The Fear Experience( Parma, OH)
“The Area’s Only Full Contact Haunt”
By Noah Wullkotte: Jollypumpkin@aol.com
An abandoned Value City can be a creepy place at night. The sign has been covered up with a banner that says The Fear Experience. The parking lot is full of cars, but there’s not a soul in sight. You enter the dark building and the aisles are empty. There are signs posted that advertise different ticket prices for a haunted house known as The Fear Experience. Purchase a ticket and enter a new reality where touching is just the beginning.
The Fear Experience was created by cousins Nick Francis and Max Simon. It started out years ago as a home haunt called Hells Gate and would eventually expand into a professional quality event. Last year it was voted The Best Haunted House in Cleveland by Metromix Cleveland. Before you enter the queue line, you’ll notice a stage with music playing. Fire performers and different bands play throughout the season. Visit www.thefearexperience.com for more information.
The Fear Experience is made up of 3 attractions. They’re House of Fear, Outbreak and Chaos: Escape Total Darkness. Instead of describing each attraction separately we are going to count them all as one haunt comprised of 3 different sections.
The Fear Experience is the only full contact haunt in the area. I was tickled by a female clown in the funhouse, but that was just the beginning. I was enjoying the haunt when suddenly an actor grabbed a hold of me and pulled me into a dark room. I was separated from my group and a few minutes later I was allowed to reenter the haunt. This was a very intense experience and one of the first times anything like this has ever happened to me inside a haunt.
The Fear Experience is a very dark haunt with lighting that slowly dims. The actors are intense, but most lack meaningful dialogue. There are a few exceptions though. The nurse at the beginning of Outbreak was very good.
“Are you checking in today?”, she asks. Make a right to the hallway and the doctor will see you today. All visitors become patients in this facility.
At The Fear Experience, you’ll see rooms like a clown infested funhouse with large boxes, flashing lights and bright colors. You’ll witness a mad man cutting into a poor, helpless woman with his electric saw. Mental patients wander through the stained and deteriorating halls of Centralia Mental Facility and come at you from every direction possible. Lunatics hide behind caged windows and are about to break lose. Avoid the bloody body bags or you might be measured for one. Enter a claustrophobia tunnel where you’ll feel like you’ve been reborn.
The haunts are close to 5 minutes long and your total experience is 15 minutes. Chaos: Escape Total Darkness is a dark maze that’s pretty straight forward. There are a few air cannons and there are electric firecrackers that pop. Chaos doesn’t have many actors at all. I noticed an actor wearing a hair net and sucking on a bloody hand towards the end of the haunt, but besides that I can’t recall seeing other characters. There aren’t any real twists, turns or dead ends. Outbreak and House of Fear have good set design, but Chaos leaves a lot to be desired. Hopefully next year the dark maze is improved or replaced with a new haunt that competes with the rest of the attractions at The Fear Experience.
When you exit Chaos, you’ll get the chance to experience Buried Alive, a coffin ride simulator. It costs $5 a person. There’s a table with Fear Experience Apparel and other goodies. The Fear Experience also has arcade games in its midway area. You can play House of The Dead, Sanfrancisco Rush: Alcatraz Edition and other popular games. Tickets for just the haunted houses are $16 a piece. Ultimate Fear Tickets include all 3 haunts and Zombie Paintball. Tickets are $20 a piece. Ultimate Fear Pass where you can skip the line and get admission to all of the attractions is $26 a person.
The Fear Experience is an immersive experience. The building is large and you almost feel like you’re going to get lost in the dark before you even enter a haunt. It’s also one of the few haunts that encourages its actors to be physical with customers. Its biggest shortcoming is its attraction Chaos since it’s esentially a simple dark maze, but isn’t very challenging. With that being said, The Fear Experience has a bright future and hopefully the right changes are made to elevate the score. We had a good time and we think you will too.
Length-8 Design-7 Props/Animatronics-7 Acting-7 Scare Effect-7
Final Stab: 7.2