Haunted Houses, still the same

I never really got into haunted houses. They seem, to me anyway, one of the biggest wastes of money in the world. And, consequently, also one of the world’s most brilliant marketing successes. With very few exceptions, said houses / attractions are the same sort of predictable, un-suspensful, cheesy, claptrap. I hadn’t been to one in several years. I went to one this evening. Same old, same old:

Janell really likes them, I guess. Though I don’t really know how many she’s been to. I’ve been to several in my life, though as I said none too recently. I find them not very scary, not very suspensful, not very funny, not very well done. (This may be the actor in me being too picky, but–hey, I know what I like.) Janell wanted to go to one and I agreed. We had planned on going to a haunted submarine in Newport, RI. This sounded like it might be a neat setting and a cool tour (if still a cheesy haunted attraction). Unfortunately, it was not open until Sunday; in fact it wasn’t open very often at all for the season….

Instead we went to Barrett’s Haunted Mansion in Abington, MA. It was reported to be a decent scare and had been going strong for 15 years. What the hell, the worst it could be was as lame as I expected. The line was pretty long when we got there (8:00ish), so I took it as a decent sign. We waited in line for about an hour or so before we got our turn at the mansion. While in line, we had some hot chocolate–cheap at $1.00–the funnel cake was not cheap–$4.00–yikes.

The make-up on the various baddies wandering through the crowd was pretty good. It included a couple grave-diggers, an excellent creepy clown, a stilt-walking clown, and a very bloody accident victim. I was at least impressed by their costume and appearance detail. The outside of the mansion was also well appointed in gargoyles, sculpture and skeletons. No promise of what lay inside, but not a bad setting.

Inside, however, was just what I expected. Several “creatures” with chainsaws, a couple asylum escapees with sunken eyes, many “creatures” jumping out of doors and saying “booo”. The spongey floor room was neat and the mirror maze was okay (if too short by far). All in all, it was only about 15 minutes and offered no surprises. This doesn’t surprise me (pardon me) too much.

I suppose it was fine entertainment for those who like such things. But, for those like me who go in wanting to be impressed, the pay-off is lacking. I guess the good part is that this one was only $15.00, some of the places are charging upwards of $30.00 now-a-days (and still only doing about 30 minutes, tops).

Final review: Erik-thumbs down, Janell-seemed to enjoy it. Toss up.

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