An evil lives within the old Cambridge Inn building, but don’t let the unforeseen force out. Of course I’m talking about The Chambers of Horror. The classic haunt has been scaring the people of Ohio for years with its old school approach combined with modern techniques that many high tech haunts utilize. Over the years The Chambers of Horror has added few changes here and there, but 2009 will always be known as its year of change with its biggest improvements yet. Let the horror begin!
Length-9: With the addition of new scenes and passageways The Chambers of Horror is longer than it’s ever been. You can easily spend upwards of 20-25 minutes trying to make your way out of the madness.
Design-9: The Chambers of Horror contains some of the best-hidden doors and passageways we’ve come across in a haunt. You’ll be lucky to make it out alive as you search for the correct way out of a room. It’s like a game of Deal or No Deal with doors, but your prize is a monster lurking on the other side waiting to frighten you.
Not only have new hidden doors been implemented, new scenes and rooms have been thrown into the mix. But I won’t give away some of the surprises. Classic rooms include a brand new hanging body bag room, a more detailed graveyard, Freddy’s Boiler Room, a walk in freezer and so much more. If this is the first year you are visiting The Chambers of Horror, you will surely be impressed by the variety of scenes and rooms you’ll encounter. If you are a returning customer you’ll have a grin from ear to ear because of all the new spine tingling additions that have been made for 2009.
Props/Animatronics-8: There are many haunts that simply rely on high-end animatronics, but this isn’t the case with The Chambers of Horror. Rather then relying on fancy props they serve as a distraction before something or someone is about to get you. Over the years The Chambers of Horror has become known as one of the first haunts in Ohio to use the classic falling ceiling and the walls that move in on you. And thankfully that hasn’t changed. They are better than ever and it has you thinking why more haunts don’t make their own props.
Additions for 2009 include hanging body bags, new bloody body parts, more detailed tombstones and a brand new vortex tunnel. While the new vortex tunnel is good, a few improvements could make it better. The speed needs to be taken up a notch while the colors should be bigger and brighter to help create the effect of a spinning vortex. A higher quality fabric would also help in making it more realistic. But overall it’s a great addition that has become a staple at haunts that people come to expect year after year.
Acting-8: All of the actors seemed to be on queue this year and more enthusiastic than ever. Considering that it was early in the season and the crowd that night was rather small, you would think the actors wouldn’t try as hard. But you would be sadly mistaken. Even though most of the acting is improvisational acting, you would never know that from how dedicated the actors are in trying to get a scare or startle you.
Yes, I know that The Chambers of Horror loves its horror movie villains, but a few classic characters just need to be replaced. These include Jason Vorhees and Freddy Krueger. The only way you can pull these characters off is if Freddy Krueger has extremely realistic makeup and has the right voice, but the majority of haunts fail in doing this. On the other hand the only way you can have an effective Jason Vorhees is if your actor is massive and menacing in the way he stalks his victim.
But the majority of actors feel right at home at The Chambers of Horror and it would be a shame if they were replaced. My personal favorites are the ghouls who try to mislead you into choosing the incorrect door while they are the ones controlling the madness.
Scare Effect-8: The group in front of us was obviously scared out of their wits, but didn’t want to let on. Every time we came upon a room where you had to find a correct door, they would nervously laugh. The chambers of Horror can be one of those haunts that has you nervously laughing if you have a fear of enclosed areas, dark hallways or the feeling of being locked in a room to never be let out.
The addition of new hidden doors and passageways has really taken the scares to another level that I haven’t experienced before at the haunt. But unfortunately there are some areas of the haunt that just aren’t as scary as they used to be. These include the Freddy’s Boiler Room and Jason Vorhees room. The only way you can make these scenes effective is if they are as realistic as possible and they are just starting to come off as cheesy. If these rooms were replaced with more original concepts then The Chambers could easily score a 9 in scare effect.
Customer Service: The staff was very friendly from the woman who sold the tickets to those in charge of the concessions. Parking was free so you don’t have to worry about carrying extra cash and the variety of concessions was pretty impressive. This included cans of pop, hot dogs, snacks, Halloween masks and much more.
Fright Value: Over the years there hasn’t been a huge increase in the ticket price and for the most part you get what you pay for. If you are wanting a night of haunting entertainment at a reasonable price, then please make sure to check out The Chambers of Horror. For a $1 off coupon visit www.thechambers.org.
Final Stab-8.4: 2009 is easily one of the best years for The Chambers of Horror. With the addition of new scenes and effects I’m sure it will be their busiest season yet. Yeah, the economy is in bad shape, but if people feel that you are offering them a value then they will pay. If you are wanting a frightening haunt at a great value, then head on out to The Chambers of Horror in Middletown, OH and hopefully you’ll survive.