On Saturday, October 20th we had a mini meetup at Hallowinc’s Urban Haunted House in Rockville, MD and were given media passes to the haunt. The story behind this haunt is that there was an accident that led to an outbreak of zombies. You are being evacuated.
Hallowinc is a first year haunt, but you wouldn’t know it from the skillful way it’s executed.
First, you wait in a line that moves pretty quickly. There’s an intimidating but hilarious guy up front who might mess with you a bit as he tells you the rules and that if you chicken out in the haunt you will be instagrammed and posted on the Wall of Shame.
Then you are let inside where you must fill out a waiver. You may get a free sample of a drink or other product plus a coupon for a discount at the local Halloween store.
You will notice the creepy red lighting and post apocalyptic graffiti all over the walls.. This location used to be a Filene’s Basement, so they used some of what was already there with a great result.
Then you get spoken to by a SWAT team guy who tells you about the outbreak and ascend the escalators into the dark. You’ll hear some eerie music, too. Before the house even starts you’ll have to walk through a hallway of caged zombies. Then you can buy your tickets.
The line is up here and there is a video playing in this area that explains the backstory. Before you even get into the attraction you’ll also see some craziness which I will not give away. You then line up and are briefed by a SWAT team member who is directing you toward your evacuation point.
The maze itself is very well done. We were in the maze for at least 15 minutes, possibly more. There was a lot of misdirection, and cool props set up to distract you, harass you, or creep you out.
The best part? They did all of this without a single chainsaw or cheap gimmick. The finale especially was INSANE and I feel far more effective than a chainsaw that every haunt in the country has. You can tell they they really thought about what works, what doesn’t, and worked hard to bring haunt fans a premium experience unlike anywhere else. Everyone in my party loved it and a few have gone back a second time. See this one.
Oni Hartstein is a Los Angeles-based CMO and entrepreneur that is obsessed with progressive rock / metal, marketing, and nightlife. Please direct all business inquiries or review requests to the "Contact" tab on the top nav bar.
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