The Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory (Akron, OH)
“An Adventure For The Ages”
By Noah Wullkotte: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory have lived through the ages. The Haunted Schoolhouse is 39 years old and The Haunted Laboratory is 32. Both haunts have been scaring customers for decades.
Walk the hallways of a forgotten schoolhouse and be prepared for the 2012 Haunted Schoolhouse. The Haunted Schoolhouse is a unique attraction where nearly everything is built from the ground up. The props are handcrafted and thousands of hours have been spent detailing movie quality sets. Whether you’re into animatronics or innovative scenes, The Haunted Schoolhouse is sure to please.
A new addition this year is the tilting shack. You’ll enter an old country shack when suddenly the room begins to shift and tilt. There’s been an earthquake and the shack is ready to collapse. This scene was a year in the making and is very unexpected.
The Haunted Schoolhouse uses many traditional scenes like a scarecrow’s cabin. A Scarecrow has been torn to pieces and appears to be dead, until his hand starts to move. This scene reminded me of The Wizard of Oz and may have been inspired by the 1939 classic. Another incredible room is Dracula’s Castle. An old Victorian style castle is home to the notorious vampire prince. His home is beautifully lit with blue lighting and decorated with a chandelier, gargoyles, a vampire bat and everything you would see in the blood sucker’s domain. Dracula’s Castle will have you drooling.
Another realistic scene is the storm attic which was introduced a couple years ago. There’s been a violent storm and a tree has crashed through the schoolhouse’s attic. There’s no way you’re getting out of this mess. The Haunted Schoolhouse doesn’t really follow a specific theme, but this is okay since most of the rooms are highly detailed and get your attention right away. This is the case with the infamous bathroom that features one pesky skeleton who likes to comment on people who walk by. Be careful and don’t anger the janitor who is seen peeing in a sink.
The Haunted Schoolhouse is made up of 3 floors of terror. One of my favorite floors contains a dark dungeon where a nasty sewer has a hallway that never ends. The Haunted Schoolhouse has many scenes and a couple dark hallways that you’ll enter before it transitions into another room. DJ lighting has been cleverly placed in these dark hallways and creates a unique effect. It mimics fireflies moving across a dark sky.
The Haunted Schoolhouse has some great props like a monster that pops up from underneath a bed, a massive giant and even a hit and run van. The actors are good and many camouflage themselves into scenes. Some could use better dialogue instead of grunting or yelling. This is great haunt, but there are too many people put through the attraction at once. I missed some of the scares that were up ahead. Frankenstein had already scared the group ahead of me and was getting back into his hiding spot when I eventually walked past the laboratory.
There are also too many masks and not enough makeup. The flow of traffic and use of makeup are really my only two minor complains and hopefully these problems are fixed.
We survived The Haunted Schoolhouse and we were ready for The Haunted Laboratory. When there’s good weather, a Tesla Coil is used on top of the laboratory’s roof. It was drizzling that night, so there was no way it would be operating. The Haunted Laboratory has been a haunted attraction since the early 1980’s. It was once a flight school where parts for airplanes, blimps and other large aircraft were designed. It’s also the haunt that has the most spirit activity.
The first part of The Haunted Laboratory is a 3D attraction where you’ll need to put on a set of 3D Glasses to see the amazing effects. I’m still not sold on the 3D section, but it’s impressive none the less. The Haunted Laboratory has some incredible decor. Some haunts brag about their Doctor Frankenstein scene, but no other haunt in Ohio has a Tesla Coil as large as the one at The Haunted Laboratory. This nearly 2 million volt Tesla Coil is loud and frightening. The Haunted Laboratory also contains a large wind tunnel. It has to been seen to be believed. The Haunted Laboratory is one of the best haunts in Ohio and has some of the best props as well. Its vortex tunnel is darker than most and the black lights aren’t visible. The Outer Limits theme plays as the tunnel spins.
The Haunted Laboratory isn’t just known for their one of a kind props. They’re also known for their actors and scenes. One of my favorite areas of the haunt is the outside. Much of the props you’ll see are from their large warehouse. The warehouse contains old TVs, scrap metal, antiques and more. Many of the set pieces have been left outside to age. Most of the haunt is themed after a laboratory or aliens, but some scenes just seem out of place. This is the case with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre scene. It just doesn’t belong in a laboratory and would be better suited inside The Haunted Schoolhouse. The school bus could also be more intense.
The Haunted Laboratory does a better job in controlling crowds and there are fewer times where you’ll be waiting in between scenes. Each haunt is over 15 minutes long and there are very few dead spots. Tickets are $15 a piece for each attraction. Admission is $14 a piece on Sunday, Thursday and Halloween. Combo tickets are $26 on Thursday, Sunday and Halloween. On Fridays and Saturdays, combo tickets are $29. Online tickets sales are only for VIP Tickets which are $20 a piece. Please visit www.hshlab.com for more information on pricing and for various discounts.
Final Stab For Each Haunt
The Haunted Schoolhouse: Length-9 Design-9 Props/Animatronics-10 Acting-8 Scare Effect-9 Final Stab: 9.0
The Haunted Laboratory: Length-9 Design-9 Props/Animatronics-10 Acting-8 Scare Effect-9 Final Stab: 9.0