Review of Akron Haunted School House and Laboratory Haunted Attraction

Review of Akron Haunted School House and Laboratory Haunted Attraction

Review of Akron Haunted School House and Laboratory Haunted Attraction

Akron Haunted School House and Laboratory

Akron Haunted School House and Laboratory is a Haunted Attraction located in Akron, OH.

1300 Triplett Blvd, Akron, OH 44306
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Haunt Type(s):

Multiple Haunts1HauntedHouse

Links:

Akron Haunted School House and Laboratory Facebook PageAkron Haunted School House and Laboratory Website

Contact:

Call Akron Haunted School House and LaboratoryEmail Akron Haunted School House and LaboratoryMessage Akron Haunted School House and Laboratory on Facebook Messenger

Features:

Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, Optional Games/Midway, Special Events, “Hi-Tech” Attraction, Original Characters, Indoor/Outdoor Waiting Line, All-Indoor Attraction

Team Jefferson Starship reviewed this Haunted Attraction on October 12, 2019.

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Final Score: 8.92

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Summary:

Before even entering the haunted midway, visitors know that they’re in for a singular experience as they view the façades of the two historical buildings that comprise the Akron Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory (AHSL). With a load of history supporting the premise of both haunts’ themes, almost a hundred monsters lurking in the darkness of the rooms, and a variety of scare and thrills, this is not an attraction to miss.

This year our team had the good luck to accidentally venture into the haunts with a group of teenagers we met in line. That offered us the ability to see how the haunt handled a large group, as well as how scary the attractions were to new visitors.

If you love a high-tech haunt, old-school effects, jump scares, or psychological horror, the Akron Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory offers all of these. Owned by the same group that runs the award-winning Factory of Terror in Canton, Ohio, both haunts are constantly changing and improving each year to offer new sights and scares to all who dare to enter its doors.


Cast: 8.89

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Our team found a lot of improvement in the cast this year, and were impressed by the sharp wit of the monsters and the reduction in screamers and rote “get outs.” A prickly lunch lady in the schoolhouse managed to stump one of our temporary teen team members with a combination of sass and threats. In the laboratory, a surgeon not only handled our team lead Doug with no issues, but managed to respond to one of our team members missing a step with concern while never dropping his threatening character.

A few cast members still relied on the tried and true method of stereotypical monster one-liners, but for the most part, we found that the monsters here are ready with a quick joke or a terrifying threat depending on what you offer them in turn. With a wide variety of characters in the Schoolhouse matching the theme, and a strong second act of monsters roaming the halls of the Laboratory, there was no shortage of terrors to be experienced here. A clown with the timing of a Swiss clock managed to appear out of nowhere directly after one of our temporary members bemoaned the possibility of a clown being in the room, resulting in a cavalcade of screams and curses.

The pair of actors manning the Laboratory entrance were a great and witty couple, playing off of one another and the groups entering.


Costuming: 8.82

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The monsters in the basement of the Schoolhouse were particularly well dressed and placed, and some costumes managed to help them merge into the scenes so unsuspecting victims were surprised when what seems like part of the house springs to life.

Miss Alma, as always, is a marvelously put together matron. We were also impressed with the aesthetics of a maintenance that kept his eye on Doug (literally) throughout our time in queue.

Costumes at the AHSL are reliably in theme and hold to the houses’ standards. Monsters keep all masks tucked in when used, and makeup is complete and in place. Characters make sense with their respective scenes and manage to optimize their costumes for their scares.

The Schoolhouse has, perhaps, a wider variety of costumes given its haunted storybook aesthetic, but the Laboratory works at bringing in everything from experimental patients to mad scientists and laboratory workers – as well as a few other little surprises.


Customer Service: 9.18

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The website for the AHSL is easy to use and offers ticket options for both this haunt and its sister haunt, the Factory of Terror. Staff are friendly and helpful, and more than willing to work with customers who have issues or questions. They are also clearly identified by uniforms, and able to communicate quickly and clearly with headsets in case that’s needed.

Because of the size of the haunt, as well its landmark historical status, it is very easy to find and signage is plentiful. There is also a very large parking lot, and signs that lead to the brightly lit midway where the entrance to both haunts and the ticket counter are located.

Two of our team members are injured this year, and both monsters and the more mundanely dressed employees were incredibly helpful and considerate of that fact. Lines move efficiently despite incredibly large crowds, and the haunt still shows a dedication to enrapturing new fans as they track their likes on Facebook at the entry door.

New visitors to AHSL might find it hard to intuitively figure out where the entrance to the Laboratory is as the entrance to the Schoolhouse is located immediately next to the ticket booth, while the Lab entrance is across the midway and around the other side of the historic building that contains it. However, once you are on the other side of the midway (or if you are exiting the Schoolhouse), the signs for the Lab are easy to find.

Because AHSL is built into two old, historic buildings, there are a lot of stairs to climb in these haunts. Built before the days of handicapped accessibility laws, there are no elevators or ramps within the buildings.


Atmosphere: 8.96

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Upon reaching the haunt, visitors are instantly put into a mood for a haunted house visit, as the buildings loom above the landscape in all their creepy glory. The midway set up between the haunts is fully loaded with creepy photo ops, stalking monsters, and fog bubble machines. A bar offers themed drinks as well as beer and soda, and food is carried in a carnival styled truck that completes the midway’s theme.

Any visitor new or old gets a strong sense of what is coming as they look at these beautiful, historical haunts and the twisted carnival atmosphere between them. Screams echo throughout the grounds and visitors come running out of the exits as monsters chase them from place to place. In queues, stalkers weave throughout the crowds, and special effects fire off as you wait.


Special Effects: 9

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The Special Effects at AHSL are a mixture of high tech and old school, blending the haunt’s history well with its modern ownership. Some effects are so intricate they take up entire rooms, while others are carefully placed to enhance scenes and catch the eye. Our team was impressed with the improvements made since last year, as hallways are evolving constantly and new techniques are added to make them dynamic transitions between scenes instead of simply dark passages.

It’s important to note that the Laboratory has a special effect that cannot be experienced in any other haunted house as they own two humongous Tesla coils that visitors interact with and witness in action up close. There are also features to each building that lend to incredible special effects and scenes that are unique to these two locations.


Theme: 9

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Both haunts have themes that are authentic and intricately interwoven in their building’s histories.

Miss Alma presides over the Schoolhouse, where visitors are treated to a thematic entrance into the horror stories contained with the school’s library. This theme is kept consistent throughout the hallways, and it’s difficult to not stop and try to read the pages of each horror story before you go crashing into it.

On the Laboratory’s side, the test subjects of the yesteryear haunt the halls and reach out for visitors as they pass. Mad doctors, intruders from many planes, and over-active morgues take guests to the Laboratory into a world that blends science-fiction, fantasy, and horror.


Scare Factor: 8.77

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Our temporary teen teammates gave us a lot of insight into this category this year, as some of them were unable to even start the first house! Monsters in both haunts utilized a variety of scare tactics from stalker horror to jump scares. Monsters picked up on names, fears, and the proper marks within the group to wring the most scares possible out of us.

We were especially impressed with the screams brought about from the gatekeepers at the Laboratory, the clowns in the Schoolhouse, and the hallway in the lab that had a number of twitching surprises. Horror and humor are closely married, lowering tensions just enough that visitors are unable to burn out on being scared from room to room.

The aforementioned Doctor in the surgery theater was great at reading the group and switching from simple shock to creepy threats and horrifying humor while our large group passed through his area.


Entertainment & Value: 8.88

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Entry to both houses is $28 on a Friday or Saturday and $25 on a Sunday. Fast passes are highly recommended as lines can get very long, and only cost $10 added on to the main admission cost. Entering just one of the two haunts is only $20. Group rates are available for groups larger than 4, and the Die-Hard pass for $60 lets you go through the haunt with a fast pass an unlimited amount of times in one night. If you love haunted houses and go repeatedly, Factory of Terror and the Akron Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory offer a season pass that includes unlimited fast pass admission to both haunts and up to four discounted “buddy” passes per night for $130. This option also comes with free parking, and 10% off merchandise.

Visitors can also enjoy a number of other attractions on-site including escape rooms, axe throwing, and some specialty shots that are named for the houses’ themes. At a walkthrough that takes about 45 minutes for both haunts, this is a lot of entertainment to enjoy for not a ton of money!


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2018 Awards

Grossest Monster - "Boils" (Given by: Team Jefferson Starship)

Most Improved Attraction - Akron School House (Given by: Team Jefferson Starship)

Most Realistic Costume - Ms. Alvah (Given by: Team Jefferson Starship)

Most Realistic Scare - Tesla Coil (Given by: Team Jefferson Starship)

Best Usage of Fog (Given by: Team Jefferson Starship)

Most Authentic Location (Given by: Team Jefferson Starship)

Actor Shout Out - Ms. Alvah (Given by: Team Jefferson Starship)

Actor Shout Out - The Keymaster (Given by: Team Jefferson Starship)

Actor Shout Out - The Lightning Bringer (Given by: Team Jefferson Starship)

Actor Shout Out - Very Serious Scientist (Given by: Team Jefferson Starship)


2017 Awards

Most Realistic Scare - Tesla Coil (Given by: Team Jefferson Starship)

Actor Shout Out Award - Basement Dweller, Spider Monkey Breeder, Doctor that Lost Keys (Given by: Team Jefferson Starship)