Hanna Haunted Acres has long been a reliable stalwart of the Indianapolis haunted house scene, and on some levels it remains that. It never surprises you, exactly, but neither does it let you down. But in the last couple of years it's slid somewhat, to my disappointment. In a few ways it's improved over last year, which was the least of the years I've seen them operate, and in some others it has lost.
This year, as with last year, it lacked a certain touch, a certain theatrical flair that has made it pop a little bit more. Phantazmogoria, their classical haunted house which has traditionally ended on an epic Satanic scale, this year just sort of ... ends. And the Blackout house suffers from the same going-through-the-motions feel.
Which is not to say it's a waste. Hanna's sheer scale still makes it the grand county fair of haunted attractions, easily capable of burning up two or three hours over the course of the haunts. The newest attraction, Medical Malpractice, is the best thing they've added in ages, particularly a creepy full-sized ambulance. And the haunted hayride remains unmatched by any other in town.
Plus, it's still the best place for large-scale people-watching. I ended up behind a birthday party of dozens of tweenage Team Edward types, and let me tell you, those kids can scream up a storm the minute the chainsaw-wielding maniac shows up. Some things just never stop being entertaining.