2015

Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania Haunted Attractions: Hotel of Horror / Altered Nightmares 2015 review: Puppet Pandemonium and Spirit Sacrifice in the Poconos

We had the opportunity to attend Hotel of Hotel of Horror / Altered Nightmares in Saylorsburg, PA opening weekend and speak to some of the people working on this event. If you read back through my reviews you will see that Hotel of Horror / Altered Nightmares is consistently one of my favorite attractions for a few reasons. The staging of each room is meticulous, The actors are top-notch and given the freedom to develop complex characters with backstories over the course of many years, and they just plain deliver a solid, scary product every year by being willing to deal with subject matter that other attractions may be too afraid to touch. They are really unique and do not feel as over produced as some other attractions can feel. You won’t encounter “Random Zombie #4” here. That character will have a name.

New this year is the Coffin Coach and iPas:

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Coffin Coach:

The Dark Ride that takes you on your own afterlife experience and back again. Not for the faint of heart – this ride encapsulates you alone in a final destination journey. Dark, Confined, Confusing and Totally Terrifying – A ride you won’t soon forget.

iPas:

Bored with waiting in line at the Haunted House? Be the Haunter instead of the haunted. Here’s your chance with iPas. Experience the thrill of haunting from a private viewing booth which enables you to monitor patrons in both Hotel of Horror and Altered Nightmares attractions. Trigger selected animatronics to terrify the unsuspecting passing through.

Hotel of Horror:

Hotel of Horror’s theme this year is Spirit Sacrifice:

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Altered Nightmares:

Altered Nightmares’ theme is Puppet Pandemonium:

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We enjoyed both attractions a lot. The Hotel is always great to look at with a lot of really driven actors. Altered Nightmares edged slightly stronger for us this year. We had a great time! We noticed a lot of new actors in the attractions so that tells me that both attractions are just going to get even stronger as the season progresses and they get used to their rooms.

One of my favorite actors is actually up in front of Hotel of Horror running the Coffin Coach, so be sure and say hello to him for me when you go. We both did the Coffin Coach and it was fun!

Other stand out actors are (of course) Snort Gore who is wandering around up front. We saw a great Raggedy Ann doll who was singing inside Altered Nightmares – we heard her 3 rooms in advance of actually seeing her. That was pretty intense. There were a couple really insane people down in the cage area who were being majorly Holy Shit, too. I remember one was a guy in all white with blood splatters and short hair. The people in the room that goes dim and then bright slowly are fabulous. The chainsaw guys here manage to be awesome instead of predictable, and I believe that has a lot to do with how they also improv and mess with people up front or look out at them periodically.

I sent in some minor feedback on the flow and blocking of some of the actors after I left, but honestly these guys kick ass. They have a lot to be proud of because they are and continue to be the gold standard of haunted houses. I’ll probably be back on their last weekend to see how they’ve grown more insane since today. Hotel of Horror / Altered Nightmares has managed to cultivate something special and imaginative that no one else could pull off if they tried. They remain true to the spirit of Halloween and do it in a way that is decidedly not corporate and shows that care was placed into each room. You aren’t going to find a boring showroom of Haunted Attraction trade show products here. You are seeing legit art instead.

These guys bring it and only get better and better as time progresses which is why they are always my first destination of the year.

Do 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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