The Haunted Laboratory (Akron, OH)
“Evil Experiments Gone Horribly Wrong”
By Noah Wullkotte: Jollypumpkin@aol.com
The Haunted Laboratory has been an operating haunted house since the early 1980’s. It might not be the oldest haunt in the country, but it is one of the best. The Haunted Laboratory has what is known as a decagon. A decagon is a ten sided building and The Haunted Laboratory is the only one in the United States. Back in the day, The Haunted Laboratory was used as a flight school where parts for airplanes, blimps and other aircraft were designed. Many experiments went horribly wrong and the building had a terrible reputation until it was bought and eventually turned into a haunted attraction. The Haunted Laboratory is much different from The Haunted Schoolhouse. It mostly focuses on science fiction, aliens and the unexplained.
New for 2011 is the 3D section of The Haunted Laboratory. Many of the scenes have been converted into 3D so they jump out at you when you’re wearing your 3D glasses. 3D is very popular in movies today and The Haunted Laboratory has capitalized on it. I’m not a huge fan of 3D attractions, but I appreciate what this haunt has done to make itself really stand out for 2011. The 3D effects are great, but I don’t think it adds that much to overall experience. Some hate 3D and some can’t get enough. I’m somewhere in the middle.
The Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory has improved their sound this year. Many of the rooms feature surround sound systems so you feel like you’re surrounded by monsters and crazy creatures. Some of the music is even played through the old pa system. It makes the music sound old as if it was from another time period. The Haunted Laboratory has some amazing rooms. The two most unique are the Tesla Coil Cage and of course the vertical wind tunnel catwalk. You’ll never experience a Tesla Coil like you will at The Haunted Laboratory. This thing is massive and very loud. At a million and a half volts, this has got to be one of the most powerful in the United States and the largest I’ve seen at any haunted attraction. When the weather is just right, the second Tesla Coil can be seen in action on top of The Haunted Laboratory’s roof. Because of the sound ordinance, it has to be shut off at 10:30 so it doesn’t disturb the neighborhood. This thing is loud and looks like it belongs in the Universal Classic “Frankenstein”.
The Haunted Laboratory’s vertical wind tunnel is also something that you won’t see anywhere else. You’ll walk in a dark room when suddenly you look down and below you is a floor that has been torn apart at its axis. The only thing you can see is the top a spinning vortex tunnel and a laser light that is shot up at you. But, The Haunted Laboratory doesn’t just have 2 impressive scenes. There are plenty as you walk on its 4 floors. You’ll see alien pods hanging from the ceiling, an infected human who drops a stack of barrels on you, evil experiments and more. The Haunted Laboratory has one of the better vortex tunnels I’ve come across. It’s dark and the black lights aren’t visible. It will make you feel like you’re entering another galaxy. Outer Limits music plays as you walk through the portal.
Once you are done with The Haunted Laboratory, you’ll enter the outside area of the haunt. This area features a walkthourgh school bus, pieces of wood, old signs, various props and more. I found the old fashioned chocolate sign fascinating. The Haunted Laboratory has a large storage warehouse that is multi level .It holds old tvs, computers, props and scrap. They’ll bring stuff out that they want weathed so it looks aged once its placed in a scene. The outside area of the haunt could be improved and feature more actors. More could also be done with the school bus like adding vibration to the floor, having lights flash on and off and more. There’s not much that really stands out about The school bus, but it could if the right changes were made.
The Haunted Laboratory is pretty close to perfect with the exception of the outside area. Much more could be done with the outside. The new 3D scenes are interesting, but seem a little out of place. With that being said, The Haunted Schoolhouse is still one of the best attractions around. It’s only $15 for either The Haunted Schoolhouse of The Haunted Laboratory. You can purchase a combo ticket for $28 and will get to experience both incredible haunts. On Thursday, Sunday and Monday both haunts are only $13 a piece or you can purchase a combo ticket for $24. Be sure to visit http://www.hshlab.com for a $1 off coupon for each haunt or a combo ticket.
Length-9 Design-9 Props/Animatronics-9 Acting-9 Scare Effect-9
Final Stab: 9.0