiments, and re-animation. Its well detailed sets are very impressive as well as the actors. Several well placed pop outs got us. Kensington Detention Center is a dirty, grimy medical themed attraction. Its sets were also amazing and it had two real good scares. Watch out for the levitating actress. It’s a cool effect. Fang Cemetery, a werewolf theme, reminded me of the famous New Orléans cemeteries with the mausoleums that you had to pass. This attraction was not quite finished when we walked through it, but it did not stop the enthusiasm from its actors. It had one particular startle that was the best scare of the night..
I enjoyed this haunt for a lot of reasons. First the detail and set design. Both are top-notch. Another is the limited use of fog and the lighting of the haunt itself. I never understood why an owner would spend many hours and money to detail a attraction only to have it dark or full of fog. But the crown molding doesn’t scare the patrons actors do and these actors, many in their first year of haunting ever, never let up. Dark Legacy has made its presence known in the Michigan scene and will continue for years to come.