Lots of haunted houses are getting 4.5 and 5-star ratings this year, and it’s no wonder – the quality bar has really jumped. What’s interesting, though, is the diversity – each house appeals to a somewhat different genre of in-your-face horror. Fright Manor, for example, specializes in animatronics and elaborate setups; Asylum House (reviewed below) is most notable for its actors; Hanna Haunted Acres offers the full-experience evening, averaging about three hours; anything by Mark Goles (of Frightland, coming next week) is splatterliciously influenced by his background in horror films.
Fright Manor’s exquisite set design is its strongest feature (and, for those who are easily spooked by bumps in the night, its actors are strictly hands-off) – it’s a nerve-wracking experience maneuvering through pitch-black hallways from one atmospheric runaround to another. High points include the always-spooky Hall of Jason Masks (and I won’t say which one[s] are for real) and a room full of the Marvel Zombies. Nothing says horror like the Incredible Hulk wanting to eat your brains.