EVERHAUNT

ANGOLA, NEW YORK

ARTICLE BY: MICHAEL CIRRINCIONE

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On the low throughput, mostly residential Lake St in Angola New York lies one of the best all-indoor haunted attractions in New York State. In 2019 it was marked in the distance by Search Lights. Now, the Search Lights are gone and it's more surprise than suspense. The building is fronted by a number of high end props and animatronics for the purpose of Photo-Ops. The cordons are for two outdoor queue lines that each hold an estimated one hundred people. Inside the Box Office, you meet the wife and sister of the owner both taking care of different front-of-house roles.

 

Once inside, you see a wondrous Lobby of Monsters and Games. First on the left is the indoor General Admission queue for the Houses beginning with Rosewood County Asylum. In front of you lies a street scape that should remind you of a horror-themed Diagon Alley. On the left is a storefront displaying talking heads on stakes and directly across from it is the General Store which sells Merch and Snacks on whose counter is a Scream Button that allows you to pay to activate a scare. You walks past an empty store front and the Buried Alive Simulator to a pretty large depression in the scene that houses the Central Access Hallway between the houses, a mound on which an animated Grim Reaper and other monsters reside and the Escape from Frankenstein VR Experience. Across from that is the Back Alley Games room where you can vie for buttons and plush monsters in games of skill. Those games are Balloon Pop with Darts and a poor, bound and gagged abduction victim, Ring Toss with animated raccoons in the trash and fluorescent Skee Ball with hellfire paintjob. Back on the left is the cave entrance to Escape from Holland Rd 5 min Escape Room and a video display of Local Horror Stories told by a Ghost Librarian and an Old Man in a rocking chair known as The Awakening Public Library. Finally at the back of the Lobby is the exit from Delaware Creek Estate, three picture Scream Booth and Actor Hallway area.

 

Walking into Rosewood County Asylum is a delight in itself as the queue line is inside the facade and themed like the behind the scenes HVAC hallways of the Hospital with steam pipes and all. When you are grabbed by the Nurse, you race past what was previously a pre-show of the wicked Dr. Satan performing Brain Surgery into the first of two Hellevators. The doors close on you and the Silent Hill-esque Nurse Needles as the room shakes, a voice booms from above and fog blasts down on you. When it appears that you have fallen to the desired floor, the door opens and a crazed Doctor runs onto the Hellevator with you acting in various ways over the many days of the season. The Hallways lead you past offices and victims until you get to the main medical area.

 

As soon as you are spotted by the first patient, he climbs over the gurney making up most of the first barrier and shouts, “THE DOCTOR IS COMING AND HE'S GOING TO CUT YOU UP INTO TINY...LITTLE...PIECES!” Through the rest of the snaking, winding hallway of Hospital and Exam rooms, other patients chime in with “TINY LITTLE PIECES!” as you see a good accompaniment of effects and props. Stuff to look at everywhere, as is consistent in most of both houses. There are many toned down animatronics that portray the suffering of the multitude of restrained and tortured patients. There are a good number of well executed and relevant scenes including a bathroom in which from the end stall, a team member with a voice amplifier yells, “Hey, how do you get off on watching a guy take a shit?!” and other quips.

 

Toward the end of the house is a new section for 2022 called: The Chambers. It is another descent into madness since you get on yet another form of Hellevator modeled after a Freight Elevator which crashes down to the Basement. Once in the Basement, there is a much darker, more brutalist Black Metal looking Nurse who shuffles you into a “Medication Room”. There you are greeted by a big ole screen with a video portraying multiple in-house actors administering gaseous medicine and electro-shock therapy on the guests. Suddenly at the climax of their poking and prodding, the electricity cuts out and you're able to escape. The escape way is through rusted old metal hallways and depictions of cruel experiements.

 

Rosewood County Asylum finishes with a mad dash to the Exterior Access Hallway where a very sinister Hot Dog chases you down to the Front Yard of Delaware Creek Estate. This is a cross-traffic room in which you can walk straight between the legs of one of the giant brute monsters to Earthquake Thrill Experience. Or you turn right into the door of the long-dead Dark Raven Manor past a car blasting its horn and headlights and a very large, glowing Pumpkin Monster. The guy who takes tickets is clearly a clairvoyant as he can see the ghosts surrounding us and might be taking his cues from the Opossum on the roof.

 

What was previously a pre-show in the front room of a girl killing her family in a CGI Photograph is now just a fast and hard jumpscare with a scream. Delaware Creek Estate is one of the better House-themed elements in the history of this market. It has well designed and dressed versions of the typical rooms: Kitchen, Dining Room, Living Room, Bathroom, Bedroom, etc. It also has a Kids Room with a diabolical baby in a crib and a long, forboding hallway to a closet. The Laundry Room is grimy and disgusting and the Attic is stacked to the ceiling with Jump Scares.

 

This house includes a marquis Storm Hallway scene very early on in which a thunderstorm and the slamming of shutters is initiated by a Break Beam. This is the room where your confronted with the chainsaw. Later on, you come across one of the better Spinning Tunnels that's ever existed in the market which then offloads you into the Garden. It has a light glow of the moon cast over fences, overgrown plants and monsters galore including Sasquatch ripping a man in half.

 

The animatronics in this house are exceptional and always have been since 2019 and House of Seven Secrets. One of which just after the Garden and Cave depicts a huge, inbred behemoth assaulting the back end of a defenseless victim as you might remember from Deliverance. The atmospherics of lighting and sound are so well composed that they fade into your subconscious and dramatically affect the mood. Delaware Creek Estate has a lot of jump scares that are sure to get most of you.

 

I thank the Donovans and Kevin's sisters, the actors in the houses and Icon Characters and Lobby crew for your significant contributions to my 2022 Haunt Season and will be back year-after-year. The 2021 and 2022 ticket scheme was $25 for GA, $40 for Skip-the-Line VIP and $55 VIP with a Tshirt. I would say this place is definitely worth the $25 or $40 for access and a Tshirt at $15 is really a steal. GA comes with both Houses, two games in Back Alley Games and three pictures in The Scream Booth. VIP adds Earthquake Thrill Experience and the Coffin and VR are $6 extra. The Escape Room is $20 extra for up to four people. In general, I would advise a four hour trip to see this one on its own. 

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