Haunted Scarehouse (website)
Location: 105 W Dewey Ave, Wharton, NJ 07885
Haunted Scarehouse, in Wharton, NJ is one of the most technologically advanced, detailed and genuinely scary indoor haunted walk-through attractions in the tristate area. Haunted Scarehouse, features two connected indoor attractions; the “House of Nightmares”, “The Attic” and a fantastic pre-show which takes guests “back in time” through a time machine, boasts some of the most detailed set designs, interactive rooms and corridors which take the haunted attraction experience to a new level, by incorporating technological advancements that are not seen in other haunted attractions. The intricate details and fantastic set designs are experienced in small groups, and the Haunted Scarehouse, does not disappoint. Guests will travel through time to visit the infamous “Hayden” family homestead. A house of horrific slaughter, twisted imagery, and insanity set upon two floors of fear.
This year the Haunted Scarehouse, has added an additional side attraction “Trapped: Escape Games” which challenge guests to complete puzzles to escape various rooms set in the “Hayden” farmhouse. These challenges are separate from the main haunted attraction and cater to those who like to use teamwork to solve complex problems to escape the various rooms. We found the “Trapped: Escape Games” experience to be slightly underwhelming compared to the incredible actual attraction but can see individuals enjoying such challenges. Escape Room additions are slowly becoming additions to haunted attractions and we expect the designers of this attraction to enhance these experiences over future haunt seasons. The Haunted Scarehouse, continues to improve each year, adding new surprises, scares and interactive thematic sets which allow the talented actors to scare.
Haunted Scarehouse, places an emphasis on the “legend” behind the attraction’s creation. The legend of the “Hayden” family places guests back in time to an era in which a farmhouse stood on the grounds of the attraction. One of the most impressive additions to the attraction this year is the addition of a technologically impressive pre-show, which helps reduce the wait time before entering the actual attraction and is a “time machine” which takes guest back in time to the era of the “Hayden Farm”. This pre-show is difficult to describe as it is unique to the Haunted Scarehouse. The use of video, impressive special effects and an entertaining mad scientist help guests learn the grizzly history of this family and builds anticipation to the main attractions. The quality of this pre show alone tops most haunted attractions and helps guests forget they are in a large industrial building.
Haunted Scarehouse, is an indoor walk-through haunt which is composed of two different attractions, a downstairs attraction known as “House of Nightmares” and upstairs attraction “The Attic”. Both attractions are connected, diverse in design, and feature incredible themes. Groups enter each attraction in small groups, and the length of each attraction, as well as the interactive elements of the designs does a good a job at separating each group from the others.
The design of the attraction is best described as relentless, the actors are insane, they brutalize guests, and themselves at times to create an engaging haunted attraction experience. Each room is perfectly designed to create anticipation, and build fear. Doors violently slam open, life-like animatronics from flying demons to a Hollywood quality “werewolf” are found along every corner of this fantastic attraction. The talented scare actors and engaging set designs continue to stay ahead of the curve in adding a modern twist to a classical, traditional walk-through haunted attraction. Haunted Scarehouse, builds fear and anticipation throughout each scene, it is a terrifying, and immersive experience that should be on your list to visit this year!
House of Nightmares
The first floor attraction, “House of Nightmares”, features detailed props and large-scale animatronics which serve as a backdrop for talented scare actors hidden throughout each corridor. The animatronics and set designs are of the highest quality, and balance perfectly with actors who are always well hidden and ready to scare. From to a dragon like creature that “eats” unlucky guests, the quality of the props/animatronics must be seen to appreciate. Each set is gruesome and gritty, this is a mature themed attraction, and encourages guests to cautiously explore the “House of Nightmares”.
The insane actors of the “House of Nightmares” effectively use the detailed set designs and animatronics to hide in tight spaces, use different types of scaring techniques to generate scares and create unique interactions with guests. interactive nature of the attraction makes it difficult to predict what will happen next, and the attraction uses darkness and ominous sound effects to build anticipation. Walls will collapse, floors rumble and slide and animatronics grasp at guests as the “House of Nightmares” is continuous non-stop relentless action, capped off by a jump scare finale which sets the perfect tone for a trip to the “Attic”.
After an always shocking ending to the “House of Nightmares” we made our way to the second floor of the Haunted Scarehouse, the “Attic” is the strongest, and creepiest of the two incredible walk-through attractions which make up the infamous Haunted Scarehouse. The “Attic” forces guests to enter into its detailed, intense scenes in small groups. Each scene is interactive, each corridor features effective use of misdirection, confusing mazes and actors who are dedicated to confusing guests, as well as scaring them. Guests enter a twisted carnival, and must escape a maze which is controlled by various evil clowns. A trip through a disturbing doll room, haunted library, rooms with chainsaws coming out of multiple directions and a room of rather life-like “wax” figures are some of the scenes guests will see as they enter into the sinister “Attic”. Each scene is unique from the other, and the atmosphere of this attraction is far more intimate than the “House of Nightmares” as at times we felt we were truly alone in this disturbing haunted environment. The actors of the “Attic” also are slightly darker in their approach in interactions with guests. One mad doctor appeared to “extract” the tooth of a helpless victim, and clowns taunt as guests attempt to escape the carnival mini-maze. The unsettling, highly detailed set designs and intense actors made us feel uncomfortable, built a sense of paranoia and again anticipation as we cautiously moved from scene to scene. The Haunted Scarehouse does an incredible job of preventing guests from backing up or walking into each other, which adds to the personal experience of this attraction. Adult, mature themes permeate through each room of the “Attic. You may be encouraged to follow Satan, be taunted by demented clowns and aggressively approached by a twisted girl who just wants you to play with her dolls. The finale to the “Attic” is not as strong as the “House of Nightmares” but still provides an effective jump scare that leaves guests wanting more.
The Final Word
Haunted Scarehouse, continues to improve every year and is by far one of the best indoor walk-through attractions you can visit this year. The amazing, Hollywood quality detail coupled with a continuous buildup of fear is at times exhausting and this attraction never lets up. The relentless actors, the shockingly interactive rooms and dark atmosphere make this one of the best haunted attractions you can visit this year. Their approach to incorporating technology, from the incredible pre-show to the various life-like animatronics is not scene in many haunts, thus we give the Haunted Scarehouse again one of our highest recommendations to attend this year. The attraction is within driving distance of the also incredible Brighton Asylum attraction and we suggest you try to visit both in one night, as both complement each other perfectly. You will be constantly entertained, scared and anticipating what is next as you visit the “Hayden” family at the Haunted Scarehouse!