Haunted Infirmary at Bartonville Insane Asylum has a surreal and sorrowful past. Our guide, the deranged hillbilly, led us back to the door of the haunt and gave a little information about Pollak Hospital. The actual building was built in 1949 as a hospital to house tuberculosis patients. 1000’s have passed through the building some leaving; and some as the visitors and staff say, have never left. The story was told as we walked along side of the building in the dark where he led us to a path into the woods. He said follow the rope through the woods to the hospital. Almost as a warning, he said off to the right, through the woods, you can see one of the asylums 4 cemeteries. The 4 cemeteries contain over 4000 graves, some with names and some with just numbers.
Once you were into the wooded area, you were met by a couple of scary characters that gave you a jolt and directed you to the door of the hospital.
As you were coming up to the door, a woman started yelling, “Interns, hurry up”. You are now the interns for the asylum. She went over the rules with you and warned you of what’s to come. She set the tone for the haunt, dark, deluded, almost like there was a light on upstairs but no one is really home. Then she opened up the door to the dayroom filled with the insane, it is touchy feely time! You walked through the dayroom as you were yelled at and chased by the insane characters located within. Having the characters run around you and yelling in the room gave the house an excellent start.
The first stand out scene for me was entering into the cafeteria. Patients slammed trays against the walls and tables. While a crazy boy bounce up and down in front of you, you made your way through the tight room, dim lit room. A cafeteria staff member was gossiping about patients while stirring the slop on the serving station, the lights went out and the insane went crazier in the dark. Let’s just say the cafeteria worker did not make it.
You then continued through halls and rooms and it seemed that scares were growing a little more intense as you made your way through. You started seeing more malevolent doctors and evil nurses. My second stand out scene was in an operating room where the nurses’ faces and heads were all bandaged up and they had sort of a twitch to their necks. The nurses were actually mutilating themselves; but making sure they had a captive audience.
At one point there was a child on a tricycle that was zooming around us. I called her the evil baby doll; she would ride by us and stop and stare then grab at our calves. Evil little thing, not to mention her menacing sisters in their cribs asking for momma and would reach out for you. The props used in the area where just cribs and dolls but their use was very effective. Especially the illusion with girls being babies in the crib. Loved everything about this area.
You are winding your way through the depths of the hospital. Past gurneys and other things hidden in the halls. In one hall there was an overused toilet, a much overused toilet!
As we continued to walk through we came upon a room with some hacked up body parts, a very industrial looking meat packing plant. As the group was talking to a masked man all of the sudden a metal door flung open and out walked this huge pig faced man/butcher. He proceeded to push and prod us into the door he came out of which is a dead in. Once we were trapped in there the room became sort of a Hellivator.
After walking through the blackest tunnel you came upon a wooden fence structure. Almost as if you were walking into where they have kept the insane hidden; the ones that everyone forgot. Well there is a reason they forgot them and I will not spoil the ending.
The actors, a good mix of children and adults. You might think that a majority studied and mastered the character of being identified as insane. All of them stayed in character from start to finish. You can tell that they take their job in scaring seriously. They want patrons to stay focused on them as someone else comes out with another scare. When my group went through the haunt, they had been working for 3.5 hours and had a break; but they were spot on.
You did not see any character in street clothes. The haunt uses a great mix of make-up and masks, not big box retail looking masks; but some really good not always seen masks.
The Haunted Infirmary at Bartonville Asylum does not use pneumatics to get their scares. They use old school scare tactics and almost all of them make you jump and/or feel uncomfortable.
The detail through the haunt really caught my eye. They call themselves a Haunted Infirmary/Insane Asylum and guess what; every detail of the props has to do with hospital wards, operating room suites, and scenes right out of the history pages of insane asylums. Make sure to notice the old tile walls too throughout the haunt. They have every detail to fit the theme and you know exactly what kind of place you are in.
Be prepared to wait in line for a while. I waited 3 hours to attend the event. Standing for 3 hours is a long time so maybe there are some ideas out there for the group to look at; but definitely worth the wait! I did not know there was the option of buying time slots online, but something to think about in the future.
The Haunted Infirmary at Bartonville Insane Asylum did an excellent job this year scaring the patrons. This is one haunt that I would highly recommend not missing this year. I visited last year and they have really changed things up. They are open for two more nights only, October 25 and 26. Looking forward to next year!!!
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