18
Jan

bowmanstown-pennsylvania-haunted-attractions-the-freak-and-funhouse-2014-review
Bowmanstown, Pennsylvania Haunted Attractions: The Freak and Funhouse 2014 review

Every year when we do the haunt tour there naturally are about 3-5 that we do on the last weekend of the season. Since these reviews will be used by my readers to discern their next year haunting plans and the OniHaunts Awards aren’t done until next year we Livetweet, instagram, and Facebook them. I don’t tend to rush the full review out because they are perfect for people to read now when they are starting to think of this coming year. Especially in this year’s case we had multiple really terrible things happen to us in November that hit us very hard and threw us off here.

That said, it’s time to get all of the writing up now.

We had the opportunity to check out The Freak and Funhouse on November 1st, their last day of operation. Given that it’s literally in a house on a street we had no idea what to expect when we went in.

freak-and-funhouse-1

Oh boy were we in for a surprise.

Here is Harknell getting our tickets:

freak-and-funhouse-1-tickets

There’s a general rule in haunting. The less corporate the haunt is the more interesting it tends to be. I’ve done so many corporate and non corporate haunts. If you find the person whose haunt is off the beaten path and didn’t spend a ton of money on digital marketing you’ll find yourself a unique and special treat. Those guys are generally doing it for the art behind it first and foremost and are not following stupid and boring trends.

I am actually pretty sick of your typical corporate chainsaw chase. Some do it well, but when you go to as many as I do you recognize that many use the same shit that they bought from the haunt trade show with no alteration or originality. Copy / paste. Copy / paste. It can be good and every area needs a big haunt, but a single impressive prop does not impress me on it’s own.

I have a well-documented love of the art and creativity behind these attractions. I love how things are put together. My bias is that I am far more impressed with something bizarre that I have never seen before than any expensive purchased prop.

The Freak and Funhouse is as of this writing the absolute weirdest and most different haunted attraction I have ever been to in my entire life. Holy shit.

I am not using hyperbole there. Dude. This shit was weird. Nothing is normal or standard in here – and that’s a GOOD THING. Harknell and I absolutely loved everything. I think we walked out of there like this:

Me: “What the fuck just happened?”

Harknell: “I…have no idea.”

Us: “That was fucking awesome!”

You get to walk through various vignettes which include a funeral parlor, gypsy sisters, rednecks, a death camp gas chamber, Frankenstein… you name it. You might have to do a funny dance or interact with the actors or you might have to crawl through a tunnel. They aren’t trying to brutalize you or torture you, but they will try and freak you out.

The actors are HYSTERICAL.

This attraction gets my wholehearted recommendation, but I have to note a couple things to you in order to do my job right across a wide readership of different tastes and situations.

If you have mobility issues this one might be difficult for you. We did have to crawl through 2 narrow tunnels. Just phone them and ask in advance if this is a concern.

If you are easily offended or even remotely the type of person who gets angry when people aren’t politically correct this is not the attraction for you. You absolutely must understand what they are doing creatively with this one before bringing your whole family here.

They state it up front – their objective is to offend you, me, and literally everyone who comes into this attraction. This is a teen and older attraction. They intentionally are doing scenes in here (such as the death camp gas chamber) that other haunts will not touch. If this is not for you, don’t go. We understood exactly what they were doing and what we were paying for. The idea was to be offensive and comedic. They achieved this (see photos on their Facebook) and we were laughing the entire way through.

What we loved about The Freak and Funhouse is that they are not politically correct. They aren’t like anyone else. Imagine if someone created their own genre of haunted attraction and just did it with no reservation or apologies. That’s what this is – and it’s fabulous. They clearly state in many places that the idea is to offend everyone and they do it in a funny way that I felt was both responsible, inspired, creative, and well worth your time.

The Freak and Funhouse is just a few minutes from Halls of Horror so these 2 haunts together make the perfect night out. I know we will be back to both for sure.



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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