Columbus’s newest haunted attraction is The Scare-A-Torium. What was once known as the Big Bear store has been changed to the Big Fear store and houses one of the best attractions Ohio’s largest city has to offer. Once you are done with Scare-A-Torium you will exit out of Costume Find, a large Halloween Superstore that offers costumes, props, novelty toys and more.
Length-9: The Big Bear store is huge and surprisingly much of the space is taken up because of the haunt. I was surprised out how long Scare-A-Torium lasted and when I thought it was over there was an entire area left which put a big smile on my face. Your tour through this haunt will last between 15-20 minutes.
Design-8: Most shopping center haunts I’ve experience in the past look like they’ve been assembled at the last second, but this is far from the case. Before you even enter the haunt you’ll see a large detailed facade that resembles a medieval castle of sorts. And once you enter Scare-A-Torium’s doors there are a variety of rooms full of different themes. You’ll experience a nuclear waste land full of colorful barrels, a small maze with columns that have light up bones, a funeral parlor, a graveyard full of caskets, a hallway with large bats, a large clown playroom and much more. While it would be better if this haunt followed a specific theme, it doesn’t effect the experience that much since there is sure to be a scene that you will enjoy.
Props/Animatronics-8: The weakest area of Scare-A-Torium is its decor. There are some great decorations like large caskets, moving bats, a creepy looking wooden carriage and a detailed looking facade before you enter. But there’s nothing that can compete with near by haunts such as Dead Acres or The Terror Fest in terms of animatronics or special effects.
Acting-9: Before there was The Scar-A-Torium owners Neena and Kelly Collins were part of Terror Park at Cooper Stadium. This popular haunt recruited some of its actors from the acting troupe Feature Creatures of Central Ohio. These actors wore realistic makeup and prosthetics while wearing elaborate costumes. It’s no different at Scare-A-Torium since the actors are very convincing as the characters they portray. There aren’t any specific actors that stand out since the majority are very good and will only get better as the season progresses. An advantage Scare-A-Torium has over some haunts in the area is that they are able to use the supply of costumes available at Costume Find. You won’t see any of the actors in cheap homemade costumes because they’re all impressive and professional quality.
Scare Effect-8: This really is a spooky little haunt. It’s not going have you running out of the building in terror, but it has its creepy moments. The most unnerving areas of the haunt are of course the clown scenes, but most of Scare-A-Torium has a macabre feel to it.
Customer Service: You will not meet a nicer group of haunt owners than kelly and Neena Collins. Once you begin to talk with them you’ll know that they truly love the haunt industry. You can see the excitement in their eyes and can tell they’ve been working their butts off putting this all together. Parking is free unlike many haunts in Columbus and there are concessions available inside. Plus what other haunt can you walk through a costume store after you exit. You’ll even be asked by one of the staff members how you enjoyed your experience and what you would like changed. The customer service at Scare-A-Torium is excellent.
Fright Value: $15 is about what most haunts in Columbus charge for admission. This is a good haunt, but the ticket price is a little steep for its first year. Make sure and take advantage of the different discounts available at www.scare-a-torium.com.
Final Stab-8.4: Wow, considering this is a first year haunt it’s pretty impressive. Some areas need to be worked on, but when you have dedicated people who love the industry this haunt is bound to get better with age. Check out The Scare-A-Torium because it’s a good haunt with some unique elements to it that make it stand out from the crowd.