|Scare Factor: Very High | Atmosphere: Very Good|
Visibility/Location: Downtown Petersburg, right on the square; easy to find. Plenty of parking.
Wait Entertainment: Creepy 7ft. monster walked the line. The line itself wrapped around the block, so a long wait is to be expected. No one seemed to have a problem with that. I didn't.
Length of Event: appx. 15 min, not counting time spent in the shop.
Actor Performance: The guide I had seemed nervous at the beginning of the tour and even commented on that. I thought that was peculiar until it became clear her anxiety was not from stage fright but a clever set up for the events to follow. (SPOILER WARNING!!) We were told that the undead have the oppurtunity to re-join the living at the expense of the lives of the tour group (guides included). This brought an unsettling sense of urgency with each scare. All the actors were totally involved with this, and their dialog complemented this unique angle effectively.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: It was like running in a swimming pool; our group felt compelled to bolt out of each room, but were never allowed to. More than once, we were stopped dead in our tracks by a ghoul while the guide "unknowingly" walked on ahead of us. This is the only haunt I visited that wants us to stay.
Appropriate Ages: It varies depending on one's upbringing, but I would say kids 10 and under might be overwhelmed by the constant jolts that occur. Yet my group had grown-ups that came out more traumatized than the younger patrons.
Props / Special FX: Like walking through the set of a big budget horror movie. There are some professional-quality scares and illusions I have never seen in a haunted attraction this side of Disney World. What impresses me the most is the attention to throwaway details that populate each room. There are set pieces with illusions layered over each other; any one of them could have stood alone as a solo item. Throw in the seamless interaction of the performers and crew; there is much to take in with each room.
Costumes / Make-up: Creepy and effective given the theme that was presented to our group. No masks were worn so facial expressions and body language dominated the actors who felt right at home with their appearance.
Summary: Very much worth the wait. Having been through this haunt before in previous years, it never ceases to amaze me how it re-invents itself, especially with set pieces that have been used before. For those who have never been through before, I envy your experience with nearly 20 years of evolving scares coming at you. For those who have, your high expectations will be satisfied, if not exceeded.