The Chambers of Horror (Middletown, OH)
“Gimp Chambers Is Waiting”
By Noah Wullkotte: Jollypumpkin@aol.com
The Chambers of Horror in Middletown, OH has been scaring customers for well over 10 years and shows no signs of slowing down. City Blood has been touring this classic haunt since 2001 and has been reviewing them since 2003. Each year, something unique and eye catching is added to the haunt and 2012 is no different.
It was a chilly September night and we were out and about in Dayton, OH reviewing haunts. We would be finishing our night of terror with a trip to Middletown, OH for The Chambers of Horror. The Chambers of Horror is easy to locate and you’ll be able to see their large flood light from a mile away. Most nights, an actor is set up near the haunt with an orange sign pointing you in the right direction. It took us 40 minutes to make it from Dayton, OH and the time was 11:15 p.m, when we finally arrived. Luckily, The Chambers of Horror is open till 1 a.m. on Saturdays. We had plenty of time to relax and enjoy the haunt.
The parking lot was packed with cars as far as the eye can see and the line was rather large. It’s great to see people enjoying haunts early in the season since they are a safe and affordable form of entertainment. Before entering The Chambers of Horror, we had to experience The Last Ride. The Last Ride is a coffin ride simulator that The Chambers of Horror acquired last year. It’s unlike anything you’ve experienced before. Beetle Juice guards an old coffin that sits near the new Chambers of Horror hearse.
Are you brave enough to get buried alive? For only $5 a person, you can lie down in your very own coffin and kiss your sweet ass goodbye. But I warn you that this is one hell of a bumpy ride. The Last Ride features dynamic audio, realistic scents and violent movement. If you’re claustrophobic in any way then this might be the attraction for you. It may help you face your fears head on and never look back. A video monitor sits on the table next to the coffin, so your friends and family can laugh at your misery. This is a one of a kind experience that shouldn’t be missed out on.
After we survived The Last Ride, we were ready for The Chambers of Horror. The Chambers of Horror starts in a small room where Saw’s Jigsaw is seen on a tv monitor as he warns you of what’s to come and informs you on the rules of the haunt. After the door slams open, you’ll enter the building and stand near a toasty fireplace. A spooky chandelier shakes before a creepy hunchback by the name of Gimp Chambers emerges from the darkness. The hunchback is played by none other than the owner’s brother. He’s a friendly hunchback who’s great with his mannerisms and has an East European accent. He reminded me of Igor from the 1974 classic “Young Frankenstein”.
Gimp steps aside as a door mysteriously opens and you enter the Pet Sematary. Owner Ed Short was relentless in making this scene as authentic as possible. He would constantly use pictures from the Stephen King movie and compare them to The Chambers’ version. If you are a fan of the movie, you’ll have a grin from ear to ear when you get a look at this scene. It’s pretty creepy.
The Chambers of Horror has s great balance of original scenes and horror movie reenactments, but this year there’s less emphasis on horror movies and more focus on originality. Everyone’s favorite scenes return like the over 100 doors and various hidden passages you’ll come across. There’s not a single haunt in Ohio that uses trap doors as effectively as The Chambers of Horror. You might think you found the correct door that leads to the next room, but you would be dead wrong. The freaks and evil dwellers at The Chambers of Horror are in control of your destiny and will let you go when they are willing and ready. Pick a door and hopefully you’ll be able to escape.
The Chambers of Horror doesn’t just rely on trap doors. It has a plethora of creative scenes and effects that have become staples at the haunt over the years. They take an old school approach to modern scares and it pays off big time. One of the first haunts where I experienced a falling ceiling was at The Chambers of Horror. Others may have their own version, but the effect isn’t as dramatic as it is at this haunt. The sounds of the ceiling collapsing will have your heart racing and you’ll be screaming in sheer terror.
Another memorable effect at The Chambers of Horror is the moving wall that you’ll swear is going to crush the living daylights out of you as it gets closer and closer. The Chambers of Horror has over 30 rooms and they include an expanded clown area, a drop portrait hallway, Freddy’s Boiler Room, a dark dungeon, The Hellevator and everything you’ve come to love about The Chambers of Horror. The newest addition to this year’s haunt is the “Toxic Dump”. It features a moving fan, toxic waste, various decor and a beautiful radioactive glow that lights up the scene.
The Chambers of Horror has improved their sound for the 2012 season. The Hellevator is more intense than ever with sounds of cables snapping and the cab crashing. Other rooms have been improved as well. Freddy’s Boiler Room has been redesigned and now features CGI flames that mimic real fire.
The actors are intense at The Chambers of Horror and are in control of your destiny. The majority wear masks, but more focus has been put on makeup this year. Michael Myers no longer has his own scene, but can be found scaring people on the outside of the haunt. Some of the actors could benefit from a script since the dialogue seems to suffer in quite a few rooms.
When it comes down to it, The Chambers of Horror is a quality attraction that’s made big improvements for the 2012 season. Your tour time is 20 minutes or longer depending on how long you’re trapped in some of the rooms. Tickets have increased from $10-12, but this is competitive with other haunts. VIP admission is $17 and is well worth it on busy nights. Bring a nonperishable canned good and get $1 off admission on Fridays. Please don’t forget to check out the incredible concessions area at The Chambers of Horror. It’s one of the largest in Ohio with items you won’t see at many places. There are many food and drink items on the dollar menu and you can even pick up a Halloween mask or an official Chambers of Horror T-Shirt. As you exit, be sure to take a look at The Chambers’ large Halloween village. A lot of work has gone into it to make it as spooktacular as possible.
Some things change in life, but one thing stays true. The Chambers of Horror is a one of a kind haunt that Ohio should be proud of and you should definitely visit.
Length-9 Design-8 Props/Animatronics-8 Acting-8 Scare Effect-9
Final Stab: 8.4