The Baldwin Asylum made good use of the layout with 10,000 feet of space to utilize, made for long paths, winding corridors and large rooms to walk through. So many times when you attend a haunt that is built in a wide open warehouse you will usually see wide open rooms with sparsely decorated sets. Not in this haunt. The haunt actually starts out as an asylum with patrons moving in and out of the craziness. The halls at the beginning were very detailed walking past doors with room numbers on them. As you were walking passed them you would wonder which might open. The corridors are wide but some spaces do seem to close up as you are walking through; but just part of the illusion.
As soon as you get passed the first hall you are thrown into the depths of the asylum. At first when you come upon some of the patients in the asylum you believe they are locked up, guess what most are not.
Instead of opting for a dark maze at one point there was a maze of bloody sheets. Somewhere deep within the maze was a strobe light that just gave the sheets enough flashing light to disorient patrons. A very cool effect that actually has patrons weaving in and out not sure what is in store for them passing through sheet after sheet. I have seen this done within a room but never as a maze.
As we were walking through the maze at a certain points you could hear the sounds of chains. I thought for sure that something was going to come through one of the sheets at us with chains attached to it. The chains were getting louder and louder. A big man, chained by his wrists to a padded cell that would run right up to you and make you walk as close to the wall as possible. Add in a menacing voice and this room completely instilled fear into you. Forcing you through a tight air bag walled enclosure complete with a vibrating floor.
In another area after an opening through a hall, my group was separated for a brief second by none other than a crazy patient with a chainsaw ran it across the back of our legs. He did follow for a bit still terrorizing one of the girls in my group.
Two pneumatic werewolves pushed us through a room. Their charging effects with very loud growls made this area completely uncomfortable and set the tone for what was in store for the next area.
As you walked into a room you noticed a cabin off to the left. This area amazed me with the detail and actually thought I was walking onto the Evil Dead remake set. You actually felt like you were in the woods at this point and the cabin was very rustic looking. Upon entering the door the first thing you saw was the basement door open, just enough to keep your attention on the door until the scare came from another direction. A teenage girl with her blood curling screams drew our attention to her. An electric kitchen knife was her weapon of choice. Not for the patrons just on her arm. What I walked into next was a bathroom of unexplainable horror with a man screaming lying in the bathtub. This was one of the coolest special effects that I have seen. He was only half there in the bathtub, from the waist on down was just his innards.
The area continued with the crazy cabin/hillbilly scene. Two women behind a barred enclosure begged and grasped for you to help them while two crazy hillbillies constantly yelled at you to get out of their house.
The vampire area was a real nice touch to see since you donít see very many nowadays in haunts. Screaming victims behind chain-link fence and one in your face vampire just waiting to see what you tasted like.
The house used many pneumatic props; but instead of just relying on them to scare patrons, actors were set in specific locations to get the big scares. Once a pneumatic prop went off actors were right there to get the bigger scare. The haunt used a limited number masks, almost everyone was wearing make-up or make-up with prosthetic pieces. For the most part actors remained in character, even the younger haunters. Some of the actors seemed to be disguised as props, but then came right out at you. Being the second group in the house that evening, some of the actors were anticipating and ready to jump on the scares for the first person in the group. Being the last person in our group I did miss some of them as the actor was already moving back to their original position.
I do have to point out one child within the haunt. I entered a hallway where there were a couple of children and an adult. This girl stood close to a white wall and for sure I thought she was a prop, standing still, I even looked down at her with no movement from her at all and then she attacked. Kudos to her!
As I mentioned above, the house has a PG-13 rating, I might raise the age limit from 12 to a little higher just for a couple of the more intense scenes in the house.
It seemed like $15.00 for a first year haunt was a little high. I would have liked to seen a more affordable price for this haunt.
Baldwin Asylum is handicapped accessible and I applaud them for that.
If you are looking for a Halloween experience to see detailed scenes with scares throughout the haunt, Baldwin Asylum is definitely a place to check out. Baldwin Asylum reinvents some traditional scares and produces some new creative scares. For their freshman year, I commend the staff and crew of Baldwin Asylum, they really did a great job and look forward to visiting next Halloween season.
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