I am very sad that I have to write this review.
Camp Evans Base of Terror is a charity haunted attraction staffed by volunteers to raise money for the InfoAge Science History Leaning Center and Museum. If you’ve been reading me for any length of time you will know that I have a soft spot for science centers, volunteer efforts, and kids. Many high school kids round out the volunteers who staff this haunt. I feel that efforts like this are what make life worth living.
Unfortunately Camp Evans Base of Terror isn’t just bad – it’s extremely unsafe. In my time here I was hurt by one of the scare actors. I also saw and old lady get hurt. The floor is covered with broken, wobbly boards. Some of the walls of the clown haunted house are made of glass mirrors that have shattered. Broken glass and splinters are everywhere.
This is not part of the show nor is it a part of the historic military base. These were damaged part of the haunt. This is dangerous to both the people inside the haunt and to customers going through. They make you sign a waiver like many haunted houses do before you enter. In American law you cannot sign away your right to sue. These waivers at haunts are generally marketing efforts.
Somehow I think whoever runs this haunt thought that they could use a waiver to excuse the poor condition of the haunt. What. The. Hell.
In addition to all of this they are most likely breaking the law. They are operating a maze with dead ends. To my knowledge this is illegal in the state of New Jersey due to the laws made after the fatal 1984 Six Flags Great Adventure haunted house fire.
This maze is made out of very shaky pallets turned on their side. It’s scary but only because I was standing next to one that was dangerously wobbling. Again – that was not part of the show.
The actors aren’t trained at all on how to safely scare people. I don’t care how much of a volunteer effort it is – at least try to train your actors to scare safely. This is for both the customer’s safety and their safety.
I was literally assaulted by 1 scare actor who thought it would be a great idea to press herself up against me and scream as loud as she could into my ear to the point of extreme pain. When I didn’t react at all hoping she would stop she did it again. I then calmly asked her to stop because it hurt like hell. She was not letting me pass and did it a 3rd time.
I tried to use the back of my hand to gently nudge her out of my way. She refused to let me pass so I had to shove her (gently) to get the pain she was inflicting on me to stop. She was a total jerk. You’d have to be a moron to not see that she wasn’t scaring me – she was hurting me.
My ear still hurts badly and it’s been hours since I’ve been here.
She wasn’t the only one – she was just the most persistent one. Most of the actors were just trying to hurt people’s ear drums or walk around aimlessly. I witnessed an old lady break down in tears in the maze section because her ear had been hurt so badly by one of the actors. In the maze again an actor hurt my ear so much that I instinctively turned to her and yelled at her to cut it out.
Again – a reaction to being subjected to sharp, extreme pain. This was not scary. This was painful and torturous.
This is insane. The old lady in front of me is crying and all they did was scream louder in her ear. She complained to one of the workers who just looked at her and said, “Uhhh…ok.”
What. The. Hell.
I am a firm believer that there is something positive about almost anything. You very rarely see a negative review on my blog for that reason. If I don’t like something I try to think of who would like it and give them the information that they need to partake. Both Harknell and I can’t find anything positive about this experience. If we could have exited the haunt 1/4 of the way through we would have but it was impossible to find an exit. This haunted attraction is very long, boring, upsetting, poorly implemented, and unsafe. Many customers were getting visibly upset that the haunt wasn’t over yet – and I have to admit that I was enraged and really wanted out as well. It was a phenomenal waste of time.
Camp Evans Base of Terror should be shut down. I appreciate what they are trying to do but this is an example of people who are extremely unqualified to operate a haunted house. They don’t know what they are doing so badly that they are going to seriously injure someone. If they want to continue to do this I would advise them to look up someone like Randy Bates who knows a lot about setting up great haunted attractions. Get help. I’ll bet that for a charity many haunters would help them FOR FREE.
But as it stands if they want to do a fund raiser they should sell candy, do an art show, or hold a costume contest – not something upsetting, dangerous, and possibly illegal like we experienced today. This could turn someone off of haunted houses for life or – worse yet – seriously injure someone.
Avoid this one. As of this writing this is the worst haunted attraction I have ever been to in my entire career.
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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