Final haunts for the Halloween season

For the final week of October I have four haunted houses to tell you about. The first haunt on my list is Primitive Fear. This leads you through the catacombs of an ancient monastery where no holy men are left. Only creepy creatures and booby traps that will have your hair standing on edge.

The props in this haunted house are made to thrill. The ceiling falls in on you, the walls seem to tip over, and you are made to walk through dark corridors with obstacles unsure of where you are going to turn up. The actors in this haunt are superb rather than just being young and inexperienced like some haunts I experienced. In all though, this haunted house was very blah. It was only ten to fifteen minutes long and after a while, the scare points seemed repetitive and all the same. Because the ticket was bundled with a ticket to the 13th Street Manor for $25, it was worth the money, but on its own it would not be worth fifteen. However, I did enjoy the moving scenery. I give this haunted house three ghosts out of five.

Next is the 13th Street Manor. This is at the same location as Primitive Fear in Commerce City but with a very different theme. You wander your way through a creepy decrepit mansion up stairs, through hallways, and into many doors. They have a puzzle type maze where you have to find out which door to go through with some leading to corridors that end and others leading into a brick wall. There are times where the exit is a trick that must be activated by an actor.

The actors in this haunted house were superb. They were experienced and knew where to hide and just when to wait to give you a false sense of security. The scenery used was right up to par with what it should be. It looked like, and was furnished exactly, to resemble an old, haunted mansion. There were some downfalls, however. After the first few rooms, the scares were not as entertaining. Also the man at the end was very exuberant with his chainsaw. He actually made contact with my back and hit my friend in the wrist, leaving her bruised and me shaken. Despite this, I give the haunted house four ghosts out of five.

Next is the 13th Floor and Bloodshed. This haunted house is located on Brighton Boulevard just south of I-70. The ticket to both is only $20, but you cannot pick whether you want to do both or just one. Either way, both are fun. Before you go in, you get entertainment from a creepy man shoving nails up his nose. This gets the chills in your spine before you even set foot in the haunted house. Bloodshed is first and it takes you through an old farm house full of strange humanoid creatures and crazy hillbillies. This leads you to a line to wait for the 13th Floor where you are entertained by a dancer/contortionist. Once through to the entrance you ride an “elevator” to the haunt with a military man giving you directions. Once you get off the ride you enter a strange place with huge aliens and many good actors to scare you along the way.

I liked a lot of things about these two haunts. The actors here were some of the best I had seen all year. They were very well trained and you could tell they tried hard to give you the best quality show. There were many uses of optical allusions that made the way scarier and the animatronics were very well done. Also the amusement provided in the lines made the wait more bearable. I did go on a Tuesday night meaning the lines were short anyways, but this made them seem shorter.

Some cons were that the initial line was outside. Make sure you wear a coat and bundle up if it is a cold night. Also on busy nights, like Halloween, expect the line to be up to three hours long. This is one of the most famous haunted houses in Denver and it has a good reputation. Also, the timing used to send people in was awful. We passed two groups and got in the middle of another. This made it very confusing and also very predictable as the actors did not have time to re-hide themselves. Either way, this was a very good haunted house. I give it four and a half ghosts out of five.

Lastly we have Spider Mansion. This haunt is located in heritage square and the scare starts before you enter the house. If there is no one in line, like it was when I went on a Thursday night, you get to walk to the center of heritage square in the dark alone. This gave the ambiance of a deserted post-apocalyptic carnival or old main street. Once you actually get to the door of the haunted house, they have actors ready to engage the line in a bit of a pre-scare.

Once inside the spider mansion, it stays true to the mansion theme. You go through dark hallways, over rickety bridges, and through rooms with different themes. There were several high points about this haunt. First, the actors were amazing. There were points when they literally disappeared and left you wondering when they were going to pop out. The rooms were propped very well and often I found myself wondering which prop would be the real actor and oftentimes was very wrong.

However there are some drawbacks. The strobe lights were almost too much. Any more and anyone is sure to leave with a headache. Also the animatronics were a little too fake. At several times I found myself seeing the props activate, turning around and watching them pop up without the smallest tinge of fear. Though it had drawbacks it had everything that a good haunted house should have. I jumped at every scare point and even screamed once or twice whereas my voice is usually taken by nervous giggles. I would definitely recommend this haunt and give it four and a half ghosts out of five, definitely one of the best haunted houses I went to this year.

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