year's annual haunted house fundraiser is themed "Asylum," and begins
through majestic iron gates protecting a fog-filled cemetery, and climaxes
in customary fashion with a surprising casket ride for a randomly selected
group member followed by an obligatory chainsaw chase-out. Highlights
include an initial confrontation with a pair of clown-masked villains,
first a gravedigger, who does "All the diggin'," and his menacing brother
armed with a sledgehammer that, "Does all the Killin'!" Once they
give chase into the carriage house, The Asylum theme gets into full
swing, as exploration witnesses the killing of an innocent receptionist
at the hands of an insane inmate that's escaped his confinement; crazed,
contorted children chewing on visitors' arms; and electro-shock therapy
that involves patrons in the action by encouraging one group member to
pull the lever that energizes a patient's treatment chair with current!
A frenzied atmosphere exists within, as progression exposes hangings, a
rubber room that hides a sudden surprise, imprisoned lunatics struggling
for freedom, diabolic surgeries removing brains, a neurotic nurse clinging
onto a newborn baby that she's ripped from an expectant mother umbilical
cord still intact, and a demented dentist that's amputated the tongue
from an unfortunate patient whose mouth is still clamped wide-open!
Acting is strong throughout with
a number of characters going absolutely berserk, although screaming is
a bit overdone. Brothers provide an excellent beginning, and
the element of subtle touching is utilized during the indoor portion of
the event to accentuate scares. Receptionist is killed by
a pig-tailed, but bearded slayer that identifies himself/herself as Margaret,
bathroom segment is compromised by a nutcase with his arms inside his hospital
gown climbing all over the place, who forbids leaving until someone "wipes"
him, and shock therapy patient actually enjoys his treatment!
Costuming is adequate but basic as are props, and soundtrack is quiet to
non-existent at times. Moving rubber room wall surprise is appreciated.
This attraction makes the most of a limited budget, and changes things
up year after year while still providing legitimate scares, and climaxing
with one of the most unique endings (casket ride) in the business.
Lengthening the overall experience, and acquiring more visually impressive
props would take them to the next level.
2015 marks their 3st anniversary,
and the event is staffed entirely by volunteers with proceeds benefiting
restoration of the historic Culbertson Mansion.