Tag: Haunted House

REVIEW: The Uninvited: Awakening Skeleton Key Experience

The Uninvited: Awakening / Skeleton Key Experience
151 W 116th Street
New York, NY

The Uninvited: The Awakening is an immersive experience in the style of Sleep No More. Boasting a uniquely creepy environment within the historic architecture of Harlem’s Graham Court Building, the Uninvited takes place in the seemingly unchanged cellar, which was once used as a turn-of-the-last-century stable. The vast basement is filled with a variety of horror sets from a room filled entirely with antique baby dolls to a dig-your-own grave room. The spirits trapped there provide you with company ranging from darkly comedic to chillingly uncomfortable. The immersive experience has a choose your own adventure feel to it and requires you to really explore your surroundings to get the most out of your time there.

The Skeleton Key Experience takes things to a more extreme level. The 2-hour experience begins like a general admission ticket, but after 45-min you are kidnapped by one of the spirits and locked into one of the many rooms. There are a variety of Skeleton Key Experiences, but they all incorporate an intensely dramatic monologue into an uncomfortable or terrifying activity. Depending on who kidnaps you, you might face being buried alive, strangled, or submerged in cold water.


According to the Official Website: “Yes. Our intentions are to give you nightmares for months to come. However, everyone’s interpretation of scary is different- so it will vary per victim. However, we strive to make you jump out of your skin.”

The Raven & Black Cat says: The Uninvited has created an experience that can be tailored to the individual. From the biggest chicken to the bravest soul, the Uninvited: Awakening has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to be entertained or terrified is up to you.


Chatting with the Lillians and the creepy static-electricity-loving clown will easily put you on edge. Look forward to getting up close and personal with the spirits hiding in the seemingly empty long dark underground hallways. Other highlights include the Skeleton Key Experience, the Antique Doll Room, and having your Tarot Cards read.


The historic basement environment was so amazing that I wished that the sets were more interactive and that there was more to explore. It would have been amazing if every drawer you encountered contained something repulsive or mysterious inside.

The Skeleton Key Experience would have been even more over the top if you were able to experience more than one “kidnapping.” The experiences were so varied that you left wishing you got to experience more than one, but at the $100+ price point it is unlikely that many people will be willing/able to return for more.


The Uninvited succeeds in creating a uniquely terrifying environment that allows visitors to choose the level of horror that they wish to experience. It is a ghastly good time.



September 29 – November 5


General Admission:  $45.00 – $55.00

Student Tickets: $30.00

VIP Skeleton Key Experience: $100.00 – $125.00




“You must be at least 13 years old to attend. No one under the age of 18 may attend without a parent or legal guardian accompanying them into the experience.”


“Yes. Our experience is full contact, and the spirits so desperately crave to feel life once more. You will be touched. You will not, however, be intentionally harmed or touched in an inappropriate manner.”




The Bates Motel
1835 Middletown Road
Glen Mills, PA

Hauntsmith Randy Bates has been scaring area residents for over 20 years
with his top ranking haunted attraction, The Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride. Located
just outside of Philadelphia, the Bates Motel, has drawn national attention
with several features on the Travel Channel and in USA Today. So, when I arrived
at Arasapha Farm in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, I had some understandably large
expectations, but I learned very quickly that Mr. Bates does not disappoint.

Visiting the
Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride is like experiencing the pivotal scene from
every horror movie on your Netflix queue back to back. Not only do they have a
haunted house inside a full size replica of Hitchcock’s famous “Psycho” mansion,
but Arasapha Farm is also home to an equally elaborate haunted corn maze, and
one of the most incredible haunted hayrides in the country.     

What makes the Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride unique isn’t the incredible
Hollywood-quality sets and special effects, but a solid understanding of how sensory
details complete an environment and create tension and distraction for an
audience. For example, no horror movie is complete (or scary!) without a
soundtrack and Bates Motel incorporates detailed customized music and realistic
sound effects to set the tone for each section of every attraction. 

Is It Scary?

According to their Official Website :  “America’s Most Horrifying Motel.”

The Raven & Black Cat says:  Imagine
being surrounded by a series of horror movie sets and special effects in the
middle of the woods. Then add monsters that can touch you.  

What We Loved

A common problem with hayrides is that once the zombies and crazed
killers reach the side of the wagon, they have nowhere to go. This is not the
case at the Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride! When these monsters reach the wagon they launch themselves into it! Realizing
that the usual rules don’t apply creates the ultimate feeling of unease and adrenaline. We
also loved the hayride’s mine shaft section. The sound effects and downward
movement created a chilling claustrophobic feeling of being trapped. Other
highlights include the man-eating crows and gators in the corn maze and the Bates
Motel’s greenhouse and room of taxidermy.   

What Could Be Better

The set design and special effects are so complex and detailed.
It would be incredible to see the same time and attention applied to the acting.
A complex character (with a back story) that reacts to their environment and
moves with intention is more real and infinitely scarier. 

Final Thoughts

The Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride is perfect Halloween entertainment that will scare most and captivate all. Even the most fearless will enjoy visiting the dark and imaginative
world of Randy Bates.

The Bates Motel 2012 Season

September 28 – November 4

Ticket Information

  • Haunted Hayride: $12 – $20
  • Bates Motel:  $12 – $15
  • Corn Maze: $12 – $15
  • Combo Special (All 3):  $25 – $40
  • VIP Pass (No Waiting):  $60 – $75

Discount Tickets

  • 13Haunts Coupon: $5 Off Combo Tickets (Sunday Thru Thursday) – Click Here!
  • Wed., October 17th is Military Appreciation Night: 50% Off w/ Military ID. (All Vets get group rate any night w/ ID.)
  • Wed., October 24th is Family Night: $10 Off the Combo Ticket when you Buy 4 or More.
  • Sign up to have Discount Coupons Emailed to you.

Age Requirements

 Children ages 2 and under are free with a paid adult. 

Additional Information

The Bates Motel

The Bates Motel

The Haunted Hayride

The Haunted Hayride

The Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride

The Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride


The 2013 Midwest Haunters Convention kicked off on June 7th in Columbus, Ohio and we were there to catch all the horror and mayhem of this gore-filled convention full of off-season haunts, bus tours, backstage tours, horror karaoke, a trade show, and a masquerade party.

Our adventure began on June 4th for the Pre-Convention Bus Tour. A 63-hour experience covering 20+ attractions at 8 haunted houses in 3 different states. (Coverage Coming Soon!!) 

The convention officially kicked off on Friday, June 7th. An all day Paranormal Bus Tour was offered to tour the Ohio State Reformatory and the Bissman Building in Mansfield, OH, but we opted to catch up on our sleep after the epic pre-convention bus tour. 

Friday Night Bus Tour

After catching up on our beauty sleep, we prepared ourselves for the Friday Night Bus Tour. The festivities kicked off at the Hyatt next to the convention center for “Scare You to Death: An Interactive Haunting Experience” presented by Shutter Productions.    

This make-shift haunt assembled in one of the hotel’s event rooms packed a surprising punch. The winding maze was filled with entertaining actors dying to make a personal connection. The mini haunt was delightful from beginning to end with one slight hiccup. An actor covered in heavy chains clipped one of his chains to a decorative chain on my handbag and tried to drag me away. It was funny until the decorative chain on my $200 bag broke, but I was still able to enjoy the rest of the haunt even after that accidental annoyance. Following the presentation from Shutter Productions we boarded the bus.

Unit 70 Studios

The first stop on the Friday Night Bus Tour was Unit 70 Studios, a huge warehouse/art studio where they design and construct terrifyingly realistic props for haunted attractions. We were given the opportunity to take a self-guided backstage tour of the studio and enjoy some light refreshments.

Artist (and model) Lea Gray was on hand to provide guests with some festive face painting. After chatting with us and taking our business card, she dreamed up this fabulous concept to turn our logo into body art. We swooned. Then re-boarded the bus.


Haunted Hoochie at Dead Acres

The night’s main attraction came in the form of Haunted Hoochie. An extreme haunt with a reputation for playing rough. Haunted Hoochie/ Dead Acres will be covered in detail in its very own post/review. For now, I’ll just say that it did not disappoint and it was a highlight of our trip.

Haunted Hoochie / Dead Acres

Haunted Hoochie / Dead Acres

Haunted Hoochie/ Dead Acres WARNING

Haunted Hoochie/ Dead Acres WARNING


We returned back to the Hyatt in time to catch the end of Scary-Oke, which was essentially just costumed regular karaoke. We both signed up looking forward to showing off our hot new logo-inspired body paint, but they didn’t have S’s song, so I was the only one who got to sing.

Saturday Trade Show

Saturday morning we grabbed some coffee and headed over to the Convention Center for the 2013 Midwest Haunter’s Convention Trade Show. It was an impressive display of horror makeup, sets, props, special fx, and more. Browse through our photo gallery to get a taste of the atmosphere.

2013 Trade Show Photo Gallery 

Masquerade Party

Saturday wrapped up with a spectacular masquerade party where everyone dressed to impress. Click the link below to see the professional photo gallery of all the fabulous costumes.

2013 Masquerade Party Photo Album

We had a fabulous experience at the 2013 Midwest Haunter’s Convention and we met a lot of great haunters and haunt enthusiasts. We look forward to returning again sometime in the future.


The Merchant’s House Museum recently announced that they will be holding their popular Candlelight Gost Tours the third Friday of every month. The tours, which were previously only available in October, are 50 minutes long and tickets are $20.00 each. We are thrilled that they will be celebrating their status as ‘Manhattan’s Most Haunted House’ all year long,

Upcoming Dates

Candlelight Ghost Tours:

March 15, April 19, May 17, and June 21 at: 6pm, 6:30pm, 7pm, and 7:30pm

Lecture: Investigating ‘Manhattan’s Most Haunted House’ with paranormal expert Dan Sturges on March 26th at 7pm.

In Other News

A second Landmarks Preservation Commision hearing was held today on the proposed 9-story hotel at 27 East 4th Street. We are thrilled that the LPC sent the developers back to the drawing board. For more information on the hearing  —  click here.


Dear Readers,

S & I visited 40 Haunted Houses in 8 different states in 2012. We had the opportunity to meet many haunt owners and get a special behind-the-scenes glimpse at some of the country’s top haunted attractions.

What started as a joke of a challenge became an incredible journey into the haunt industry and how America celebrates Halloween. 

In the coming weeks, we will be working hard to add all of our 2012 reviews to the site.

Check out the map of our 2012 haunted house tour below.   Click on the markers for haunt information, when we visited, and links to posted reviews.

We met some amazing people and visited some brilliant and innovative haunted attractions. We can’t wait to share our adventure with you.




View 2012 Haunted House Tour in a full screen map


We have our tickets. Were you lucky enough to snag one? There are only a few left so act quickly: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/920896

This freezing cold Winter Edition of Blackout will take place in the East Village at an undisclosed location from January 28 – February 2. The experience will last 45 min.

The $135 ticket includes: “one admission to the January NYC event, a Blackout t-shirt, and a special pre-sale ticket offer for the Halloween show.”

We have no idea what to expect. Luckily, we don’t have long to wait.


Celebrate the season by dragging Halloween into December. The 13 Days of Creepmas are in full swing and there are two Christmas themed Haunts in the NY/NJ area to get you in the Creepmas spirit. 

Nightmares Haunted Attraction in Passaic, New Jersey becomes Christmas Nightmares for 3 Saturdays on December 1st, 8th, and 15th from 8-10pm. Explore Santa’s workshop and hope you get out alive.  Tickets are $20.

Nightmare (Before Christmas): The Experiment returns for a second year! This new and expanded version of Nightmare: New York’s audience participation haunt  runs December 7th – 23rd at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center on the Lower East Side. Tickets are $30.

The Haunted House/Daniele Montella

The Haunted House/Daniele Montella

Still celebrating Halloween? The following Haunted Houses are open this week:


Gravesend Inn Haunted Hotel
Brooklyn, NY

Open  Nov. 5   |  Tickets: $6.00

Blackout Haunted House
New York, NY

Open Nov. 5 – 10   |  Tickets: $50.00

2012 Review

Blood Manor
New York, NY

Open Nov. 8 – 11   |  Tickets: $30 – $60

Discount Tickets   –   2012 Review

Killers: A Nightmare Haunted House
New York, NY

Open Nov. 9 – 10   |  Tickets: $30 – $60

Discount Tickets   –   2012 Review

Times Scare Haunted House
New York, NY

Open Year- Round   |  Tickets: $27.00


Terror Behind The Walls
Philadelphia, PA

Open Nov. 10   |  Tickets: $29.50

2012 Review


Las Vegas, NV

Open Year-Round   |  Tickets: $25 – $60


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