PsychoMania, Theater of Terror (Clarksville, IN)
“Buttery Heart Clogging Popcorn and Loopy Lunatics”
By Noah Wullkotte: Jollypumpkin@aol.com
PsychoMania, Theater of Terror is a 12,000 square foot haunt full of crazy lunatics and off the wall characters. On Sunday, May 1st people got a taste of what PsychoMania had to offer during Hauntcon in Louisville, KY. People walked away with a smile on their face because they had experienced a great haunt with an incredible setting. PsychoMania is one of those haunts that catches your eyes immediately. This Indiana haunt takes place inside an old theater in the Green Tree Mall parking lot. The theater is wonderfully lit with animated lights, a tall grim reaper placed near the entrance and more. Signs placed on the building say “Extreme Haunted House” and there are some elements of this haunt that make this statement true.
We made it to PsychoMania close to 12:30 PM on September 30th and we noticed several people still entering the building. Just because it might be late at night, doesn’t mean people aren’t willing to visit haunts. If you build a great haunt, people will come far and wide.
PsychoMania has a variety of entertainment available at the facility before the haunt even begins. There’s a fortune teller station, an extensive concessions bar and of course The Last Ride. The Last Ride is a unique attraction that simulates being inside the back of a hearse while being transported to the local cemetery. When you’re dropped off, you’ll have the privilege of being buried six feet under while you’re still a living breathing person. You’ll experience the coffin shaking, jumping up and down, realistic scents and sounds of being transported to the cemetery and buried alive. The attraction is only $5 and is great before or after PsychoMania.
We waited in line a few minutes before it was our turn to enter. In the meantime we were entertained a little by PsychoMania’s usher who talked with us a little before it was our turn to enter the haunt. After a few minutes of waiting, it was our turn to enter. PsychoMania is the only haunt I know of that includes a sit down movie before the actual haunt begins. We got our seats and sat down to watch a little flick that tells the story of the haunted theater. The theater was built in 1968 over the remains of a deserted cemetery and was abandoned after a single night.
Now, the cemetery and the former occupants have returned. The auditorium seats less than 30 people and there’s little in this room except for a ghoul who plays at his Phantom of The Opera style organ. The movie is professionally produced, but there were a few technical difficulties. The movie wouldn’t play at first and there were quite a few times where it skipped. But, all of the glitches were eventually worked out and we got to watch the movie error free.
After watching the short film for a few minutes, you’ll proceed to enter the over the top queue line that resembles an elaborate Victorian mansion surrounded by a graveyard. PsychoMania has spent tons of time tweaking sound and lighting effects to make the queue line as realistic as possible. William Mchugh is very talented when it comes to video and sound. You’ll feel like you’re in the middle of a violent thunder storm while lost in a graveyard inhabited by the undead. We waited less that a minute in the queue line before entering the mansion.
This isn’t your run of the mill home. It’s haunted and evil spirits are about to play a little game with you. The first portion of PsychoMania resembles a haunted mansion with a dining room scene, haunted furniture, an unlucky bride and groom and various ghouls on the prowl. As I’ve said before, I wish PsychoMania would follow an exact theme because the haunt is all over the place when it comes to its themed rooms. The storyline of the haunt’s mascot Amos Blackman isn’t incorporated very well either. You would expect the undead to occupy many rooms inside PsychoMania because of the storyline, but this isn’t the case. You’ll enter rooms full of lunatics, redneck hillbillies, demonic scarecrows, playful clowns and a handful of actors that do a great job in portraying their characters.
PsychoMania isn’t a big budget haunt, but you would never know that based on the great set design in many of the various rooms. Poppy’s Carnival of Fun resembles a nightmarish carnival with games of chance and some haunting characters. The scenes occupied by crazed hillbillies might seem a little out of place, but are very entertaining. Many horror movies have comic relief, so why shouldn’t haunts? You’ll also meet a young woman who has multiple babies hanging from her. She would give Octomom a run for her money. I especially enjoyed the woman who feared having another alien encounter where she would be probed. Another hillbilly rubs his fat belly as you walk past the scene. PsychoMania is full of different scenes like Ward 9 with deranged asylum patients and PsychoMania even has a cornfield with scarecrows that magically come alive.
The main problem I have with PsychoMania is that there isn’t much focus in the way of rooms. It just doesn’t make sense to start off in a mansion and then enter rooms like a carnival, forest etc. PsychoMania just needs to focus more on its back story to really captivate its customers. There’s no doubt that this is a very fun haunt, but it needs to have more direction when it comes to its different rooms. Admission to PsychoMania is $20 and The Last Ride is $5 per person. Download a $5 off coupon at http://www.theaterofterror.com.
Length-9 Design-8 Props/Animatronics-8 Acting-8 Scare Effect-8
Final Stab: 8.2