music accompanies a lengthy walk from the queue line area to an enraged
ticket taker, then up some steps into the attraction itself, where a "live"
newscast plays on a TV monitor featuring on-location reports regarding
some sort of incident that's taken place at Erebus. The adventure
proper begins as groups are gathered together in a time machine for a short
presentation of the backstory that results in an immediate surprise when
the projection screen itself is blown apart by a huge gust of wind!
Following the briefing, decontamination takes place inside one of six unique
detoxification chambers where customers are scanned for a variety of afflictions
including viral infections, gender identity conflicts, the presence of
narcotics, STD's, etc., then released into "code red" - a darkened hallway
that witnesses a helpless victim being disintegrated by an acidic shower,
and vanishing right before your very eyes as you stare on in disbelief!
Ignoring requests to identify oneself results in gunshots ringing out from
some sort of military presence that's attempting to secure the facility.
Bodies are projected into the path as sirens blare, and civilians are rushed
to evacuate. Frenzied cries for help fill the air as toilets disgustingly
erupt spraying germ-ridden fluid everywhere! More catastrophes are
revealed at the site where a missile has crashed into a wall, and a distraught
man is seeking freedom from some sort of alien being that's sunk its teeth
into his hand and won't let go! Ceilings cave in, and the building
bursts into flames while zombies are shot attempting to enter the facility
through open windows! Hallways tilt, rock, and move back and forth
while flashing red lights illuminate the path in advance of an abandoned
surveillance room, then into the resurrection of Uncle Freddy!
An immediate surprise gives way to a crypt-like mausoleum of caskets alongside
a bottomless pit, where a wall comes closing in narrowing the walkway,
and pushing you closer and closer to the edge! Eluding the fall leads
to a series of three panels that alternately slide shut closing off the
path resulting in brief group separation, then a foggy iron fence maze
that hides the unexpected attack of a pack of rabid mechanical dogs!
Still to come is a Night of the Living Dead encounter, a collapsing
clothes closet, and a wicked lab of free-flowing electricity that's occupied
by an irate doctor inviting one and all to come witness her creation!
A mysterious green laser light illuminates continuance upstairs that finds
an entire room being shaken to its very foundation by a huge wrecking ball
that unexpectedly comes crashing through a window! An elevator surprise
lies ahead, then jungle sounds fill the air as it's onto a run-in with
a discontented gorilla grabbing onto your legs with his enormous hands!
Passing through the mouth of a large skull exposes slanted walkways and
ramps that lead past a caged loony attempting to escape imprisonment, then
through branches and overhanging limbs that complicate the entrance into
an impressive swamp scene where fog lays low, varmints come flying out
of the depths, and the murky "waters" rise up over your heads as you struggle
to work your way onward! Several space invading onslaughts await
completion of the swamp, including a giant dinosaur that's hungry for its
next meal; then the head of second t-rex lunging out of hiding, crashing
into your legs, knocking you backwards, and pinning you up against a wall!
Wolf-like creatures chomp repeatedly at bypassers' ankles, and a deadly
grim reaper reaches down from an overhead zip line, én route to
cramped passages that require crouching down in order to progress.
A near-miss hit and run with a horn blasting truck introduces The Erebus
Mine, where a sudden cave-in results in innocent victims being buried
alive! Survival leads to a giant rolling pin of spikes barreling
down towards you while the wall behind closes in trying to force onlookers
directly into its deadly path provoking conflict with a gargantuan, snarling
witch doctor! From there, it's onto a spinning vortex highlighted
by a tilting bridgeway that results in being swallowed up by the mouth
of some unknown giant, inciting a claustrophobic assault courtesy of a
viciously growling werewolf-like beast coinciding with an overhead zip-line
surprise! A barrage of mechanical savages are next to be riled up
prior to a sudden chainsaw chase past a UFO that serves as the concluding
leg of the 2012 Erebus experience.
LENGTH - 10, 31 minutes.
ACTORS - 8½, An adequate cast size staffs the
attraction. A few early encounters are enriched with meaningful dialogue,
but most serve only to direct traffic with numerous repetitions of "right
this way." One encouraged, "don't be scared," which doesn't make
sense as that's what you're there for! Obtaining a group member's
name is clever at one point, and leads to a succession of characters tauntingly
yelling it out in advance of their scenes! Total Characters = 51.
SCARINESS - 9½, A great soundtrack early on becomes
a bit quiet at times as the journey progresses. Unique scenes expose
customers to many confrontational scares not seen elsewhere in the industry.
DESIGN - 9½, The lengthy course covers 4
floors of the structure and hosts many scenes that can only be seen at
(bottomless pit, wrecking ball, buried alive, etc.). Audio enhancement
is customized to individual scenes. Decontamination, disintegrating
victim, and swamp are among other favorite scenes, but lighting isn't the
best and often makes some things difficult to see. Spider has been
replaced with monster that "swallows you alive," which is characteristic
of the attractions many inventive scares. Giant winged, and red-eyed
monsters have also debuted or been relocated. Chainsaw is electric,
and UFO finish continues to be uneventful, thus holding back the score.
PROPS - 10, Erebus is packed full of uniquely created
animatronics and monsters that are invasive in nature, actually making
contact with patrons on several occasions. Buried alive scene is
one of a kind, wall/bottomless pit delivers an amazing scare, and swamp
has been copied by several other haunts! Initial welcoming surprise
is also top notch. Wrecking ball is likewise impressive as previously
mentioned, although its timing is a bit early. Elevator doors failed
to close all the way; and tesla coil wasn't in working order on the night
of our visit.
VALUE - 9, Some of the most impressive scares the industry
has to offer are displayed at Erebus, but the cost has risen $5
a head to $28 on weekends ($45 VIP) making it one of the most expensive
attractions around, and there's a $4 parking surcharge to boot. Price
hike can't be ignored, and impacts the overall score, as well as its bid
for top seasonal honors.
RATING: 9½ (9.4), The density of
unique scares is second to none, and this legitimate contender for Haunt
of the Year designs many of them on their own, as opposed to purchasing
scares from suppliers! Free t-shirts are given during the first hour
nightly, or to the first 200 visitors, whichever comes first. Erebus
among the best haunts in existence, and certainly one of the most unique.
Pay them a visit, and ask to see their monsters!