2909 South Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46225View All Details
Team Zombillies reviewed this attraction on September 30, 2016.
Final Score: 8.42
Fright Manor is at it again for the 2016 haunt season, as they’ve revamped their haunt with some brand-new themes! Camp Deadwood is now one of their outdoor attractions and involves dodging through zombies and crazies as you find your way through the maze. The 7 Deadly Sins takes up around half of the indoor area and, as the name implies, takes you on a tour of some of the most evil things that a person can do. Psychomanthium returns in the second half of the building and continues to offer a variety of frights with several new areas and characters that you haven’t seen yet… just try to keep yourself off of the Doctor’s “list.” The new mine area was a nice addition and you might get to figure out exactly what happens when you say “Bloody Mary” three times! Yet another attraction at Fright Manor is Zombie Alley, where you and your friends can face a horde of persistent, un-dead monsters for a mere $5. Here’s the catch… you can only have one gunman to defend your group; talk about an adrenaline rush! While Fright Manor may not have the biggest budget on the block, they’ve certainly got some creativity up their sleeves and you just never know what they’ll have in store for you. From a church, voodooism and clowns to famous movie villains, urban legends and more, there’s a little something for everyone to “pee their pants” for here!
There was a wide variety of actors and actresses during our visit of Fright Manor this season. From snarling zombies and intimidating movie villains to exclusive, original characters, this haunt pretty well has you covered if you’re looking for a variety! We did see some familiar foes that have been working here for many years and, as you’d expect, they tended to be the ones that performed the best during our visit. A good chunk of this cast is actually pretty interactive, too; they blocked our path several times and most of them had good comebacks when dialogue was exchanged. We did notice a few repetitive, generic lines and screams here and there but, overall, it was kept to a minimum and most of them had their own unique things to say. Their interaction with us wasn’t limited to just words, either… one of us ended up getting spanked with a wooden spoon by a fellow group member because of a demanding actress with a whip (you can’t really say “no” to someone like that)! The preacher kept us in his scene for a while too and wouldn’t let us go without a guilt trip and a healthy dose of Holy water. Other notable characters include the eyeless Mr. Graves, the voodoo woman (who was speaking some weird dialect before letting us know she needed one of us to complete her ritual), Damien and the other clowns (Chuckles had us playing “whack-a-head”), the mine area characters (who came at us from all angles), the girl in the butcher area (who was able to explain where each of the body parts hanging in her room came from… bravo!), and the highly-energetic “Grinder,” all of whom had excellent dialogue and were among the most intense and believable characters in the haunt!
Similar to cast, the costuming used at Fright Manor consisted of a large variety of pieces and quality. Masks and appropriate weaponry were used by the actors that required it (Jason, Freddy, Grinder, etc) and makeup usually resembled bloody cuts, wounds and, sometimes, specific character-related designs with darkened facial features for added intensity. A few of them had little to no makeup, however, which took something away from the illusion of reality, but other characters had fairly intricate applications. This was particularly the case with Mr. Graves and his blind gaze that, since his eyeballs were removed, allowed him to “see the demons” that were lurking around the graveyard (although, we’re still wondering why he kept “looking” in our direction). Damien the Clown was especially creepy-looking as well with his half-masked smirk and barbed-wire bat! These, along with the Preacher, Freddy, Grinder and a few of the characters in the mine area were among the most believable looks that we encountered at Fright Manor.
Customer Service: 9.23
Fright Manor’s custom sign was illuminated on the front of the building when we arrived and, when combined with multi-colored rope lights along the roof and a few monsters roaming around, we knew we’d arrived at the right place! A parking attendant was on duty in their free, paved lot and able to flag us to the closest spot to the ticket booth (which is well-lit and located in the side of the building, closer to the road). The queue area is at the rear of the building, where a concession trailer can be found serving up food and drinks for those waiting in line. The inside of the haunt is relatively smooth sailing, although you will need to be able to crawl and squeeze through a few places that hit on claustrophobia. If you’re interested in Zombie Alley, the start to that attraction can be found at the front of the building, just opposite of the ticket booth. Of course, the staff at Fright Manor are some of the nicest people you can meet, so just ask someone if you have any confusion about anything or require other assistance.
As mentioned above, the added rope lighting, roaming actors and the well-lit “Fright Manor” sign and ticket booth helped get us “ready to go” for a haunted house visit! There was some eerie music playing around the sidewalk that leads to the queue area too, which is always a plus. We also noticed the stage area where live music can be heard on select nights, which certainly would up the energy level back there. Occasionally, some of the actors came out of their scenes to help keep customers on their toes, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself looking over your shoulder as you wait! Right before you go in, you’ll get a few minutes to check out the facade for Camp Darkwood which, we must say, looks pretty sketchy and helps get the “I’m not sure I wanna go in there” feelings going. At the beginning of Zombie Alley, we armed ourselves with (electronic) weapons from the back of a staff member’s hatchback vehicle. Hey, it was simple and helped give the feeling that we’d just gotten ourselves into an impromptu, emergency zombie situation!
Special Effects: 8.01
FM is made up of many effects that have been both created in-house and purchased. It was oddly quiet in the first two haunts; sound effects were only heard in a few areas along with the characters and props. Towards the end of the haunt, more sounds were heard including howling wolves and hard rock music. The clowns did try to make up for it by lipping carnival music to us though! In some scenes, the characters worked well with the props and their surroundings to add to the overall effectiveness of the attraction, such as having us play a game, making us crawl several times, throwing things at us, making us say things to a wall, stopping us so we could get all the action, etc. If you are looking for a house full of many large animatronics, this is not the place. But, if you are looking for a haunt full of random and unique items that may be of the simplest items that get an effective scare in, you have come to the right place. Some of these included glowing masks, fishing string, falling items, swinging bodies and more. Many other effects can be found here as well, some more elaborate than others, and included a well-decorated church, pews that move on their own, a body rising off a table, a bloody Donald and Hilary, a room full of money, a miniature electric chair, many hanging body parts, realistic dead bodies… we could go on for a long time!
Fright Manor has sectioned their building into three different haunts plus Zombie Alley and each has its own, varying theme. The first haunt we came to was Camp Deadwood where, “nightmares happen at the abandoned summer camp for kids.” We can assure you that it is, in fact, full of more “nightmarish” things rather than being truly abandoned. This theme was not explained to us before entering and, although one brute demanded we take a nap, it wasn’t really obvious to us that this was, at one time, a summer camp. Before we entered, we were told the second haunt was based on the Seven Deadly Sins, which was quite obvious in the first scene where a man was complaining about greed as he threatened to shoot us! The third and returning haunt, Psychomanthium, is where the darker and more-sinister beings can be found. This is also the largest haunt of them all and offers more of a universal plethora of scenes and characters. From a mine, familiar movie characters and a church to clowns, voodoo practices and a nightmarish school room, you just never really know what you might see in this one!
Fright Effect: 8.66
Fright Manor has always been good at using just the right tricks to startle our review group at least one good time and this year was no different! A large variety of fright techniques were also used against us, making for quite an entertaining 32 minutes. Things rubbed our legs and faces in the dark, weapons were waved close to our bodies, we were threatened with power tools and our names were used against us several times. So, be sure to say all of your friends’ names really loud so the monsters can hear you! A few distractions caught our group off-guard; one was actually provided by a prop, which doesn’t happen all that often! As stated above, the haunt was unusually quiet during our visit, but this surprisingly didn’t impact the predictiveness of the scares that lingered ahead, waiting for just the right moment to reveal themselves. Other types of scares that we encountered in this lengthy experience included the sound of Michael’s metal blade scraping the wall, a loud horn connected to something else, sparks, a cracking whip (yes, a real whip) and some good hiding spots, especially the chains in the dark. At the finale, we were faced with a chainsaw attacker who was near the exit, forcing us to get closer to him to make our escape!
General admission to go through Camp Dead Wood, Seven Deadly Sins and Psychomanthium will cost you $20.00 per person. If you also want to try your luck at shooting zombies in Zombie Alley, tickets for that are an additional $5.00. From the time we entered Camp Dead Wood until we fled the last chainsaw area, 32 minutes had gone by! At the general admission ticket price, this brings this haunt to 1.6 minutes of entertainment per dollar spent, which is just above the average of 1.5 we calculated from all the haunts we went to last season. Your group time may vary from ours and depend on whether you walk, run or freeze during your visit. If you are in a hurry and need to get through the waiting line faster, speed pass tickets can be purchased for $35.00 and include admission to Zombie Alley as well. Discounted admission of $15.00 is offered to Fire/EMT, Police and Military with proper ID. Follow their Facebook page for other possible discount options and special event information throughout the year, as they do host events during many months of the year. Also, be sure to visit their website for more information and discounts.
Click to Enlarge
Scariest Old-School Effects (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Actor Shout Out Award - "Damien the Clown" A.K.A Aaron Mason (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Actor Shout Out Award - "Freddy Krueger" A.K.A Justin Danz (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Actor Shout Out Award - "Grinder" A.K.A Jason Baker (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Actor Shout Out Award - "Lust Lady" A.K.A Charity Brewer (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Actor Shout Out Award - "Torture Girl" A.K.A Kayelynn Woodlock (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Most Realistic Costume - "The Stuffed Dog" (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Actor Shout Out Award - "The Gas Masked Sparky Guy" (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Actor Shout Out Award - Cris Shortt, A.K.A. "The Grave Digger" (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Actor Shout Out Award - Chuckles the Clown (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Actor Shout Out Award - Dr. Butcher (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Actor Shout Out Award - The Grave Digger (Given by: Team Zombillies)