Numerous haunted attractions use social media and advertising to promote their haunts as “horror movies” come to life. Often, even the best haunts fail to achieve this lofty goal for various reasons, ranging from variable actor quality and ineffective structural designs that fail to convey any sense of “realism.” Several years ago, we became tired of the traditional “haunted house concept,” which generally can be described as a variety of mazes filled with fake-looking animatronics and actors who did little to create any sense of fear. Many of these haunts advertised themselves as “extreme” experiences, but all fell short of their goal. Around this time, we first came across advertisements for the Hotel of Horror attraction.
Hotel of Horror is a genuine, realistic nightmare that has evolved and exists solely with the intent to disturb and scare. Make no mistake, even during a year plagued by a pandemic, this attraction is relentless be design, tenacious by its history, and resolute in the “spirit” of fear which transcends the floorboards of the abandoned “Lake House Hotel.” Fear, cultivated by a constant sense of paranoia, generating imagery so holistically disturbing yet engaging, creates a desire to explore this relic of time, a cross between a 1950’s stylish hotel and a celebratory labyrinth of one’s darkest fears and disturbing imagery. Far from a “family-friendly” haunted attraction, be prepared to live a horror story, cross paths with the demonic, and come dangerously close with a barrage of twisted “scare-actors” that thrive off the energy of “fear.”
Hotel of Horror is perhaps best described as a never-ending ascension into a living horror movie; just stopping for a moment creates a lasting mental image of scenes that are “real” and not created by big-budget props or special effects. Each room features diversity in thematic design but has so much “character” in terms of disturbing items, oddities, and, at times, disturbing creativity it is easy to become trapped in this entire “experience” of terror. Carefully implemented designs are augmented by slow strobe light effects, scene-specific stylistic vintage music, sound, moments of darkness, and periods of violent creativity that haunt each hallway. The culmination of years of collecting and creating disturbing items, heirlooms, and understanding how the mind processes “fear” has resulted in a most chilling, hauntingly beautiful yet always unsettling. A genuine immersive experience, the “reality” of the “Lake House Hotel” is the perfect backdrop of pure horror, pumping adrenaline and fueling a curiosity of the unknown.
Prepared for safety, management, and staff has implemented numerous changes to help manage crowd flow and maintain a safe environment for guests and actors alike. Actor performances, even constricted by social distancing efforts, were extremely disturbing, featuring nightmarish creations that at times seemed more unnerving as actors slithered, created sickening noises, and had some of the most disturbing custom “masks” that made us squirm. Hotel of Horror is one of the most unique “real” haunted attractions one could ever visit, embracing the philosophy of psychological, visceral fear.