DATE OF VISIT
October 26, 2013
CHEEKTOWAGA, NEW YORK - Traveling the farthest from home, we find ourselves at House of Horrors and Haunted Catacombs! This monstrous attraction is all indoors and features a wide variety of attractions and escape rooms for those looking for a challenge. House of Horrors is known for it's movie style elaborate sets and high energy scares! Read our official review from our experience of this massive haunt!
After grabbing our tickets and taking in the awesome animatronics and attraction facades in the lobby it was time to hit up our first house of the night... Dark Carnival! From the outside it looked like your typical 3D attraction, but once inside it was anything but! We had no glasses and no black lights... Actually we had no lights at all! The hallways of the maze were pretty close to pitch black and then it clicked! No wonder it is called, "Dark Carnival"... I immediately thought this was genius! It's just simple, lets turn off the lights and shove twenty clowns inside. Let them run a muck and see what happens. How could this fail? There was no way! And yes for those of you who didn't know I am somewhat of a Clourophobic. So when this finally all came together in my head, lets just say I was ready for the chicken exit. But I pressed on...
Dark Carnival was an awesome way to start the night off! It was a wicked haunted house with such a simple concept. It had a decent length, decent amount of actors and an insane amount of scares! Every turn, room and hallway was home to a sneaky clown that just couldn't wait to make you scream. Oh by the way some of these clowns carry contraptions that honk, buzz and strobe all at the same time. They were very loud and very effective. Plus it continued the carnival/clown theme! By the time my face hit light in the lobby I was sweating and panting! I must have screamed at least a dozen times! It was without a doubt one of the scariest attractions I have been through!
After taking a breather and collecting ourselves we made our way over to Killer Theater. This attraction crams all your most feared and not so beloved movie villains like Jason, Michael Myers and Leather Face into one house. As I walked up to the towering facade I wondered if this maze would scare me... Lets face it at the age of twenty-seven I don't think Myers, Jason Voorhees, or Freddy Krueger would scare me anymore. But hoping to continue the trend of the night I moved on!
Well I was completely blind sided! This house was TERRIFYING! Yes I am using caps so you know I am screaming it at the top of my lungs! I don't know what it was that gave me the heebie jeebies? Maybe it was the stellar and I mean stellar Hollywood style sets of Michaels house, Freddy's boiler room or Leather Faces' basement that gave you the "real" feeling. This "real" feeling took the haunted maze to a whole new level than any other I had been through in my opinion. You really felt like you were the scream queen in a movie fighting for your life through a hellish and torturous nightmare. It was even comparable to the haunted houses at Halloween Horror Nights in regards to set design. Who has a running waterfall inside a haunted house...? House of Horrors does!!!!
So considering Killer Theater was one of the best attractions I have ever experienced, I would like to personally thank Tim Bunch and his crew for the masterpiece they have created! There have been so many times throughout past tours where we have come face to face with one of these villains in a corn maze, a haunted barn, a hayride or something that just doesn't fit. I have always wanted to experience a maze like Killer Theater... A maze that puts these infamous villains in their original setting of suspense and horror. Killer Theater is a hard hitter, a showstopper, a freaking nightmare... It was everything anyone could want in a haunted house! One of the best in the Northeast for sure!
Before we move onto our third house of the night, lets take a moment to calm ourselves down and collect our thoughts... Ready? Lets move on...
With only two attractions left, we entered Body Harvesters. Now, it's a shame that we didn't do this maze prior to Killer Theater because unfortunately I have to sober the mood a bit. While the set design was impeccable I found some things throughout this maze that went on my negative card. First off during the entire walk through we were constantly pushing and moving pig carcasses, heads, bodies, body parts and other unknown items out of our way. Now some of these props were huge! I am talking from ceiling to floor! So it would have been awesome for some of the actors to utilize these large props as hiding places for very effective scares... It would have been cool to walk up to one of the large props, go to move it out of your way and out from behind it comes someone! I was waiting for it and wanting it but it never happened...
Aside from the immense amount of hanging items I also found the drop down windows a little excessive. These windows have become a staple of most haunted houses... The actor stands behind a window cut out in the wall which is usually made to look like a picture. And as you pass by the actor releases the lock and the window slams down exposing the actor for a very effective scare. However, when it happens over and over again inside one house your body and mind gets use to it, it was something my body and mind heard many times throughout the attraction. So it became very ineffective... So because of what I found negative about this house, it was our least favorite of the night.
Finally moving on to the final house of the night, Hell House... Which was your typical haunted house but with a lot of fresh ideas and great scares! Just like the three houses prior, the sets inside were outstanding! Really creative and there was so much detail, it really felt like a decrepit old house. While the maze was much better then Body Harvesters there was one thing that again, I just couldn't shake... More and more drop down windows! It seemed like there was one at almost every corner. Again three to five would be sufficient. But I put it aside and focused on the details I found positive. I absolutely loved that Tim and his crew created a haunted house that wasn't only comprised of a labyrinth like structure. Every now and then you would walk into different sized rooms where you could actually walk around and explore the detailed theming. Usually when this is done there are objects laid out in the room to keep the line moving in a uniform structure. In Hell House, you were free to roam each of the rooms at your own pace and will. This of course could distract you and if you found something really interesting an actor might sneak up behind you! Not to mention it also completed the "real" feel of actually walking through a real haunted house. It was a really refreshing and a surprisingly effective feature.
Ok so now onto the best part of the night... The part that will go down as the BEST SCARE we have ever experienced in an attraction!
Ok somewhere inside Hell House, there is something that you might think is dead as a door nail but it's actually breathing and ready to move. I examined it thinking, "Could this be real...? No! There is no way this could be a person!" Then without warning it sprung to life almost knocking me on the floor. I was totally caught off guard! Now of course I don't want to give it away but it was the most creative and shocking scare I have ever witnessed! Throughout the rest of Hell House our party was laughing and discussing what we had just witnessed. Tim if you are reading this, I would explore this concept. Really dig into it, it was so effective!
After walking through all four attractions it was time to call it night. House of Horrors & Haunted Catacombs gave us great scares, showed us some fresh new material and wowed us with Hollywood style sets! If I had to put the houses in order from best to last it would go something like this; Killer Theater, Dark Carnival, Hell House and Body Harvesters. The overall event was the perfect way to kick off the 2013 FrightTour! We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into and once inside it just unfolded into a hellish nightmare! I personally would recommend House of Horrors & Haunted Catacombs to anyone who is looking for great scares for a low price during Halloween! It is one of the scariest places we have experienced throughout our five years of tours!