The Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory (Akron, OH)
“The Twisted Tales of Ms. Avah”
By Noah Wullkotte: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory are under new ownership. There are many exciting changes that have been made that will have long time fans grinning from ear to ear. The first haunt we toured that night was The Haunted Schoolhouse. It was once Thomastown Elementary School which was built 1921 and closed in 1973. It’s been a haunt since 1974. Blazing Saddles was the highest grossing film that year and gas cost an average of 55 cents. Yes, I said 55 cents.
The Haunted Schoolhouse is a very special haunt. Many of the props and special effects are handmade and the attention to detail is bar none. Classic scenes that have made The Haunted Schoolhouse well known throughout the years are still here, but the overall experience is more immersive. You’ll walk through Dracula’s Castle which is one of the most jaw dropping scenes in any haunt. It’s a work of art. Watch out for some blood thirsty fiends who want to suck your blood.
The cemetery has real dirt and some frightening creatures that are sure to haunt your nightmares. This is a haunt with some scenes you’re not going to see anywhere else. Enter a country cabin that shifts under your weight. It’s a wild and crazy ride. The pumpkin patch is back and new this year is a giant jack-o-lantern that attacks customers. Watch out or you might become this killer pumpkin’s tasty treat. The Haunted Schoolhouse is known for its humerus bathroom scene. Enter a bathroom with a man peeing in the sink and a skeleton sitting on a toilet. This crazy skeleton likes to interact with people and crack jokes as you walk by.
You’ll explore different areas of the schoolhouse including the dungeon. A man eating worm rises from the murky water and munches on his latest victim. This impressive prop reminds me of the sand worm from the movie Beetlejuice, but on a much smaller scale. The Haunted Schoolhouse is a beautiful haunt that features extreme detail. The storm attic is realistic and very creepy. A hearse is sticking out of a garage and the classroom is home to an evil headmaster. White lights slowly flash as you walk through the dark carnival full of killer clowns.
This is an elaborate haunt that’s innovative and has some classic rooms such as Frankenstein’s laboratory and a witch’s cabin. Many of the rooms are themed after an old schoolhouse. The hallway is decorated with trophies and you better not be late for class. There are many high tech props. One of my favorites was the restless spirit that tries to escape from his coffin. Of course I can’t forget about the menacing giant that The Haunted Schoolhouse is known for. A nasty booger hangs from his nose.
The Haunted Schoolhouse has stood the test of time and has been overhauled for the 2017 season. Many changes have been made, but these are good changes that make much of the haunt feel like a new experience. The actors use more dialogue compared to previous years and it’s an action packed experience. Survive 3 floors of scary goodness and meet the twisted librarian Ms. Avah. Total tour time is 15 minutes, but could be longer depending on how fast you walk. Next up is The Haunted Laboratory.
The Haunted Laboratory was the Daniel Guggenheim Airship Institute from 1929 to 1949. The haunt has been around since 1981. That year MTV debuted on Saturday, August 1st and changed music forever. It was also the year that Ric Flair defeated Dusty Rhodes to win his first World Heavyweight title. Massive changes have been made to this year’s Haunted Laboratory. The 3D section has been completely removed which is great. There are so many 3D Haunts across the country and the 3D section didn’t really stand out anymore.
The Haunted Laboratory does an excellent job with its theming. One of my favorite scenes involves a laboratory with killer monkeys. You’ll first enter a room where the monkeys are in cages and the second room has them escaping and killing everyone in sight. Crazy experiments are conducted at The Haunted Laboratory. Enter a massive bird cage with half human, half bird like creatures. This scene would have been more effective if it included sound effects of birds and an actor or two dressed as bird creatures.
The storage room is full of aliens that have escaped from their wooden crates. The Haunted Laboratory has some impressive props. One area features alien spiders and a massive bug that will attack you from the side. This haunt has the largest Tesla Coil around. It’s quite electrifying and very loud. It would make Nikola Tesla very proud. The Tesla coil outside on the Laboratory’s roof runs when the weather is just right. The Haunted Laboratory houses a vertical wind tunnel. Look down and you’ll be able to see the top of the vortex tunnel as it spins around and around. This is a fantastic haunt with great scenes such as a library where a man has taken his life or was it murder?
The Haunted Laboratory has kept some of its classic scenes, but there are many new additions. The surgical auditorium has you watching a poor soul being operated on. The new decontamination area is pretty cool. The monster grabbing a hold of a scientist got my attention. The Haunted Laboratory does a fantastic job with its dark hallways. The final scene is pretty frightening especially if you have a fear of the dark or what is sometimes referred to as Nyctophobia. Total tour time is 18 minutes and you will explore 4 floors of fear. Doctor Guttenheim is waiting.
General admission is $25 for Thursdays & Sundays. Tickets are $30 Friday and Saturday. Add $10 per ticket to skip the line with a Fast Pass. The new Die Hard Pass is $60 and allows you to go through both attractions as many time as you want in a night. A Season Pass is available for $130 and reserved parking is $20. Regular parking is free. On opening night tickets were just $1.50 for the first 250. This was the price for The Haunted Schoolhouse in 1974. Get $10 off admission on College ID Night which is on October 6, 7, 8, 19, 26 and 31st. Glow Stick Night takes place on Saturday, November 4th from 8-11 pm and tickets are just $15. Upgrade to a Fastpass for ten more dollars. Explore The Haunted Schoolhouse (Laboratory not included) in complete darkness with your only source of light being a glow stick. Please visit www.hauntedschoolhouse.com for information on group rates and more.
There are plenty of concessions available in the new Haunted Midway. There’s a concessions barn with T-Shirts, mugs, pens and more. The Haunted School House Rocks T-Shirt was my favorite. There’s a variety of food, drinks and carnival games available as well. If you love deep fried food then you definitely won’t walk away hungry. Escape Rooms are coming in the near future. It’s called Escape Akron.
The Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory are back with new scenes and special effects. You owe it to yourself to check out both of these legendary attractions that have made a huge impact on the haunt industry. Experience 7 floors of pure terror and have spooky good time.
Final Stab For Each Haunt:
The Haunted Schoolhouse: Length-8 Design-9 Props/Animatronics-10 Acting-9 Scare Effect-9 Final Stab: 9.0
The Haunted Laboratory: Length-8 Design-9 Props/Animatronics-10 Acting-9 Scare Effect-9 Final Stab: 9.0