Fall is my favorite time of year for so many reasons. One of them is going to haunted houses in October. Why do I like haunted houses so much? You pay $10 to spend 2 minutes in a nasty building where high school kids jump out at you and the walls are smeared with red paint. That shouldn’t be appealing, but for some reason it is. We yearn for that feeling of fright that only the macabre can bring, which is why we love telling scary stories and tales like Sleep Hollow around a brisk fall campfire. Hot apple cider. Scarecrows. Pumpkin patches. Harvest moons. Boom – you are now in autumn mode.
I’ve been to some great haunted houses. The best one I’ve ever been to is the Mysterious Mansion in Gatlinburg TN. It’s a year-round haunted house, which means the fixtures are permanent instead of toted in just for the season. The place is very well thought out and offers some unique and terrifying thrills. Just look at this place:
The Mysterious Mansion is indeed one of the best in the country. Now, get ready to read about one of the worst.
Indy ScreamPark is a new park for 2010 as far as I am aware. It consists of 5 separate attractions as well as a “Monster Midway” that sells refreshments and offers a few Halloween midway type games. It is located in Anderson, Indiana, and takes place in a building that hosts paintball games during the rest of the year. One of the attractions is a unique 3D haunted house called Bedlam 3D. It was pretty original and well-themed. Wearing 3D glasses, you progress through the halls which are all painted with special blacklight-sensitive paint which also gives a trippy sense that everything is popping out at you.
The next attraction was a completely blacked-out maze called Kurayami, which features a really weird hall with walls made of pressurized air that completely squeezes you in, giving you a strong feeling of claustrophobia and suffocation that seemingly never ends until you finally emerge about 20 feet down the corridor. That is about where the good part of the experience ends. Instead of going through and critiquing every single element of Indy ScreamPark, I present a pros and cons list for your reading pleasure:
- They sell beer.
- They have one of those spinning hallways that completely throws you off your balance.
- Parking costs $5 which is not indicated anywhere on the website
- The total admission price for non-VIP is $25, regardless of how many of the attractions you visit.
- Although it says “Indy” ScreamPark, it is actually 45 minutes away in a different town called Anderson.
- There really is nothing haunted about it. All of the attractions simply feature gory killers ravaging female victims.
- Once you enter the green pavilion, you are forced to go through 3 of the 5 attractions, meaning you can’t pick and choose and experience each one at your leisure.
- Water costs $2 (no other source of water)
- The line for the Backwoods attraction (which completely sucked) was an hour and 15 minutes
- The Corn Maze was not a maze. It was simply a solitary path through a field of corn with no more than 3 people that jump out at you along the way. (We didn’t have time to visit this attraction – a friend informed me of this)
- VIP guests ($35 instead of $25) get to completely cut all other guests and are admitted into attractions at a rate of 2 VIP guests to 1 regular guest (even though regular guests still paid 25 freaking bucks to be there).
- Attempting to politely talk with employees about the problem of waiting in line yields a curt rebuttal, if any response at all.
- Very few animatronics, despite the website descriptions.
- Annoyingly-loud radio station blaring through PA speakers everywhere in the park.
- 15 minute wait just to park before entering (we got there early before the wait – a friend told me about the line later in the night).
Here’s an image of the “Monster Midway”, which as you can see is clearly nothing more than a couple of lousy tents setup on a gravel path:
I could go on and on. There was a complete lack of management and organization. There was no information on any of the attractions, and no indication as to how long waits were, or what the various attractions even were. I would highly recommend NOT EVER visiting this terrible park. We were so bummed after waiting in line for an hour and 15 minutes for the 4th attraction because we ran out of time to visit the corn maze. Our experience was not unique, scary, or fun. Needless to say the hour drive home was a downer. Please don’t give this terribly-run haunted house park any of your hard earned money. And if you decide to for some reason, get the VIP pass because you can save a few hours of your life. I’d say that’s worth the $10 extra.