FEAR COMPLEX

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO

ARTICLE BY: ERICA LEONIS

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Colorado Springs’ newest haunted attraction has deep roots in the city. Formerly known as The Haunted Mines, the new Fear Complex near downtown is certainly drawing a crowd this year. 

 

Plenty of screams echoed through the halls as my group made our way through The Fear Complex's four themes. It was honestly a joy to watch several members of our group nearly jump out of their skin. The sets and paint work in this haunted attraction are also top notch - but I will get to that in a second. First, I need to talk about the pre-haunt experience. 

 

Ticketing appears pretty straightforward on the website, though be sure to read which option you want carefully, as they all have different prices. General admission is $22 for weeknights (Thursdays and Sundays) and $25 on weekends (Fridays and Saturdays.) For $8-$10 more you can upgrade to VIP which gets you into a shorter, faster line. 

 

The last option is a combo ticket with their sister haunt Hellscream. This costs $38 for general admission, and $56 VIP, good any day of the week. You can purchase these tickets online or at the door.

 

Parking can be a bit tricky with this haunted house. There is parking behind the building near the queue line, however I did notice quite a few people parking at businesses nearby and walking. I don't know if they have agreements with these other businesses, so park there at your own risk.

 

The queue line leading up to the entrance is a lot of fun. There are paintings on the walls, on the barriers and on the ground. Several actors also entertain the crowd and there is even a VW bug painted in what I can only call "neon apocalypse." I got scared several times in the line alone, and we were asked for our tickets by one of these actors. I found it to be an interesting way of checking tickets. Most of the staff was excellent and really made us feel welcomed, and even got us to laugh as they worked with the crowd nearby.

 

Now the Fear Complex and their sister haunt, HellScream, are what I consider my "bread and butter" haunts. They are both located in Colorado Springs, and I've been through them many times. However, I had yet to see this new location for the Fear Complex in action. To help me get a more unbiased take on it, we made sure my friend Joe was in the front. He is someone no one at this attraction knew or had ever seen. This worked rather well in my opinion for both houses (and it was really fun to watch him jump backwards in fear.)

 

Entering the Fear Complex, you are met by a rather dead nurse at the front door. She shambles behind you, pushing you towards the stairs. There are several flights of stairs in this building, so if you have mobility issues, please keep that in mind. 

 

I want to talk about each of the four themes separately, as they make it a point in their advertising for the haunt.

 

On the top floor the insanity was cranked up to an 11. I watched several times through The Sanitarium theme as crazed medical mishaps used their areas to perfection. 

 

I have to shout out the needle nurse in the very first room we entered. She scared me, then darted out of sight, only to get the front of the group so fiercely that they nearly fell over. Her energy set everything else up for success.

 

The rest of the medical department felt like a blur. Creatures darted in and out of doors, charging us multiple times in a small area, and kept us on our toes. 

 

The actors up here also used their props very well. These props obviously belonged to the scene they were in, and in some cases were even bolted to a wall or door. It had me wondering what they would do next, which would inevitably make my skin crawl. 

 

Also in The Sanitarium there is a butcher character that is something out of a horror movie. This monster was relentless in making us feel stalked, and as if he was going to make us his next victim.

 

We then enter into the Sinister Manor. Immediately I'm impressed by some of the setwork done in the forest area. It really made you feel as if you were entering a home. Here I watched as an actor spanned no less than 4 rooms, scaring our group multiple times. 

 

The rest of the Manor was relatively bright, and it allowed us to see much of the set. In some areas I wondered if the lights were left on, but it ended up making the darker areas contrast really well.

 

I also heard some very good dialog from actors in this area. This ranged from chants, to bantering back and forth with us about staying for dinner. Their improvisational skills were on point, and made it fun to interact with them.

 

Next, we entered the elevator shaft designed to take us down into the Haunted Mines. Our elevator operator took us on a small journey on our ride down. They easily spotted the more easily intimidated in our group and honed in. They really made it feel as if we were entering some deep cave system.

 

The scenes in the mines are just top tier. You really do feel like you are walking through a cavern system, waiting to be met by the monsters that lurk within. This is where several miners got me to the point that I cursed at the top of my lungs. If you can get me to curse, you know you've shook me to my core. Other members in my group even called me out on it.

 

Once again, the dialog these actors used was impressive. They quipped back and forth with us as we tried to make our escape out of the mines. Once we managed to get to the forest, I was delighted to see some older props, animatronics, and characters that I remember so dearly. 

 

We barely stepped foot into the fourth and final section, 3D Carnevil, before we got jump scared by a VERY energetic clown. This section has got to be my favorite theme wise. You are made to put on 3D glasses, and watch as the vibrant colors dance around you. With some of the paint jobs on the walls, there were moments I became unsteady and had to reorient myself. 

 

That same clown I mentioned earlier was soon joined by another, who stalked us all throughout the area. They got our group multiple times, and we never knew where to expect them next. Just when we thought it was crazy enough, we were let into what I can only describe as "clown mayhem."

 

This room featured clowns doing everything from climbing over us, crawling through pipes, jumping from surface to surface and taunting us from nearby. It felt like I was being bombarded with information in the best way. I only wish this carried over to the last, rather large, room as well, because it felt a little empty. 

 

I also accidentally forgot to take my glasses off, only to be yelled at by a clown that I forgot. This made me a little sad, as the artwork in this room too also looked cool with the 3D glasses. The ending scare was cool, and I really like how they adapted it, I just wish there was a little more build up from the clowns in the room prior.

 

Costumes throughout the haunt were relatively good. However, there were definitely a small handful of actors that I didn't know if they were wearing a costume at all, or if it fit with the scene. I also felt some of the costumes were a little too clean for the areas they were in. The makeup however was definitely fun to look at and well done. Almost everyone has some sort of makeup that worked with their environment, or they were wearing a mask. 

 

This haunt, in its new massive building, scared the absolute shit out of me and members of my group. I nearly even peed a little. I also understand the amount of work that went into not only moving a haunt, but rebuilding it in one year, and what they accomplish is an absolute feat. 

 

The Hollywood quality sets, acting in all areas of the haunt, and the way they used their space in total was absolutely incredible. I definitely recommend checking this new location out, and seeing what the Fear Complex has to offer. I personally can't wait to see how they grow into their new home. 

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