The Chambers of Horror-“Middletown Monsters”
Genre: Haunted House
Location: 1601 S. University Boulevard
Middletown, OH 45044
Runtime: 20-25 min
We went to The Chambers of Horror on their second night of operation. To our surprise it was packed. There must have been well over 100 people in line and it was getting more crowded by the minute. 2010 is a strange year for the haunt industry since it’s been the hottest summer on record for Ohio and 33 other states. You would expect smaller crowds for haunts because of the warm weather, but you would be wrong. We were really looking forward to this year’s Chambers of Horror and overall we weren’t dissatisfied.
This is City Blood’s 2010 review of The Chambers of Horror.
What’s Good About The Haunt?
The Chambers of Horror is unlike many haunts you’ll experience in Ohio. The entire haunt is made up of unique scenes and many confusing trap doors. This is a very dark haunt that will play on your fear of tight spaces, evil forces and more. The majority of the props are also homemade. This includes a falling ceiling, walls that close in on you and a homemade Hellevator. The actors are also very intense and up close and personal. The actor’s timing was off a little that night, but most of the cast was spot on.
Scenes you’ll experience include Freddy’s Boiler Room, Michael Myer’s victim’s room, a spooky graveyard, a walk through freezer and a variety of rooms that will put a chill down your spine. For $10 you can’t beat the price of admission because you are getting a lot for your money and an experience that can last over 20 minutes.
What’s Bad About The Haunt?
We visited on their second night of operation and there were obviously some technical issues. In a few rooms the lighting didn’t seem to be working properly. This was the case with the Nightmare on Elm Street scene and other areas. In previous years there was always a fake boiler room door with moving fire, but this year the entire room was pitch black and in dyer need of some lights. A less noteable area of The Chambers of Horror includes a man hanging from a rope. I’m not really certain if this area off to the side was supposed to be lit, but it should have been. I’m also figuring that the prop should be animated, but I could always be wrong. With a little improvement, this small area could be pretty startling if timed lighting and animation is incorporated.
Unfortunately because of the large crowd some of the actors were a little off that night in a few scenes. This was very apparent in the Hellevator room. When we approached the Hellevator, the actor was no place to be found and we had no clue what to do next. When he finally showed up and opened the door, he was visibly embarrassed, but quickly got into character. Actors coming out of character happened more than once, but condsidering it was the second night of operation, everything went pretty well.
The Chambers of Horror relies on classic horror movies such as A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and slasher favorites we all love. It’s like stepping inside well known horror movies and for the most part it works. The only problem I have with these scenes is that they aren’t as realistic as they could be. Robert Englund who plays Freddy Krueger is only 5”9, yet the actor portraying him at The Chambers of Horror is about six foot. The horror movie scenes aren’t as genuine as they could be, but hopefully that improves throughout the season.
While I enjoy the horror movie scenes they aren’t essential. The elimination of the A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Friday The 13th and Texas Chainsaw Massacre would help The chambers of Horror greatly. A haunt doesn’t have to rely on horror movies, but instead create its own story line and have the rooms revolve around it. This little change would make The Chambers of Horror really stand out.
There’s a variety of food, drinks and more at The Chambers of Horror. When you exit the haunt please make sure and buy something at their new concession stand. In previous years the concession area was wide open, but now it’s more intimate and looks like something you would see at a local movie theater. Concessions include popcorn, hot dogs, pop, Halloween masks, T-Shirts and more. You can’t beat the prices either. For 50 cents you can buy a can of pop, for a dollar you can buy a tasty hotdog and for only ten dollars you can have yourself a one of a kind Chambers of Horror T-Shirt. There’s something for just about everyone at The Chambers of Horror concession stand.
The Chambers of Horror only charges its customers $10 which is a great deal for a haunt that can last over 20 minutes. Bring a canned good and get $1 off admission. There are few haunts where you can have a great time for only $9.
The Chambers of Horror is a great haunt in many aspects from its great cast of characters to the way the rooms appear dark and sinister. This is an old school haunt at heart that has intense rooms without relying on high-end animatronics or detailed sets. There are areas that The Chambers of Horror needs to work on, but it’s an enjoyable haunt none the less. If you are in the Middletown area and are looking for a haunt that’s scary and unique, then The Chambers of Horrors will do just fine.
Length-9 Design-7 Props/Animatronics-7 Acting-7 Scare Effect-7
*The Chambers of Horror got its name in 1977, when a group of friends and owner Ed Short had a club in a friend’s garage. That October, they used their money to go to a local haunt. They were somewhat disappointed with the haunt and figured they could do better than that, so they did. They turned the garage into a haunted house and had about 150 people in three nights.