Fright Manor (Indianapolis, IN)
“Mustard Vs Ketchup”
By Noah Wullkotte: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fright Manor was founded in 1982 and started as The Haunted Gym. This was a year before I was born and back in the 1980s, haunted attractions were still a relatively new form of entertainment. Back then you didn’t have hundreds of prop companies displaying their goods at Transworld and countless other conventions across the country. The internet wouldn’t see its popularity rise until the mid 1990’s and without the internet, the haunt industry might not exist in the same form it does today. It was a much simpler time and you had to be very creative because you were limited in what you could buy at stores. Haunts of the 1980’s were much different than the haunts of the 21st century. Haunts back then wouldn’t focus on high tech animatronics and cutting edge technology until the turn of the the 21st century. The days of haunts with blood splattered walls and cheap black plastic were behind us.
Fright Manor has had a few locations throughout the years. They’ve been inside a gym, South Port Little League and more. Their current location at 2909 South Meridian Street has been a welcomed change. This classic Indiana haunt has only been at this location for 3 years, but has improved ever since. It was very cold the night when we arrived at Fright Manor, but it was perfect weather for the Halloween season. When we first arrived, I noticed two grown adults dressed up in costumes near the concession area selling hot dogs and drinks. One was dressed as Ketchup and the other was dressed as mustard. This is a battle that has carried on throughout the ages, but is a different article of its own.
Fright Manor includes two haunts which are The Adandoment and Psychomanthium. While I would like to focus on both haunts individually, I’m not. I consider Fright Manor a 20-25 minute haunt that includes 2 different sections that form one large attraction. Throughout Fright Manor you’ll experience scenes of horror and torment. This includes a walk through swamp, a vibrating bridge, a haunted living room with a wino, graveyard with real gravel, crawl through hearse, a live exorcism, psycho circus, a haunted forest and more. Every scene you could imagine is at Fright Manor from classic horror movies to cutting edge scares.
Fright Manor has some good scenes, but it has even better animatronics. This includes multiple claustrophobia tunnels, a junkyard dark, a thrashing chained up prisoner, animated zombies and lots more. The only problem I have with these animated scares is that quite a few aren’t lit properly. I can see some people walking past a few of these props that costs thousands of dollars and that would be a shame. Some scenes also lack audio or include music that’s very low. There were quite a few times where I entered a room and the only thing I heard was the loud sound of air compressors from the various animatronics that were being activated.
Fright Manor could be a more compelling haunt if it focused on a storyline that connected each room. I enjoyed many of the scenes, but I didn’t feel emotionally involved. Adding a storyline to the haunt and having the actors follow a script would enhance the haunt greatly and create a more realistic experience. But even without a specific theme and storyline, Fright Manor is a very entertaining haunt. There are a very few moments where I got bored or was walking in a pitch black room where nothing was happening. This haunt is appropriate for most ages, but has many moments where you’ll jump out of your skin.
For $20 you get 20-25 minutes of terror. You’ll encounter some great characters like Wolfie who is one of Fright Manor’s longest working actors. Most people will enjoy Fright Manor because it has something for everyone from high tech scares to in your face actors. It’s one of Indiana’s longest running haunts for a reason. It’s fun, frightening and a haunt you shouldn’t miss out on. Make sure to visit Fright Manor on October 13th-15th to meet Linda Blair, star of The Exorcist.
On Saturday, October 29th Fright Manor will have a wedding at its haunt. Kim and Tom will exchange nuptials in Fright Manor’s graveyard. Hopefully marriage doesn’t kill them. Don’t forget to get a valuable coupon at www.frightmanor.com and may God have mercy your soul as you try to survive Fright Manor.
Length-9 Design-7 Props/Animatronics-9 Acting-8 Scare Effect-8
Final Stab: 8.2