The ScareAtorium (Columbus, OH)
“Gumballs In Space”
By Noah Wullkotte: Jollypumpkin@aol.com
Sitting next to a CSL plasma donation center is a bone chilling haunted house. It’s called The ScareAtorium and it’s one of Ohio’s best attractions. A 1989 Ford ambulance advertising the haunt sits out front as a killer clown interacts with people. This playful character is played by Marco Dominic D’Andrea. He has razor sharp teeth, wears a bow tie, polka dot vest and holds a cane. The ScareAtorium consists of two attractions which are The Northland Asylum and Rip’s 3D Funhouse. The ScareAtorium has a very unique queue line. One side has a mural of a graveyard with an animated ghost projected onto the wall. Every year we try to find where the projector is hidden, but we failed to find it once again. The other side has a mural featuring horror movie characters and clowns.
The ScareAtorium does a great job at entertaining customers. This year there is a palm reader who is quite funny and you’re in for the surprise of you life. Make sure to pay him/her a visit. It’s free and fun. The Northland Asylum is our favorite haunt at The ScareAtorium. You’ll be greeted by a crazed nurse before entering the mental hospital. This is a wild and crazy hospital with lunatics around every corner. One even swings from a chandelier. The orderly’s brother has escaped and you better watch out. This is a hospital that looks aged and it’s falling apart. The bathroom is covered in feces and hopefully you escape from the padded room. New this year is a prison where you never know who or what is hiding.
The staff at The Northland Asylum can’t be trusted. A dentist removes the tongue from his patient and children cry out for their daddy in the children’s ward. Severed heads are in torture devices. Be careful or your head will be roasting over an open fire. Much of the haunt is themed after a hospital, but there are a variety of rooms such as a stormy graveyard, skeleton catacombs, a jungle with a killer venus flytrap and more. We were surprised to hear that the venus flytrap was homemade since it resembled something you would buy from a prop company. The killer plant was built by Harry Siebert. The Northland Asylum is more detailed than it’s ever been. It’s a more immersive as well.
After we survived The Northland Asylum we got in line for Rip’s 3D Funhouse. A clown with vampire fangs welcomed us to the 3D adventure of a lifetime. Rip’s 3D Funhouse is greatly improved. The 3D effects are more lifelike and you’ll experience the first UV Light Tunnel. It’s pretty trippy. My favorite room featured a freak show with 3 blind rats. Another room had black bars painted with glowing balls. They were like gumballs in space.
We appreciated the fact that the clowns weren’t just goofy, but actually tried to frighten us. We’ve been to numerous clown themed haunts where the actors just resort to telling funny jokes or insulting us. This isn’t the case with Rip’s 3D Funhouse. Some characters are well hidden as well. The clown inside the moving cage caught us off guard even though this is an effect we see every year at The ScareAtorium.
The most intense part was when we we cornered by crazy clowns at the end as we tried to exit the haunt. You might or might not have a fear of clowns, but either way you’re going to have a good time at Rip’s 3D Funhouse. The 3D effects are lifelike to the point where I thought I was going to fall off a bridge that was more or less paint on the floor. We consider The ScareAtorium one big haunt with 2 separate attractions that make up one scary experience. Total tour time is 27 minutes.
The ScareAtorium doesn’t just have haunts. They have 4 unique escape rooms lasting 3 minutes a piece. They are Cut-Throat Cabin, RIP’s Boxcar, Lyncon Laboratory and 13 Coffin Maze. Lyncon Laboratory and 13 Coffin Maze are the newest escape rooms and they’re pretty fun. We were able to find all the vials of blood in Lyncon Laboratory, but failed at finding the baby skulls in 13 Coffin Maze. It’s $5 per Escape Room and you’ll win a prize if you’re successful.
General Admission is $20 and VIP Admission is $30. Please visit www.scareatorium.com for group pricing and timed ticket prices. Experience The ScareAtorium in complete darkness during their Lights Out Event on November 4th and 5th. You only have a glow stick to help light the way. Tickets are $20. There are various concessions available such as ScareAtorium apparel, makeup, soda and more. One of the most popular concessions is from the company Stuff A Zombie. It’s essentially a zombie version of Build A Bear where you can stuff your own zombie teddy bear.
The ScareAtorium has made lots of changes that return customers will appreciate and they’re truly one of the best haunts in Ohio. You owe it to yourself to experience this quality attraction that is sure to entertain you in some way.
Length-9 Design-9 Props/Animatronics-8 Acting-9 Scare Effect-9
Final Stab: 8.8