Fright Manor (Indianapolis, IN)
“Wolfie Is Hungry, Very Hungry”
By Noah Wullkotte: Jollypumpkin@aol.com
Over 10 years ago before City Blood was in existence, we decided to check out a church organized haunted house called Outer Darkness. It was an interesting experience to say the least. There were scenes of suicide, abortion, drug use and so forth. We were even forced to pray in a circle under a dimly lit tent. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?
Why am I bringing this up, you might ask. Well, when we parked our car in Fright Manor’s lot, we started to hear loud choir music playing next door. It was of course the local church who was protesting against the evil haunted house. They had their bright lights on and their loud choir music was playing full blast. They were trying to tempt people with free popcorn and prayer, but I wouldn’t fall to temptation. My Halloween spirit wouldn’t be ruined. I was going to enjoy myself at Indianapolis’ Fright Manor.
This is City Blood’s review of Fright Manor in Indianapolis, Indiana. Wolfie is hungry, very hungry.
Fright Manor has been scaring the Hoosier State for 3 decades. It started off as The Haunted Gym and ran from ’82-84 inside a Lutheran School. It didn’t have many props, but it featured a creepy basement and some homemade scenes and effects. One scene had Dracula swinging from a rope and another scene was a homemade swamp that was rated the scariest room in Indianapolis by a local DJ.
Fright Manor moved locations in 1985 because a Lutheran mother complained saying the people who work at the haunted house were devil woshippers which wasn’t the case. Over the years Fright Manor has changed locations, but it no longer has cheap effects and scenes. It’s a haunt that’s improved a lot over the years and has made some big improvements since last season. The outside is decorated with a painting of a vampire that resembles owner Tom Angrick. A Halloween soundtrack saturated the outside speakers. Elvira’s song “Haunted House” played as people stood in line to purchase tickets. Tickets are $20 a piece and it includes admission to The Abandonment, Psychomanthium and the brand new Zombie Alley.
We got our tickets and waited in line. A friendly older woman took our tickets as she stood next to a cop who was also her husband. They’ve been married for 35 years and their relationship seemed stronger than ever. Fright Manor begins as you crawl through a sewer drain that leads to a dark nuclear wasteland that’s inhabited by Freddy Krueger. Lets play skin the cat.
Fright Manor has many horror movie and serial killer inspired scenes. Enter the John Wayne Gacy Funhouse where Joliet, Illinois’ favorite psychopath entertains the children with his Pogo the Clown character. You’ll be dying of laughter if John doesn’t kill you first. You’ll meet some very frightening killers at Fright Manor. Jeffery Dahmer even makes an appearance.
You’ll meet Jason Voorhees at Camp Crystal Lake and you’ll see him once again in a dark room with glow in the dark Jason masks. I dare you to figure out which actor is hiding behind one of the masks. Satan even makes an appearance at Fright Manor inside an old cabin where a possessed girl wants you to be her friend. An apparition of Satan watches as the possessed girl attempts to grab you. Satan is no match for Michael Myers who isn’t nicknamed “The Shape” for nothing. He appears out of thin air and can be seen multiple times throughout Fright Manor. The Boogey Man is real and he’s going to get you.
Fright Manor doesn’t have a storyline or a specific theme, but this doesn’t seem to matter that much since there are so many different rooms that most people will enjoy. Fright Manor is pretty creative also. You’ll walk through a dark swamp where you’ll feel like your drowning in quick sand. Fright Manor has its own Werewolf forest and it’s inhabited by one of its icon characters. It’s none other than Wolfie, Fright Manor’s ravenous werewolf. He’s not your typical werewolf since his face glows in the dark and his howl is electronic.
Fright Manor has added a lot of detail to rooms this year and there are very few areas where it’s just black walls. Many rooms are full of impressive decor. Fright Manor has many high tech animatronics like a skeleton that shakes his cage in the dark prison, a demon dog, a vibrating catwalk, an overhead claustrophobia tunnel, animated ghouls and more. A few of the effects weren’t that impressive though. The Satan apparition uses the classic Pepper’s Ghost Effect, but it’s poorly done. You can see the TV screen that reflects off the glass which kind of ruins the realism of the effect.
The acting could improve a little. We entered one room where an actor wasn’t in his right spot and was unprepared for us. The actors portraying Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees could be more intense. The actor playing Jason was decent, but he didn’t interact with us at all. Michael Myers did very little except for staring at us. He would appear and reappear in different areas of the haunt, but wasn’t as intimidating as he could be. He is still creepy though and his mask and jump suit are pretty spot on.
It can also be a little confusing where to go sometimes. This is just a minor annoyance and didn’t really affect our experience. After you are finished with Fright Manor, you’ll get in line for Zombie Alley. You’ll be given a vest and gun so you can defend yourself against the zombie invasion. A city has been destroyed and the living dead have taken over. Use your high powered rifle to destroy these mindless brain eaters. Each time you shoot a zombie, the barrel of the gun lights up and makes a loud pop. Zombie Alley is a very interactive experience and the best zombie hunting attraction I’ve seen this year.
It’s quite obvious that Fright Manor has made some big improvements this year and has taken steps to create a place that offers a lot of entertainment without having you go bankrupt. Fright Manor is a 24 minute tour and Zombie Alley is around 5 minutes long. Single Admission is $20 per victim. Click here for a $2 off coupon. VIP Admission is $30. Police, Firefighters and Military with ID get discounted admission for $15.00, and FFA Admission (with ID) is $10.00. There are concessions available outside of the haunt and proceeds benefit charity. Prices are very reasonable. I got a small bowl of chili for $2 and a hotdog for $1.
Fright Manor has really stepped up their game this year and has added more detail and enhanced many scenes by adding lots of new props. We were impressed with the changes and we’re glad we made the trip out to Indianapolis. Fright Manor is one of our favorite haunts in Indiana and has really stood the test of time.
Length-9 Design-8 Props/Animatronics-9 Acting-8 Scare Effect-8
Final Stab: 8.4