|Scare Factor: Very High | Atmosphere: Very Good|
Visibility/Location: very easy; all roads lead to the downtown square. Parking is not an issue as most businesses are closed for the evening.
Wait Entertainment: very creepy, seven foot, two-headed ghoul walked the crowd line and kept us on our toes. Wait was appx. 1.5 hrs, but was well worth the wait.
Length of Event: 12-15 min. not counting the stay at the sign-in reception room. Plenty to take in as every square inch is covered with eerie artifacts. Plus, there is a shop to browse before leaving.
Actor Performance: first rate. the interaction between the real and "unreal" performers were seamless, given the complex set pieces we witnessed. The importance of precise timing must have been a crucial element for the actors; a very dedicated troupe.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: very smooth, not rushed. Never saw/heard other groups. the flow takes a curiously organic/liquid quality; rarely we moved in a single line and I found myself at the front, the middle, and the end of the line without realizing it. creepy.
Appropriate Ages: under 10-probably not, unless with a trusted adult who wont mind the bruised forearms. Then again, I saw a grown man in my group screech like a barn owl going through so who can really say.
Props / Special FX: this is one of the most beautifully designed haunted houses I have seen. The lavish, intricate details of each room's art direction is merely the set up for the mind-blowing scares and illusions that populate this event. Truly professional, Hollywood-grade spfx. Plus an elevator ride that had me asking on the drive home "Wait, didn't we just...?"
Costumes / Make-up: Apart from the creature walking the line, all the performers wore a unique make-up design that looked like to me as if they stepped out of an old forgotten photograph. Appropriate, given the historical backstory given to us by the guide.
Summary: This is not a thrown-together piecemeal production. The news articles hanging on the reception walls say that Terror On The Square has been a Petersburg fixture for 15 years. That is a lon g time to evolve, and it shows. This is a tight, professionally-run production that smoothly merges all the above categories into a unforgettable, visceral experience. By that I mean, I wasn't just watching something happen; it was happening to me. That was something I certainly did not expect. Everyone involved should be proud of their efforts.