Monday, October 31, 2011

Unfortunately we have been hit with a crazy October blizzard! Power is out all over the place, branches are covering the streets, and it's an overall sketchy situation. Although it is an AMAZING adventure and we do love it, it means that we were only able to visit 2 haunted house attractions this year! We usually average 4 a year so we're a bit disappointed in ourselves.

Check out our older posts! In 2009, we went to the Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce, Castle of Fear, Fright Kingdom, and Haunted Overload. In 2010, we revisited the Factory of Terror, Barrett's Haunted Mansion, and Castle of Fear.

This year, we were only able to get to the Factory of Terror, and Barrett's Haunted Mansion  but in our extensive experience, we've found that these two are the reigning champions of haunted attractions in New England. So, even though we've only seen 2 this year, we think we definitely managed to get to the 2 best.

What are your haunted house stories from 2011? We'd love to hear them!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Return to Barrett's Haunted Mansion

Last year, the winner of our unofficial "BEST HAUNTED HOUSE" contest went to Barrett's Haunted Mansion in Abington, MA (see last year's post here!) and were excited to return this year to see if it could defend its title.
This year, they are giving away free (with the purchase of a ticket) wristbands to celebrate their 20th year. They also have something that we've never seen before, a VIP pass that lets you skip the long line for an extra $20. We wouldn't recommend the VIP pass, however, because even though the line is EXTREMELY long, and is every year that we've gone, half the fun is waiting in line! We recommend bundling up because if you go, you'll definitely spend a lot of time waiting outside - but there is a tent to stand under, so this is the perfect haunted house to visit if you want to go on a rainy night. Like most haunted houses we've been to, there are people in costumes lurking around outside waiting to scare any unsuspecting customer waiting in line, but the people at Barrett's definitely have this part of the haunted house experience down pat. Their costumes/makeup are so intricate, detailed, and well-done (the best we've ever seen) and you can tell that they put a lot of time into what they're doing. They're also very good at sneaking up behind you and scaring the ISH out of you.

Once you finally get into the mansion (it will seem like it takes forever!), you'll be in for a very scary experience brought to you by true haunted house professionals. They've been doing this for 20 years and definitely know how to terrify you. We think that one of the best parts about Barrett's is just the fact that they put so much effort into creating the haunted house - nothing looks cheap or like it was just thrown together. Like every good haunted house, they go for the "surprise scare" by jumping out at you but there is something much creepier about Barrett's than any other haunted house we've been to. They know what scares people and they do a really great job at scaring EVERYONE.

The only downside to Barrett's Haunted Mansion (besides the long line) is how quickly you come out of it. It seems like you stand around waiting forever to finally get in, and it only takes a few minutes for it to be all over. However, once inside, there is no shortage of scary moments/actors - something happens every few seconds so maybe it just feels like it all happens in a blur.

We sent an email to the people over at Barrett's and here's what they had to say:
We do know the line can be VERY long on weekend nights, so each year we have been trying to add more and more things to see/do while you are waiting. This year we've got our characters (as always), movie clips/trivia showing under the screen, and the Beelzebubba's Human Freak show to try to help the time pass and to make sure everyone gets their moneys worth. We do spend a LOT of time with the planning and construction of our rooms, and after realizing that many people go through without seeing any of it, we've started our Lights On tour to give people a closer look at the rooms, makeup trailers, history of the house and more! All for just $5! Not bad for what could end up being a 45 minute tour! '

We're not quite finished with haunted houses yet -  we still have two more to visit - so we can't declare a winner just yet but Barrett's Haunted Mansion is looking pretty good to take the crown again this year. We definitely suggest driving out to Abington, MA and paying the $18 to check it out! (Plus, if you go here you can print out a $3 coupon or take advantage of their VIP Pass!)

Have YOU been to Barrett's Haunted Mansion? Let us know what you thought!

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Factory of Terror (again!)

Well, well, well, it's that time of year again! October. That means we have begun our visits to local haunted houses. Like every year, we started off with Factory of Terror in Fall, River, MA. We chose Factory of Terror as our first destination of the year because we've been three times before and it never fails to disappoint. (Check out last year's Factory of Terror post here!)

Being our first jump back into the world of haunted houses, we were more than willing to be scared, scream loudly, and jump out of the way. Although we obviously knew what to expect, being the haunted house aficionados that we are, we were, as usual, surprised by some of the new additions and changes made to the Factory of Terror. There is always a long line that stretches next to the foreboding building, along with creepy people who try to scare you while you wait. This time, however, we also got a free picture!:

As is our custom, we are not going to tell you anything about the inside of the attraction, or what you can expect to see. However, we will say that there is a large 3D section that provides some fun along with the typical haunted house fare. Last year, we had a WONDERFUL experience at the Factory of Terror due to one of its attractions that really messed with our minds and threw us all off guard due to the complete darkness, chainsaws, and lack of direction. It was new and interesting and something that we had never seen at a haunted house before or since. This year, they got rid of this particular attraction!! We understand the need to switch things up from year to year to keep it fresh and to keep people coming back for more but we would have loved to see them resurrect that attraction and try to incorporate it back into the Factory.

All in all, the Factory of Terror is a great haunted house and worth the $20. We were lucky to go on a relatively cool (not cold) night, but we recommend dressing warmly because you will be outside for awhile - every time we've gone there has been a pretty long line and wait time. The people behind Factory of Terror know what they're doing when it comes to haunted houses and are definitely doing something right - they always attract a big crowd and we can see why. (We also loved the haunted skeleton band!)

As usual, once we visit all the haunted houses this October, we will pick our favorite of the year and see if it can be beat next year! Last year, we chose Barrett's Haunted Mansion as our favorite - we'll see if it can defend it's title this year!