Halloween review: Fright Manor 

click to enlarge A Fright Manor actor, scarily masked. - PAUL POGUE
  • A Fright Manor actor, scarily masked.
  • Paul Pogue

One of Indy's oldest haunts continues to set the pace, using its eerie gothic décor and claustrophobic confines to best possible effect. In a way, Fright Manor is exactly what you'd expect - a collection of the classics, some animatronics, actors around every corner ready to jump out and go boo.

Fright Manor executes the classics extremely well. I've seen the old "teetering oil cans threaten to topple over" trick dozens of times, but this is the very first time I actually thought for a moment they were really going to land right on me. If there's a phrase to sum this place up, it's "extremely loud and incredibly close." The spook actors have a hell of a knack for sneaking up and appearing out of nowhere.

Many haunts have zombie-shooting activities this year, but one of the nifty things is how they all have their own take on it. Zombie Alley, Fright Manor's newest attraction, sets up the leader of the group with a flash-bang shotgun to ward off hordes of zombie assailants and protect the followers. It's strictly role-play - no paintballs or anything like that - but the gun has a serious heft to it. and by the third room you'll find yourself taking point and angling for the head like a pro.

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Paul F.P. Pogue

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