As my tour draws to its final few weeks, I find myself back in Roanoke, Virginia for the 2nd season in a row. I enjoy doing back to back visits with certain haunts just to see the updates and changes from the previous season. Terror Manor did not disappoint in this department. With new scenes and different characters roaming about, I felt the 2022 experience was a step up from 2021. If you read my article from last year, you know how much I enjoyed this haunt. Not only from their unique scenes and characters, but with their “we’re not afraid to be who we want” mentality. You see a lot of haunts who are afraid of hurting feelings and always trying to please the patrons by walking on eggshells. Here, they are who they are and if you’re the type that always looks to be offended or finds reasons to be upset. This place isn’t for you. Actually, yes it is. Please go because the laughs to be had while you complain would be hilarious to hear.
Terror Manor is an R Rated haunt but not to the extent that you might think of. There is no nudity or obscene scenes, they basically just have the freedom to say and do what they want when they want. Which they do a wonderful job with how they conduct that R rating. That being said, there are some hidden R Rated easter eggs within the haunt that I’ve still yet to spot. I’m going to find that hidden penis one day… (Yes, I know how that sounded.)
As I said, they like to have fun and be who they are and that’s what makes Terror Manor so much fun to be at.
The one thing that I love about this season is they were approved to close down the road between the actual haunt and their midway. If you’ve never been to Terror Manor, they have a very unique setup. Their midway/queue is across the street from the haunt. Now you have the freedom to hang out on the road without the worry of oncoming traffic. Not that it was a busy street at night anyway, but it was slightly off putting about seeing an actor trying to scare someone and have to pull a “Waynes World” “GAME OFF!” due to a random car creeping down the road. That is no longer an issue and it’s “GAME ON!” from open to close.
Haunts are beginning more and more to have opening ceremonies, which isn't a bad thing if done right. I’ve seen some haunts attempt to do this and it’s just sad to watch sometimes due to how cheesy and bad it plays out. Terror Manor has a cool unique opening ceremony, they took a page from college football in a way. Let’s be real here, Virginia is a proud football state! (well, not too proud lately due to the records, but they love their football.) The actors slowly make their way across the street from the main haunt and pile up behind the black tarp exit of the midway haunt. DJ Prometheus fires up the crowd and cranks up the run out music and on their que, they bust out of the exit like it was VaTech running out the tunnel to Enter Sandman. With a flamethrower blasting fire into the Roanoke sky the actors circle the victims while in the queline and the party now begins!
As mentioned, it is across the street which is where you will purchase your tickets and then get in line for the experience. While in line you are being stalked by numerous roaming actors who will always have you looking over your shoulders.
Yes, they have a queue where you have to stand and work your way to the front. It’s not free roam midway, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything going on. Terror Manor has a stage setup with the one and only “DJ Prometheus” who which spins his jams to keep your booty shaking. They offer a fire show and aerial performers throughout the evening. I do have to give a nod to the fire performers. I had the pleasure of watching them work in 2021 and I thought they were some of the best performers within that field that I’ve ever seen. In 2022, that still rings true. They have one routine where it still has me in awe while watching. It’s one of the coolest effects I’ve ever seen. When I’m there I have to get that routine on film. Check the videos below to see it for yourself.
“Terrorfolk Avenue” also gives you the opportunity to grab some food and drinks while you wait. Just because you survived the haunt doesn't mean you have to go home. You can hang out and enjoy the scene all night long. I advise hanging out for a while and just enjoy the night people watching.
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! Right before you enter the main event, Terror Manor serves up a nice little appetizer prior to your walk across the street. They set up a small walk through where you will get your adrenaline amped up prior to the main course. Terror Manor has a wonderful midway experience, it’s not too over the top that takes away from the haunt itself while able to keep you entertained and hanging out all night long.
The Main Event
Your journey begins as you walk under the metal Terror Manor awning and make your way up the steep metal steps. I’ll tell you this, just going from the first floor to the 2nd, it truly sets the tone. Just the sound of the people walking up those steps is creepy enough. Once you reach the 2nd floor you’ll enter one last small queline. There you will be greeted by Heartbreak the clown and her friends, be careful, you never know what side you’ll get with her. First trip she was very sweet to me then on the 2nd trip she hit me with a belt. (yeah, never letting that be forgotten about)
Terror Manor has so many twist and turns throughout your walkthrough. They pack so much into your experience, you never once feel like nothing is going on. Over 40 nightmarish scenes to keep you on your toes throughout. Actors at every corner, there were moments where the actors did a superb job with deception and hitting our group multiple times within an area.
I know for a fact I walked through a scene and saw the same actor go after us 4 different times from 4 different spots. That is a sure sign that these actors know what they are doing and are trained VERY well.
Another thing I want to really give a nod to when it comes the actors and staff at Terror Manor. The actors portray their characters at all times and they went all out, all night with every group. Every time I encountered an actor, they stayed in character no matter what. Prior to opening I was filming a few characters within the haunt. They stayed in character the entire time, I even asked how to get out to head to the next filming spot, they stayed in character while leading me to an exit. I absolutely LOVE that. Once they are in character, they ARE that character and that transcends into the quality show that Terror Manor puts on each night that they are open.
Now back to the experience, this haunt pulls no stops when it comes to intensity and getting all in your “safety bubble”. I truly felt they were much more intense this visit versus in 2021. They have outstanding ways to immerse you into each and every scene, they utilize their light placement to keep your eyes focused on certain things for diversion scares or to simply show off an amazing scene. I’m a lighting guy and I truly appreciate light placement in a haunt, especially if done right like at Terror Manor.
This walkthrough is so much bigger and longer than you realize. At one point I was thinking I’ve reached the end and realized I went through about 15 more scenes. There’s so much to take in while you’re walking through some of the scenes, it’s really hard to catch a peek at the details in certain scenes due to the actors taking advantage of your wandering eyes.
The Terror Manor experience thus far to me is getting better each season! I can’t wait to see what they do going forward!
This is the experience I decided to skip out on for 2022. I however did it in 2021 and they took me to the woodshed. But I did get to witness a group in the final scene with Nobody The Clown and Huggz. That alone could be the VIP experience because they will treat you like “royalty”.
The interaction in this portion is so much fun to witness and be a part of. You get free hugs, they feed you, they make sure you are well educated. Just make sure you wear clothes that you don’t mind throwing in the garbage, you know like a Tennessee or Clemson shirt.
Terror Manor is one of the most fun experiences you’ll have during haunt season. With a party-like atmosphere in the midway and an immersive terrifying experience within the Manor.
You’ll head home knowing you got your money’s worth.
I feel this is a very important thing to point out. While in the Midway Terror Manor is making it known that they support haunts. Whether they are local or out of state. They have banners all around the fence promoting these attractions. That is what it’s all about and how it should be to be honest. Seeing that made my little SF heart warm inside. Just knowing haunts are doing this instead of dividing and tearing down others, they are promoting and lifting up other attractions. They are leading by example!