2013 was the first year for Macabre Haunt, and for 2014 they changed the entire setup to a mental asylum theme and also made the haunt larger. However, the results were mixed at best.
While there were many actors inside, most seemed to have little variety in their acting, basically screaming at visitors to get out or asking if people would like to play as they passed by. The opening scene was set in a large waiting room, with several actors inside. They asked visitors to sit on couches and chairs and basically walked around ranting and screaming for a while until they let visitors head into the rest of the haunt. This went on for too long and the performances became quite repetitive.
There were some decent scenes inside the haunt, including a large detailed morgue set, a surgery set behind glass windows, a clown room with spinning clown heads on poles and actors hanging from the walls and ceiling, and a giant pit with an actor hanging from chains inside of it. However, most sets were simply white walled rooms or corridors, with some dark spaces in between.
Perhaps the least entertaining part of the haunt was a series of corridors with hanging strips of white cloth separating them. Visitors were told to go in various directions by the actors inside the corridors, which led to going around and around in the same area, or getting lost and having to double back. There didnít seem to be much purpose to the misdirection, and while having visitors wander around for a short time would have been OK, repeatedly having them go around and around the same area really got tiring very quickly. While there were some scenes that were interesting, and a couple of genuinely clever scares, most of Macabre Haunt amounted to walking down empty corridors or getting screamed at by actors in various rooms.
Unfortunately, Macabre Haunt is a perfect example of a haunt that is not a good value for the money. Last year the haunt was only $10, and had a theme of varied scenes and some old-fashioned scares using sound and light. It was a decent value for the money and a good first year effort. This year most of the old fashioned scares were gone in favor of the asylum theme.
While the haunt was only about 3-4 minutes longer this year (and part of that length includes getting lost in a maze), the price has almost doubled, putting it in the same price range as several other haunts that offer more detailed sets, costumes, and acting, and are longer. Frankly, Macabre Haunt is simply not worth the price increase. Had the price remained at $10, it would have been an average haunt for an OK price with a few decent sets and some scares here and there. As it stands, though, as $18 it is overpriced, as for a few dollars more there are multiple higher quality haunts to choose from. If pricing is going to go up to nearly the level of professional haunts that have been operating for years, then the quality needs to go up as well, and in Macabreís case it hasnít.
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