HELLSCREAM

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO

ARTICLE BY: ERICA LEONIS

HellScream Haunted House has been ranked in the top haunts in Colorado for years, all by different review groups. For me, going through this year felt as if they kicked it up to a caliber I wasn't anticipating.

 

HellScream Haunted House is the sister attraction of the Fear Complex in Colorado Springs, and as such they share a similar ticketing system.

Ticketing is 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. 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.

 

During the later half of the season, for all haunts, I personally recommend going through on "weeknights" (typically a Thursday or Sunday) or investing in a VIP experience. On Fridays and Saturdays you are going to see larger crowds and longer wait times. This is typical across the industry.

 

Finding parking at HellScream may be a bit tricky when you first arrive. They ask that customers don't park at the church next door, but rather in the lot across the street at the strip mall. Once you're parked, it's a short walk to their ticket booth, which is well-lit and easy to see. 

 

You will be guided into your correct line via chain path. Outside, they have creatures tormenting and messing with patrons, amping them up for the nightmare ahead. The attendants at the front door kept up a good conversation with patrons getting ready to enter, and were extremely professional.

 

Entering this building feels like you are walking into someone's home, the tenants of which are itching to start their onslaught. This attraction spans 3 floors, and every single one of them is crawling with monsters. The acting quality inside of HellScream and their sister haunt is just on another level. If I were to highlight everything I saw that made me jump, or make my skin scrawl, then I'd be giving away the entire haunt. 

 

So I'll try to recap my experience without spoiling it for you, as you really need to experience this attraction for yourself.

 

In this haunt I had actors climb over my head, around my feet, chase me, get uncomfortably close, work with props and sets masterfully, disgust me to the point of gagging, and got me to curse in fear. The slew of different types of scares in this attraction make it an experience that runs like one cohesive storyline. 

 

On the first floor I watched a group of actors work three rooms and a hallway seamlessly. The way they worked together to distract and scare the group was a thing of beauty. Their dialog and demeanor sets up the next few areas, and our descent into the basement. 

 

The basement truly feels like you've now entered a part of the house you weren't supposed to see. Here we were invited for a meal that made me want to puke. I couldn't fully watch this person’s act because it disgusted me so much. At one point, enforcers towered over me, and made me duck as they seemingly appeared out of nowhere. I don't do well when shadows randomly appear over my head.

 

To accurately describe the feeling of the second, and final floor, you need to understand how the first two feel:

The first floor had the vibe of  "you've entered the wrong house"

The basement gave off the feeling of "you now know too much"

This last floor?  the overwhelming feeling of "we will hunt you down."

 

Crawlers, high jumpers, and lurkers sew together the scenes on the top floor with precision. We had creatures around us at all times. One highlight was having something faux-thrown at us, making one of the people I went through stumble backwards. This was timed and executed well. 

 

Another highlight was watching the person in the attic area work 4 groups at once. They got the first group, second group, the group behind us, and then us. It was incredible to watch the expenditure of energy as this beast owned this scene. 

 

To be completely honest, when we did hit a conga line, all of the actors did an amazing job of staying in character and working the crowd. They also had great banter and improvisation when we retorted (mostly out of fear.) If you can't scare them, then entertain them, but if you can scare AND entertain people, then I am insanely impressed. 

 

Last area takes you outside. You get a brief reprieve as the cool air hits you, and you may feel like the horrors have come to an end. You would be wrong. The last section of the house is nothing short of a grand finale. The fiends that inhabit this area work in extremely tight conditions and make you incredibly uncomfortable. With a couple of new tricks, this area is more intense than ever. I am thankful there is a staff member outside the backdoor, as that ending makes people run for their lives (or maybe just pee themselves.)

 

Every single actor in this house had costumes and makeup that fit in their scene. On top of that, most were works of art. Even if it was simple, it was still grungy and gross. This really helped with the immersion of the house as a whole. I had moments where I just wanted to admire the outfit choices, but couldn't do so without getting bombarded with scares.

 

As far as sets go, while not a lot changed between this year and last, they are absolutely top notch. When I say it feels like you've entered someone's old decrepit home, I mean it. The attention to detail is of Hollywood caliber. They also provide set pieces for their actors to interact with, which I love to see in haunted houses. 

 

It is clear to see why HellScream ranks in the top spots for the state of Colorado by various groups. The work they put into every detail, their actors, and their passion really shine through. I definitely recommend checking this place out. It is an experience from the moment you arrive, and leave you with memories that will torment you after you go home.

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