HELLSTEAD MANOR

HALLSTEAD, PENNSYLVANIA

ARTICLE BY: MICHAEL CIRRINCIONE

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Just a three minute zig and zag from the US Interstate 81 in Hallstead Pennsylvania is a hillside tour-de-force boasting a higher price tag than most other haunts that is worth every single penny.

 

It was the night of September 30 th, forty minutes after leaving Reaper's Revenge and twenty minutes before Hellstead Manor was supposed to close. I had exchanged emails with co-owner Michelle for a few days and neither of us knew if we would meet that night. Boy, I'm glad I did. We got our tickets and walked right on in as the only guests at the moment.

 

Inside the big, beautiful, historic white and black farmhouse foyer is a museum dedicated to the Hallstedt family who once lived on this land. There are skeletons and documents and all kinds of wonderful horror fodder. They then present you with a short video documenting the plight and resurrection activities of this family. The first scare comes from behind you as you watch the video. AHHHHHHHHHH!!!

 

From the walls of the Farmhouse, you are turned out into a delightful surprise of a haunted house. The Manor continues for another 20 or so minutes. The scenes are diverse, shadowed by the warmish white wash over the whole barn and you are made distinctly vulnerable by the regularly descending ceiling whether it be cobwebs, burlap or another material.

 

The artistic wares of co-owner/Lead Special Effects Artist Eric are on show absolutely everywhere in this house. Within the eight feet tall pallet walls, there are one-of-a-kind creepy creatures and props that would fit in on any Hollywood set. The amount of visual content in this element is really impressive for a lesser known haunt. In fact, Eric has won at least one Emmy for his work on IPs like CSI and X-Men.

 

The Manor winds through traditional rooms and imaginative rooms, hundreds of feet of corridor and maze. One of my favorite rooms is the Hand Gauntlet. The actors are just what you would expect from a traditional mansion themed haunted house however, the girls and women sure can pierce right through you with their screams. The finale is one for the record books.

 

This adventure proceeds into a clearing where you are spaced out before getting your feet wet in The Wretched Woods. The Wretched Woods is a very long, dark, vision inducing path through many parts of a significantly large property. The path ascends and descends like a snake up and down the hills that contain some of the best zombie actors I've ever seen on an Outdoor Trail. Monsters hide in the trees and force the genesis of nightmares.

 

 

Wretched Woods suddenly makes a transition to The Cannibilies at a spooky, wooden teepee looking archway. The Cannibilies element is the reason for this being my new favorite outdoor trail. You encounter many a chilling Hillbilly within the shacks and around the yards. Improvisation is really rich here. The actors throw you curveball phrases that those at other attractions don't.

 

This is the other element that is largely powered by Eric's Special Effects prowess. The shacks feel lived in and the four stable Barn is ACTUALLY lived in. The monster dwells among the horses. I would imagine this spot is where the most actors of all preside being that there are sixty-three in total and the most interaction in The Cannibilies.

 

Hellstead Manor is a hidden gem of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Haunt Scene and deserves a stop by everyone who heads down to Reaper's Revenge from the North. They're just forty-three minutes away from each other and both are similarly worthy investments of money for the experience.

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