Azra Chamber of Horrors Haunted House – Full Review

Azra Chamber of Horrors Haunted House is a Haunted Attraction located in Madison Heights, MI.

31401 John R Road, Madison Heights, MI 48071
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Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Handicap Accessible, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, Special Events, “Hi-Tech” Attraction, You will NOT be touched, Movie Characters, Original Characters, Covered Outdoor Waiting Line, All-Indoor Attraction, Family Friendly

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This attraction was reviewed on November 7, 2020 by Team Cleaverland.

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Final Score: 8.93

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Azra is a relative newcomer to the haunt scene that’s made a lot of noise and received much praise in the first few seasons of its existence. The attraction just finished its third season in 2020. We visited them one week after Halloween, on Saturday, November 7th.

For a relatively new haunt, we found them to be in fine form! Azra’s strong points include a great collection of effects, carefully thought-through layout and design, and a superior cast well versed in frightening.

Cast: 9.11

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We’ve encountered attractions that suffered from post-Halloween doldrums with few and/or listless actors. Quite the opposite here! We met with plenty of costumed creeps barring our way and giving us the willies with high-energy (at times bordering on manic!) performances from just about everybody.

Not only were there plenty of them in there, we saw some of them multiple times. The layout gave them broad access to us coming and going. Azra possessed some powerful screamers, especially in its first half.

Interactivity ruled here. We ran into few if any lazy interchanges. Actors wanted to make an impression and they did, right from the get-go. The intro actress gave a nice performance, primarily with physical acting, as she emphasized various parts of the rules-giving (delivered by a special effects bust/projector) with her undulations and gestures.

Some of these actors used winning conversational gambits to go with their character/area. In the very first scene, a weird scientist wanted us to stick around for her bee experiments so we could become part of her hive… we’ve never heard that one before! As well as the eager dentist who tried to get us much better acquainted with all of her drilling equipment.

Costuming: 9.21

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We saw quite a few horrific applications that made us recoil. The costumes were well done and appropriate. The medical(/dental) personnel garb, for example, looked like what a real professional would wear. A few instances merited special mention:

The intro actress was done up as a sort of voodoo priestess, we think, accessorized with a very cool and elaborate cane that she handled with flair.

In the clown section, the day-glo carnival costumes had been specially treated so that elements of them popped out courtesy of our 3-D glasses. Nicely done!

This next bit will come up in a few sections of the review. We’ll be a bit cagey about it in case they use it again next season. Anyone who’s been through should know what we’re describing:

About halfway through we encountered one of the best is-it-a-prop-or-an-actor fake-outs we’ve ever seen. Most of the time we say ‘that’s an actor… right?’ But this time the costuming and camouflage were so good, we didn’t think there was any way it was an actor. Wrong-o, chongo!

Customer Service: 9.01

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Azra is located in Madison Heights, MI, right around Detroit. It was quite easy to find on a main, highly trafficked road with its large, bright signage.

Free parking is available in a regular retail-style lot. There didn’t seem to be a huge capacity, but we understand the surrounding establishments allow for overflow spots.

We had no complaints about the service. The cashier was nice, the security guy at the head of the line was friendly and chatty, the costumed door person was amusingly threatening.

As far as navigating the haunt, we experienced a couple slopes to maneuver and a step. There’s a slide to ride down, or it can be avoided by using some stairs. Nothing too challenging, overall.

We hope this will not have to apply in 2021, but Azra maintained a whole host of COVID policies: masks, sanitizer, temp checks, limited capacity, outside queue with recommended distancing, etc.

Atmosphere: 9.08

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Despite being located in an urban setting on a busy street, Azra generated a good bit of atmosphere. On the way to the ticket area behind the building, we passed a neat photo opp prop and an impressive roaring, fog-breathing dragon from which the attraction takes its name.

The queue was party central. Loud music pulsed, disco lights flashed, a couple of actors roamed. One of the films in the Scary Movie franchise played on the wall. A masked monkey fought a ferocious bear in a freeze-framed bit of static puppet on puppet violence.

Being there on the last night of the season, we think we missed out on some of the regularly scheduled atmosphere, which includes food trucks, a DJ, and fire dancers. Still, it was a pretty happening scene and we can imagine it’s even better when there’s a big crowd that’s into it!

After exiting the haunt, we came into the sweet gift shop area that featured lots of merch, a couple of displays, and more photo opps, as well as entrances for the separate sister attractions of escape rooms, rage rooms, and axe-throwing area.

Special Effects: 8.8

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Azra treated us to a wonderfully rich pageant of effects. They boasted a whole squadron of gruesome puppets and a panoply of fabulous animatronics. The animatronics included one in the bee section we’ve not seen elsewhere and an exorcist-style one that we have seen before but not deployed the way it was (and very effectively to boot!).

We witnessed really good sound effects, skillful use of fog, and interestingly decorated walls (especially spikes and skulls). They pulled off the lighting exceptionally well. The lighting effects and dark areas concealed many assailants who launched themselves at us relentlessly.

Here again, we’ll note the prop/actor first mentioned in Cast. We considered it a fantastic prop until the effect turned into an actor and leaped up!

There were pretty awesome 3-D effects in the carnival area, as well as a fun slide to go down! Thank you, Azra, for the effective 3-D glasses. We participated in several 3-D sections this season and Azra’s glasses were the best we used. They seemed to be brand new cardboard glasses handed out to everyone that had to be creased and folded before setting them on your face, but they really did the trick without falling off or fogging up.

Azra’s consistent look and feel, even throughout and across disconnected rooms outside the very on-point carnival area, indicated a unified art design and a definitive creative direction.

Theme: N/A

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There was no narrative theme we could discern.

Scare Factor: 8.79

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This haunt proved masterful at hiding actors until they chose to strike. Most of the actor scares were of the popping out of the darkness variety, but they were great at it! A couple distraction-bolstered drop windows enabled pee-in-your-pants level startles. Some of the animatronics took us by surprise, too. Azra hit a plethora of phobias like clowns, insects, rodents, power tools, and everyone’s favorite, a trip to the dentist’s office! Brrrrr…

We keep coming back to it, and here we are again. The ‘prop or actor’ moment made us jump in the air like the floor was electrified. In the carnival area, that was one fast slide and the ride led down into darkness. Another scary-fun moment for sure.

Bottom line, they got us so good and so many times that we were cringing by the end and came out the exit with a case of the yips.

Entertainment & Value: 8.58

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We yelped our way through Azra in 19 minutes. The general admission price was $30, with a $50 fast pass and $80 for skip-the-line ticket.

The 19-minute time and the $30 cost yielded an MPD (entertainment minutes per dollar spent) of 0.63, which is on the low side. We haven’t conclusively looked at any end-of-season numbers yet, but we think we experienced lower MPDs across the board this season, at least part of which can be attributed to sections being closed off or changed for COVID.

In any case, we certainly enjoyed our time in this very high-quality attraction. There’s plenty else to do both outside and in.

On that note, after each of their seasons, Azra has made some major changes in making things bigger and better. From what we hear, that’s the plan for 2021 as well. Azra is not on our regular beat, but we’ll be back to see what enhancements they’ve made!

For those in the mood for a final jolt of Motown-style madness, Azra will be open on Friday, November 13.

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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 9.13 out of 10

Jeff – 10/10October 12, 2019
Had a great time. We got the fast pass and it made the wait a lot shorter. Worth the extra little …show more bit of $$ to upgrade imo. Even if we had waited 2 hours in the regular line it would have been worth it though. Really awesome haunt. Best I’ve ever been to.

Daisy – 10/10October 5, 2019
This was our second year going to Azra. We loved it last year and this year it was even better. …show more Loved the new expanded clown area! Outside waiting in line is even fun with the lights, music, and performers!

Lindsey H. – 10/10October 4, 2019
This is the best haunted house I’ve ever been to! They scared me so many times in so many different …show more ways. I am already planning on going back again next week with a different group of friends.

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Past Awards

2019 Awards

Best Queue Entertainment (Given by: Team Michigan Macabre)

Highest Rated Haunt in Michigan (Given by: Team Michigan Macabre)

Highest Rated Haunt (Given by: Team Michigan Macabre)

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