Tag: Pennsylvania Haunted House


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Waldorf Estate of Fear
6325 Interchange Road
Lehighton, PA

The haunt that got my adrenaline pumping the most this Halloween season was The Waldorf Estate of Fear.  Even though they told me not to run, I did anyway!  More on that in a bit…  Located in Lehighton, PA, Waldorf is celebrating their 10th terrifying year, with three attractions – a hayride (Terror in the Corn), a group walk-through haunt (The Haunting at the Waldorf Hotel), and new for this year, an interactive zombie experience (Infection) where you don a flag football belt and attempt to juke your way through an onslaught of the undead while keeping your vital organs (three flags representing your brain, heart and lungs) intact.

Is It Scary?

According to the Official Website: “Come find out for yourself!!!

The Raven & Black Cat says: Our competitive nature took over during Infection and it’s hard not to get a jolt when a zombie jumps out at you that you are actively trying to avoid – especially while you’re running for your life!  Between the rush of this experience and some genuinely dark sets in the group haunt, Waldorf delivers solid scares.

What We Loved

Infection was an absolute blast.  Upon entering, we were told not to run and rather to just try to dodge the zombies who were coming for our flags.  I don’t know if it had been a slow night and the ghouls inside were extra hungry, but they seemed to be chasing us harder than I expected and as a result I ran.  I totally ran.  I tried to pull a spin move on one of the zombies coming for me, and I lost my balance and fell on my ass.  As I lay there, my head still spinning from dizziness, I quickly imagined the classic horror movie scenes of a horde of zombies descending on a poor soul, ripping out his innards and having themselves a feast.  Luckily for me, the Jaded Viewer selflessly pulled me off of the ground and saved me and my flags from that sad fate.

After Infection, with our adrenaline pumping, we were greeted at The Haunting at the Waldorf Hotel by James Cudie (spelled CU Die), a cross between a demon bellhop and a stand-up comedian.  It was the start of a terrific trip through a haunted hotel that felt real because it’s built out in a space that was previously a restaurant.  The kitchen set was actually a kitchen.  The bar set was actually a bar.  Beyond the great use of space, the haunt was well paced and the monsters inside interacted with us well.

What Could Be Better

The hayride wasn’t on par with the other two attractions at the haunt.  Things started off on the wrong foot when we were instructed by a giant demon pumpkin not to smoke during the hayride – this could have been handled by attendees who are not supposed to be a part of the show as we were starting.  There were some enjoyable cameos by familiar characters and nice sets, but there was too much reliance on actors screaming as loudly as they could as they mounted the wagon.  I was mostly scared for their vocal cords.

Final Thoughts

The Haunting at the Waldorf Hotel is dark, creative, and one of the better group walk through haunts I experienced this season.  But the star of the show is Infection and it’s a blast for anyone who has ever watched a zombie flick and thought ‘I could dodge those zombies easily.’  Guess what, you can’t!  I may have only lost one flag (I assume it was my brain – I didn’t use it much anyway), but I definitely lost some dignity lying there on the ground.  It’s hard to imagine enjoying being chased by the undead more.

Waldorf Estate of Fear 2014 Season

September 26  – November 1

Ticket Information

  • Terror Package (All 3 Attractions):   $35
  • Scream Package (Any 2 Attractions): $30
  • The Haunting at the Waldorf Hotel Only:  $15
  • Infection Only:  $15
  • Terror in the Corn Hayride Only:  $20
  • VIP Upgrade (Skip to the front of the line): Add $15

Age Requirements

According to the Official Website: “There is no age limit, parents must use their own discretion. Our rule of thumb is 10 and over!”

Additional Information


REVIEW: Field of Screams

Field Of Screams
191 College Avenue
Mountville, PA

Imagine it’s Friday night and you’ve just come home from a long day of work/school/doing nothing and your sweetheart says to you, “I really want to have a local teenager run a chainsaw against the back of my legs, tonight.”  And you say, “I was hoping we could go have Italian sausages and some fried dough.”  And they say, “But I want a demented clown to braid my hair.”  And you say, “But I’ve been practicing throwing softballs at empty bottles in the backyard and I think I could finally win you an over-sized teddy bear.”  This is clearly a tense moment, but then you realize together that there’s a place you could go that would make you both happy and you say in unison: Field of Screams!  Field of Screams (saving relationships since 1993) is a terrific reminder that a little fear can be a whole lot of fun.  With three walk-through haunts (Frightmare Asylum, Den of Darkness and the new outdoors Nocturnal Wasteland), and a top notch hayride, along with a series of horror-themed carnival games and food, there are hours of scare-filled entertainment to be had. I’d offer my services to Field of Screams as a marketing consultant, but with a packed house on the first weekend in October, it’s pretty clear that they’re doing just fine.

Is It Scary?

According to the Official Website: “Live in your nightmares as you journey through each attraction and be prepared for the most horrifying experience of your life because Field of Screams takes fear to a whole new level.”

The Raven & Black Cat says: I saw a woman in a full on sprint being chased by a monster with a chainsaw… out in the main entertainment area!  I also watched the bravest preteen I’ve ever seen go nose to nose with the haunt’s inhabitants and barely blink (she had ice water in her veins!).  I had a few moments of anxiety myself, but more than anything I had a great time throughout.

What We Loved

Right when I entered the Frightmare Asylum, a “patient” snuck up behind me and took my arm like we were on a date.  It was sweet and it felt right, but just before I could ask her to prom, a fellow inmate popped up and screamed in my face.  I was not expecting to be touched and it wasn’t aggressive, but that automatically upped the intensity.  The walk through haunts are terrific, however the hayride is the star of the show.  Highlights included a creepy butcher family and some pig carcasses, a barn full of giant snakes and a spooky circus.  I was hoping for once that the spooky circus would be filled with trapeze artists or lion tamers, but nope… clowns.  Always clowns.

What Could Be Better

When I entered the creepy emergency room, the actor said “What are you doing in my emergency room?”  When I entered the creepy power plant the actor said “What are you doing in my power plant?”  “What are you doing in my kitchen?”  “What are you doing on my lawn?”  Guys, I’m at a haunted house, that’s what I’m doing. Encountering creative dialogue when you enter a room can make a huge difference.

Final Thoughts

Field of Screams is at the top of their game combining great sets and effects with engaged actors and clever scares.  A crazy doctor sprayed me with something and said it was Ebola.  That’s an actor having fun, and it translates to a guest having fun.  By the way, should I be worried about the cough I’ve developed?

Field of Screams 2014 Season

September 12  – November 9

Ticket Information

  • Scream Pass (All 4 Attractions):   $33
  • Triple Combo Pass (Any 3 of 4 Attractions): $30
  • Double Combo Pass (Any 2 of 4 Attractions): $27
  • Haunted Hayride Only:  $16
  • Den of Darkness Only:  $14
  • Frightmare Asylum Only:  $14
  • Nocturnal Wasteland Only: $14
  • VIP Upgrade (Skip to the front of the line): Add $15

Discount Tickets

  • 13Haunts Coupon: $8 Off VIP Scream Pass/ $5 Off Regular Scream Pass –Click Here!
  • Join the Field of Screams Mailing List for Additional Coupons and Discounts.

Age Requirements

Not recommended for children under 10 years old.  (They have a non scary daytime event for children and adults who are young at heart at Corn Cob Acres.)

Additional Information


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The Old Jail Museum Ghost Tour
128 West Broadway
Jim Thorpe, PA

History

Carbon County Prison  in Jim Thorpe, PA was modeled after Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary and was operational from 1871 until 1995. It may look like a miniature version of Eastern State, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in capital punishment. (There were never any executions held at Eastern State Penitentiary.) Not only were inmates executed at Carbon County Prison, but the gallows were located in the middle of the cell block for all to see. The site holds a place in history for the 1877 hangings of the ‘Molly Maguires,’ a group of Irish coal miners sentenced to death after a sensational and corrupt trial. After the prison closed its doors in 1995, it was reopened as the the Old Jail Museum.

Our Visit

We arrived in the adorable/creepy Victorian town of Jim Thorpe on a chilly Saturday evening to attend one of the Old Jail Museum’s seasonal ghost tours held on select Saturdays in October. Tours begin every 20 min and the line is entirely outdoors, so don’t forget your mittens. The guided ghost tour is an opportunity to experience the building at night with dim lighting.  Various ghost sightings and other unexplained events are recounted along the tour. The most famous is a ghostly hand print left behind by one of the Molly Maguires as proof of his innocence. The wall has been scrubbed, painted, and partially replaced and the eerie hand print remains.

Is It Scary? 

According to the Official Facebook Page: “Hear Tales of Strange Happenings & Hunt Ghosts!”

The Raven & Black Cat says: No one is going to jump out and scare you, but the history and energy of the building is truly chilling. 

What We Loved

The story of the mysterious hand print is very creepy, but the most horrifying parts of the tour are the gallows at the end of the cell block and the dark basement dungeon used for solitary confinement. It’s terrifying to think about the fact that it was still being used as a prison as recently as 1995. 

What Could Be Better

The ghost tours are only held on select Saturdays in October and most likely staffed with local volunteers. The guides sharing the mysterious happenings ranged from high school students reading awkwardly from note cards to spirited amateur actors. Overall, we felt that the ghost tours would benefit from a less is more approach. The building is so incredibly scary that it can get into the Halloween spirit just by dimming the lights. Adding store bought Halloween decor to an actual prison dungeon comes off looking silly. A few flameless candles would be simple, elegant, and downright scary. 

Final Thoughts

Real life horror leaves something behind. You can feel it as soon as you set foot in the Old Jail Museum. If you find yourself in the Jim Thorpe area, the Old Jail Museum is a must see.   

The Old Jail Museum Ghost Tours 2012 Season

October 13, 20, 27

Ticket Information

General Admission: $10.00   |  Students: $7.00
 

Age Requirements

No children under 12 permitted. 

Additional Information

The Old Jail Museum 

The Old Jail Museum 

The Old Jail Museum 

The Old Jail Museum 

The Old Jail Museum 

The Old Jail Museum 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaHIht9lRO8?feature=oembed&wmode=opaque&enablejsapi=1&w=640&h=480]


The Raven & Black Cat Photo Coverage

 


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Pennhurst Asylum
Church Street & Bridge Road
Spring City, PA

History

Nestled in the woods beside Spring City, Pennsylvania lies the remains of the Pennhurst State School and Hospital (originally known as the Eastern Pennsylvania State Institution for the Feeble-Minded and Epileptic.) The massive compound for the mentally and physically disabled was built in 1908. It was completely self-sufficient with its own power supply, dairy, green houses, fire department, movie theatre, and underground tunnel system. At the turn of the last century, it was thought best to segregate disabled individuals from the rest of society, but a 1968 exposé uncovered that over-crowding and under-funding had led to conditions that were unsanitary, inhumane, and dangerous. Ultimately, the Supreme Court found institutionalisation to be unconstitutional (Halderman vs Pennhurst State School) and Pennhurst was abandoned in 1987.

The buildings and everything within them were left to rot for the next 23 years. Pennhurst became popular with trespassers (particularly those with an interest in “urban” exploring and vandalism) until it was reopened as the haunted attraction Pennhurst Asylum in 2010 by hauntsmith Randy Bates (The Bates Motel.)

Our Visit

We arrived in Spring City, PA late on Saturday night. The Victorian architecture of the town is lovely, but under the mask of darkness it takes on a very different aesthetic. 

We arrived at the address listed on the Pennhurst Asylum website and were directed to park in a field. Reaching Pennhurst requires a 10 min walk through the woods. Go ahead and read that last sentence again and really let it sink in.

The buildings rise out of the woods and you are instantly transported to the early 1900s. Pennhurst Asylum  is straight out of your worst nightmare. The haunt is made up of 4 separate attractions: ‘Pennhurst Asylum’ in the old Administration Building, ‘The Dungeon of Lost Souls’ explores the basement of the Administration building, ‘Ghost Hunt’ is a self-guided flashlight tour through two floors of the abandoned untouched remains of the Mayflower Dormitory, and ‘The Tunnel Terror’ a walk-through haunt located in a 900-foot section of Pennhurst’s underground tunnel system. There is  a centrally located ‘picnic’ area with food and refreshments if you need to take a break.  

Is It Scary?

According to their Facebook Page: It was “Voted the Scariest Real Haunt in America for 2012!”

The Raven & Black Cat says:  We agree! Fear is subjective, but the remains of the Pennhurst State School would be terrifying on its own. Pennhurst Asylum is a top-notch haunted attraction that can be placed in two very exclusive categories:  A Real Haunted Location & The Actors Can Touch You. 

Here’s A Tip

Visit Pennhurst on a Thursday or Sunday, or spring for the VIP Pass to cut the lines. Without timed admission, you could be looking at some outrageously long lines. 

What We Loved

Wow. There is a LOT to love here. The attraction entitled ‘Pennhurst Asylum’ is housed in the old Administration Building. You walk through the actual rooms of the historic building and greet deliriously dark staff and human experiments of the mad Dr. Chakajian. (A fictional legend, in which a mad Austrian Doctor houses his human experiments in abandoned Pennhurst buildings, was created in order to be sensitive to the history of Pennhurst.)  Many of the rooms contain equipment and artifacts that were abandoned in the buildings in 1986.  Animatronics and clever special effects are employed to  distract you while actors grab at your ankles. The element of soft touching is very effective. It is quite unsettling to have your personal space invaded in a traditional walk-through style haunt. One girl even tried to stick her fingers in my ears!

The ‘Ghost Hunt’ Attraction is what we wanted to do from the moment we set foot on the Pennhurst campus. The Mayflower Building was featured on ‘Ghost Hunters‘ and ‘Ghost Adventures‘ and was found to be a hot spot for paranormal activity. It is outrageously creepy. The walls are covered in graffiti from the vandalism years. The odd messages commingle with remnants of dormitory life in a state institution like an abandoned metal walker still labeled with a patient’s name and ward number. The energy of the building is heavy with human suffering and I honestly believe I would be in tears if I had to sit in there for an hour by myself. It is that scary.  

What Could Be Better

‘The Tunnel Terror’ is another fabulously inventive attraction with gorgeous elaborate sets. The lagoon section, in particular, is amazing, but I couldn’t help but wish that I could see the walls of the historic underground tunnel system. Perhaps by accident, we caught a glimpse of the original tunnel through an open door that was propped open by a chair. The tunnel is something I could not dream up. It is real life horror complete with secret passageways. A fifth attraction walking through a portion of the original tunnel would be an incredibly scary experience.

The attractions of Pennhurst Asylum are so detailed and effective that we were surprised that they didn’t capitalize on the opportunity for a large and definitive ending for any of them. Instead of building towards a memorable last scene, all of the attractions end very abruptly. Creating a unique and memorable way to exit each attraction would be the perfect finishing touch to what is otherwise a flawless, fun, and frightening experience. 

Final Thoughts

Pennhurst Asylum is a must-see. It is a chilling and effective haunted attraction masterfully combined with the horror of human history.  

Pennhurst Asylum Runs

September 21st – November 4th

Ticket Information

  • Pennhurst Asylum: $15.00  
  • Dungeon of Lost Souls: $15.00
  • Ghost Hunt: $15.00
  • Tunnel of Terror: $15.00
  • Combo Pass (All 4 Events): $40.00  
  • VIP (very important patient) PASS: $75.00

Discounts

  •  $5 OFF All Tickets (Promo Code: ghost ) – CLICK HERE!
  • 13Haunts Coupon: $5 Off Combo Ticket (Thurs. + Sun.)  – CLICK HERE! 

Age Requirements

No age requirements are specified.

Additional Information

Then (1922)

Then (1922)

Now (Google Maps)

Now (Google Maps)

Pennhurst Haunted House