Halls of Horror in Palmerton, PA is so insane that I left the haunted house looking like this after doing Blood Experience:
Here I am an hour later at a diner. The staff there was amused:
That alone should be enough of a review to give you an idea of how intense Halls of Horror Blood Experience is, but since I am thorough I have a lot more information for you.
I’d say that Halls of Horror Blood Experience was comfortably sitting at both my and James’ higher limit to the point that we were kind of relieved when we got out. That is a very rare achievement. Only about 3 haunted houses have done that to us ever. We call that Haunt Exhaustion. That’s when you’ve been owned so much in a short amount of time that you are physically tired afterward.
Halls of Horror is NOT where you go if you are easily offended, obsessed with political correctness, or new and nervous about haunted houses. I will gladly recommend a gentler one if this is your sensibility because you won’t make it past the 3rd room.
Halls of Horror is where you go if you are familiar with haunted houses and are very comfortable with your Pennhurst, Field of Screams, and Bates Motel level haunts. All of these haunts use touch and are on the higher end of the Scare Scale.
Blood Experience is an upcharge experience and I believe it’s a bit more intense than the regular haunt. It is not what you get when you buy a basic ticket. If you just get the basic ticket it’s a normal haunted house where the actors can touch you – although I can’t really call these motherfuckers normal because they are, to date, the most intense haunted house I have ever been through.
Basically if my usage of the term, “motherfucker” upsets you in the previous sentence, this is not the haunt for you.
They will touch you, grab you, trap you, chase you, and more. This is an R Rated experience. This is not like your average haunted house that will touch you. It’s a bit more amped up than that. However – and this is important – this is also not one of those dumb ass extreme haunted houses.
I assure you that they are intense but they don’t go over the line into asshole-land.
If you do the regular haunted house without the blood, do note that you may get blood on you that has stuck to the hanging props from prior Blood Experience customers. Don’t worry too much about that. The “blood” is totally washable so it will come out of everything easily. I wouldn’t wear your best clothes, but you can still clean it easily. I’d recommend wearing multiple layers of hoodies instead of a jacket that you have to take to the cleaners.
Here’s both of us literally seconds after coming out of the attraction:
It was funny last year after I went through the regular haunt I went in to work the next day – I am a Marketing VP – and I was leading my team meeting and noticed during it that I had fake blood on my jacket. That was a LOL.
What to know before you do Blood Experience:
– Bring some towels for your car, paper towels, and wet wipes. They do have wet wipes there after you get out but you’ll need more than that. It does dry pretty fast, though.
– You get a white T Shirt when you go in. You can see mine and Harknell’s in the photos above.
– You also get safety glasses. Definitely wear them. It’s easy for blood to get in your eyes even with the glasses but they help a lot. Harknell still got blood behind them onto his regular glasses, I got some onto my contacts.
– Most people now have disposable contact lenses. If you have old school expensive yearly contact lenses that cannot be replaced do note that the blood can get into your eyes. If that’s a concern you may want to bring swim goggles. I am not joking.
– The fake blood washes out easily – including from the T Shirt they give you. If you want to keep that as a souvenir you may want to try hang drying it as is. We are trying that and will find out soon how well that works. :)
– If you are doing multiple haunts in 1 night (We do The Freak and Funhouse on the same night which is right down the street) do Halls of Horror LAST. Because BLOOD.
My night started out a bit strangely. The temperature had dropped to about 30 degrees so Harknell had said that we probably shouldn’t do Blood Experience and instead just do the regular haunt like we had reviewed last year. Because of that we didn’t bring any towels or anything. I did wear 3 hoodies and brought my waterproof, washable haunted house mini backpack to hold our tech gear because I didn’t want to take my jacket inside. This was a good idea.
As soon as we arrived and people started greeting us with my battle cry of, “PREPARE YOUR ANUS!” Harknell changed his mind, much to my surprise. I’m generally up for anything so I was like OK.
They pretty much destroyed us in every room. Harknell and I are hard to miss these days and…I don’t think anyone missed either of us in here. We both got bottles of blood dumped on our heads, grabbed with bloody hands, chased, trapped, put into chairs, thrown on beds..you name it. It is a full contact, messy experience. Imagine it’s like the most fucked up version of Double Dare and Marc Summers is batshit loco.
That’s how wild it is.
The cold weather and the haunt being both indoors and outdoors worked against us and the safety glasses got fogged up about halfway through and I was covered in so much blood it got hard to see. My only suggestion to them is to try and weight the amount of blood hitting toward the eye area to after the middle of the attraction so that people can see better through most of it and then get ruined progressively harder at the middle to end. I couldn’t see much beginning from what I think was an asylum room and it was impossible to clear my field of vision.
That said, this was wild and something we would definitely do again and recommend to anyone who wants the most intense haunted house experience I have ever been through. I know that I say a lot of positive stuff about haunted houses because I love the art behind them and can easily love 20 or 30 of them as “the best” because they all are trying to achieve different goals. I can often be heard saying, “this is the best one yet”, but Halls of Horror truly is in the top of it’s class and may very well be the best haunted house in the country if you are looking for intensity and insanity without going into dumb ass extreme haunted houses territory. I’d actually suggest trying it out twice–first time without the Blood Experience, then go full crazy and have them annihilate you.
I’m not sure that there’s another haunted house in existence that has the balls to be this intense, adult, politically incorrect, scary, and fun. I sure as hell haven’t seen it.
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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