Kevin McCurdy’s Haunted Mansion is in my opinion the keystone of the haunted attraction industry. These guys are who many other haunts in the country subcontract to make their most amazing scenes. At their attraction this commitment to creative integrity is clear.
Every year I make the 3 hour drive to see what they’ve built and every year they impress us.
The first attraction was “The Successor” where you get to participate in a storyline where one of you get chosen as the one with a dark heart. They have large animatronics that speak – but the actors are doing vignettes with them so that these aren’t just blingity bling – they are a truly integrated part of the show. Each room is staged elegantly with actors, set pieces, and a small amount of animatronics are in select rooms. They are true professionals at building set pieces and special effects, but they actually don’t rely on them as a crutch. Everything is applied in the exact right amount such that it leaves the heart and soul of the actors as the star of the show.
Most impressive this year was a magic show scene which replaced last year’s most excellent fireplace scene. They took it up so many levels with this. I kind of want to tell you about it but I really shouldn’t reveal secrets from inside the haunt unless they tell me I can. Let’s just say that it is a magic show that goes incredibly wrong. You get to sit in the audience. The entire scene is built into a stage that can be manipulated (sometimes violently) to make something crazy happen. Also they created fake outside weather effects that would give even Disney a run for their money.
Other rooms utilized multiple actors who would move in sync with certain cues. Everything in here was a true joy to experience.
Next was “London After Midnight”. When we saw this last year it was unfinished. This year it was much more polished. You basically get to be in the Jack the Ripper storyline. Of course he chases you around quite a bit. They did a great job of recreating London and executing this.
Finally was “Fright Trail”. This is a zombie trail throughout the forest. This was also a lot of fun to compliment the first 2 attractions which were theatrical. This one is more of a standard haunted trail but it was a great thing to pair with the other 2 attractions to round out the night.
Kevin McCurdy’s Haunted Mansion is one of the most underrated haunted attractions in the country. Haunt fans absolutely must see this one. This kind of artistry and execution is a rare find and when I find it I believe that this is what makes my tour worth it.
They have a Christmas show that I hope to be able to check out this year.
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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