Wharton’s Haunted Scarehouse is a massive indoor haunted attraction in New Jersey. They have 2 levels. Each level is very large. I lost track of time but I think we may have been in there for close to an hour.
They have a lot of high tech set pieces and animatronics. Out of all of the haunted attractions that we review they seem to use technology the most. Even the staging of the scares and rooms incorporate technology.
It’s not used as a crutch. You have likely seen many of the haunts who buy an expensive set piece and use it like a garden fountain in the center of the room with no thought behind it. I felt that the technology was placed well within each room and complimented the scares very well. In some cases you could see yourself while being scared, which was unique.
They have the best photo set up I have ever seen. You know how most attractions now offer photos with your friends? These guys designed a picture taking system that does regular attraction photos as well as 3D and animated photos depending on how large the crowd levels are. There’s also a video that gets taken of you in the attraction getting scared. At the end you have the option to buy these at $5 each. It is sent to your email or social media. We bought all of them plus the video made inside the attraction because why not?! Here’s us, and our friends John and Tara:
Since 2008 we have been asking why more attractions don’t do it like this and adhere to this pricing level. There’s no reason in the digital age to charge $35 for a photo like many theme parks do. You can make more than that up in volume if the price is right – AND it’s almost free advertising for the haunt with the Facebook/social media integration.
Finally someone with some brains did what we would have done if we owned a haunt.
As far as the haunt is concerned, last year we felt that it had some things that it had to work on.
I am glad to say that they improved on a quantum level this year. Every issue we called out was fixed. There was no backup in the meat room near the claustrophobia chamber. The actors were standing in better places related to the props. The constant screaming in the ear was mostly gone and replaced with more skilled scares.
I knew they could do it. Two of the scare actors from Hotel of Horror moved over to this place. You might recognize them in the attic as the guy with the staple gun and the woman in the shiny black catsuit. They are in my professional opinion the 2 best actors they have. Many other actors are up to par as well. The guy downstairs in the meat room is one of many who were giving it their all. Full Disclosure: I am Facebook friends with these guys. Still, everyone (including them) knows that I would have said something negative if they deserved it.
I actually asked them how the haunt was doing before I went. I have no desire to go to a bad haunt. I would have zinged them if it were bad. I didn’t want to, but I would have due to my commitment to ethics and transparency with my readers.
They did a great job this year.
Matt (the staple gun guy) was on fire the night that I went. I hope that in the coming years more people follow his lead and utilize improv and interaction with other actors to create the scene. I enjoyed the downstairs area a lot. The rooms are more elaborate and have more effects that work well with what’s going on. I felt the attic was the stronger of the two.
Changes were made this year – all good ones. The queue was redone this year to accommodate a VIP line and the above mentioned photos. Honestly – most of my friends have busy schedules. I know many of them would not go to a haunt without a VIP (RIP) line. I just pulled another 70 hour week so I can say that if I were a casual customer I would be the same way. This is a phenomenal addition and a great way for them to make some passive income to fund all of that innovation they are doing.
One thing to note is that this place has become so popular that there is a significant wait just to get in and buy tickets on very busy nights. I recommend that you get a RIP pass online for this reason if you can afford it. Otherwise come with friends and prepare to hang out for awhile.
New Jersey doesn’t have many haunted houses of this caliber. It was bound to catch on. They innovate with technology in here harder than every other haunt in my tour. The best part is that the application of such actually works and isn’t a gimmick.
Haunted Scarehouse upped their game this year. I think that if they keep doing what they are doing they will level up each year in the years to come. I am genuinely excited for them. They should be proud of what they have accomplished in just a few years.
Do this one.