Barretts Haunted Mansion – Full Review

Barretts Haunted Mansion is a Haunted Attraction located in Abington, MA.

1235 Bedford Street, Abington, MA 02351
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Haunt Type(s):

Multiple Hauntscharity-haunt1HauntedHouse


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Free Parking, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, Special Events, You will NOT be touched, Original Characters, Indoor/Outdoor Waiting Line, Indoor/Outdoor Attraction

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This attraction was reviewed on September 18, 2021 by Team Hallowoosh.

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Final Score: 8.75

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Celebrating their 30th year Barrett’s Haunted Mansion is BACK! Arguably the most respected and longest-running haunted attraction in Massachusetts, the talented and dedicated crew at this haunt was hungry to get back in the game after the unfortunate circumstances presented by Covid19 in 2020. They came out of the gate this year blowing fire out of the back to bring us one of the best seasons yet!

I have always considered Barrett’s Haunted Mansion a true icon of haunted attractions. It’s not huge, but what they end up making every single year with the limited space they have is nothing short of a miracle. It really is every single year that they redesign and remodel almost everything inside their house. They also create some of the greatest sets I’ve ever seen; each one of them is a completely different category of horror! It’s like stepping through portal after portal into a different evil world until you finally escape!

For years now Barrett’s has blessed us with all kinds of surprises. But generally, there is one particular theme they like to tease us with as we enter the haunt season. Two years ago they gave us a very creepy take on a nuclear test zone town. A few years before that they turned the front entrance into a haunted hotel lobby. I’ll never forget the first year I discovered Barrett’s was their 19th season and their theme was ’19 Below’ carved out of ice with a dead man’s head stuck inside. That year we walked into a meat freezer with multiple hanging corpses on hooks all frozen to the touch. It was probably the most unique thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. But as 2021 came around, they decided this grand 30th year would serve best as a tribute or an homage to all the years past and bring back some of the best scenes they have ever created! Along with a brand new theme for the outdoor haunt as well! Needless to say, I was very excited to check out Barrett’s again after missing a whole season.

Cast: 9.03

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Barrett’s Haunted Mansion has some of the greatest actors and actresses I’ve ever encountered. Every year they put so much heart and soul into what they do and it really shows every time. Not once did I ever catch them off guard or breaking character, it just doesn’t happen at this place.

Everyone enjoys coming back every year to see the familiar characters out entertaining the queue area. They are never in short supply of scare actors when it comes to the lines. The most familiar of characters I see every year is a Clown that goes by the name of K1. He doesn’t stay in one place for too long because it’s practically his lifelong goal to scare every single guest that comes through, you need to be on your feet all night long to do that. I really did see him everywhere this year. He greeted guests as they drove in, popped out around every corner outside of the haunt, even opened the door to the house for me. Just back and forth all night long.

I deeply appreciate the fact that everyone who welcomed me into the respected haunts was in character and had their lines down perfectly. There were three of them this year. One in front of the ticket booth, one for the Condemned attraction, and one for the actual house. As always, they tell me to not touch anything, no cellphones, no running, all that good stuff. Receiving this information haunt after haunt after haunt is just the worst. Fortunately, Barrett’s seems to agree with me and they had a crazy lunatic asylum patient, a dangerous schizophrenic, and a museum tour guide of some sort to tell me all these rules in character with a few jokes in there to lighten the mood. My favorite was, ‘Don’t touch anything and they won’t touch you ‘ probably’ and ‘If at any point you feel too scared to continue ‘ it’s probably too late for you, sorry.’

Inside the attraction always has different faces every year and I always enjoy what they come up with. They had a girl asking me if I wanted to ‘play a game’ which is quite possibly the most overused quote ever in the haunt industry. As a haunt tourist, I find myself instinctively replying, ‘Sure, what game?’ and that’s followed usually with a creepy giggle as they skip away from me. By the time I asked the question to this young criminally insane girl she had her hands on a Backgammon board moving the pieces around. How random is Backgammon! Is that even a thing anymore? I feel old. I came across another actor who was begging me to take his little girl away from the horrors of the Condemned. It was a particularly big set that I had to weave in and out of so he had a lot of time to convince me and he used every second he had. Well done, keeping onto me and not just disappearing back into a corner somewhere. And I had a lot of fun with a taxidermist distracting me away from a chainsaw-wielding maniac. Also, a cannibal butcher swinging a dead corpse around and calling it ‘Maxie Boy’ like it’s his best friend. Probably will never forget the dentist shouting, ‘Hope you’re ready to sit in the chair and get drilled!’ I’m good by the way, but thanks. There are plenty of awesome characters at Barrett’s and I love seeing them every time I visit.

The Condemned: 8.96
Barrett’s: 9.1

Costuming: 8.39

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Another great thing about the cast at Barrett’s is that there hasn’t been a year that has gone by where I didn’t see a character on stilts. Usually, at least two actors roam the grounds for unsuspecting guests and lurk over them, always a guaranteed scare. This year they had a bloody asylum patient and a psychotic clown walking around on stilts.

The crew prides themselves in their wide array of different costumes and makeup styles. Although the scenes change every year, the characters roaming the waiting areas outside are usually the same. And although I tend to appreciate change as much as possible as it goes hand in hand with creativity, Barrett’s is very much a loving family of dedicated freaks who just love being who they are. If that means being the same characters every year then I’ll support that any day. I can always count on seeing K1 in his bright yellow clown suit and big red wig and sharp teeth with safety pins holding the bloody wound on his face together! I remember a character on stills for a few years by the name of Anarchae. She always wore a black corset, purple shirt, and black restraints with metal rings on them. Her makeup was more on the lines of a hungry vampire rave girl.

Inside the haunts where the characters had scenes to match, they all wore great and believable costumes. I don’t usually bump into too many heavy-duty makeup jobs within the haunt but they definitely put some great energy into the characters, so they don’t need to rely on makeup so much. And while we still have a virus to deal with this year they are still wearing face masks as a precaution. These face masks are all themed out as well, not the regular disposable boring light blue face masks.

The Condemned: 8.52
Barrett’s: 8.27

Customer Service: 9.1

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When it comes to how easy it is to find this attraction, it’s hard to miss the bright Barrett’s Haunted Mansion sign hanging high above the road. Their popular devil face logo is enough to make people driving by getting a bit curious. Not to mention that this haunt stays up all year long and it’s located on a relatively busy route, and very visible to people driving by.

Due to the fact that Barrett’s Haunted Mansion shares a large parking lot with one of the more prominent restaurants in town, there are always a few parking lot attendees. They ask me if I’m here for the Restaurant or the Haunt and I always tell them ‘Both’ just to confuse them. They are very helpful and friendly though every year.

Once I parked and got out of my car it was a little too easy to know where to go thanks to the twelve-foot tall Devil head with its mouth providing an entrance into the ticket booth. Once inside the grounds of the attraction, there were plenty of signs all over the place directing me where to go for either attraction or even the gift shop or restrooms.

I feel obligated to mention what Barrett’s decided to do for their 2020 Season. Due to the pandemic, Barrett’s had to make the hard but right choice to not open the haunt last year. But staying home and doing nothing in its place was never an option for them! They came up with a brilliant idea to turn their back lot into a functioning Drive-In! They put up a giant projection screen and played two horror films back to back every weekend night. Tickets sold Instantly! They even sold Barrett’s Haunted Mansion-themed blankets so people could stay warm. And guests could even order food from the restaurant and have it delivered right to their car! AND All of Barrett’s characters lurked around the parking lot all night popping up at scary moments during the films! AND THEY DID IT FOR FREE! They called it Screens and Screams and people have been asking if it’s ever going to come back because it was something really special. Special because it was both a great personal experience but also had a great sense of community by supporting Barrett’s during a very difficult time. If that doesn’t scream customer service excellence then I don’t know what you’re looking for.

Atmosphere: 9.27

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As I mentioned in the customer service category, one of the first things I see when I pull into Barrett’s is a massive red devil head attached to a small building. They always have some kind of goofy crazy character welcoming everyone into the mouth of this devil’s head. For quite a few years now this ticket booth has served also as a merchandise stand and also a little short 1-minute preview haunt for free! It also changes every year too. This year they delighted us with a haunted asylum set and then a creepy clown set, both with haunt actors hiding and waiting for me to turn the right corner. Even the ticket booth is decorated to be haunted with a dusty and dimly-lit candy and popcorn counter just like they have in the old theaters.

The Condemned is housed in a wall-up complex with no roof and it seems the proper way to get to the entrance of the Condemned is to walk completely around it. While I was walking around it I could hear all the screams and sounds coming over the wall at various points. I could see other groups of people on the same path I was taking, realizing they may have misjudged the intensity level of this attraction. Some of my favorite moments as a haunted attraction tourist are when I hear guests talk about how scared they were at some other mediocre haunt, and then watching them lose their mind inside an actually scary haunt like this. So needless to say, the screams and noises pouring over the walls made quite a few people feel a bit uneasy.

The house is always designed to look like a very stereotypical haunted house. Plenty of brown weathered siding, wooden planks nailed across the windows, a wrought iron gate with ‘Barretts’ arched above it. Some years they even have what seems like an army of skeletons crawling all over the building. I don’t recall seeing this in 2019 but at some point, they acquired a large, damaged, fiberglass Mardi Gras jester and placed it looking down on the queue line. It kinda freaked me out a bit actually. It was rather impossible to not know I was definitely at a haunted attraction.

The Condemned: 9.26
Barrett’s: 9.28

Special Effects: 8.56

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When I drive into the parking lot, it’s like I’m headed straight into the middle of the Condemned attraction. It is hard not to notice the giant cloud of colored fog smoldering above the area. This has been constant with this attraction every year where the whole place looks like it might be on fire. It really sets the mood for most people. Don’t worry though, the majority of the attraction is still highly visible.

The Condemned area has a new type of laser swamp I don’t know if I have ever seen before. Essentially, it was a typical laser swamp but with many more lasers and not just one color. There were blues., reds, greens, and yellows I think. And when the colors mixed together it sort of made more of a regular white color. To me, it sort of felt like I was actually walking through real low lying fog.

One of my all-time favorite scenes from over the years came back this season, the subway station. I think I like it so much just because it’s such a random thing to see in a haunted house setting. When I heard that they were going to display some of their favorite scenes this year, I instantly hoped the subway scene would come back and I didn’t know it would be there until I saw it for myself. But I didn’t need to see it first because I could hear it before I turned the corner. The sounds of a busy subway station with people walking and train brakes squealing filled the whole room and then some. I was super excited to check it out again. It was like knowing you got your most wanted toys for Christmas and you just gotta love ripping the wrapping paper off.

I also particularly liked a very detailed sewer area this year that I think was used only a few years ago. All the pipes and cement walls were moldy and even an iron grated floor to walk over made this area seem very authentic. Being able to see the dead construction worker’s body floating in the sewer water with a broken water pipe pouring all over him, I won’t forget that image anytime soon.

The Condemned: 8.44
Barrett’s: 8.68

Theme: 8.35

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Barrett’s Haunted Mansion, for as long as I’ve known it, has been a two-story haunted house with multiple rooms all themed separately from one another. They like to promote and advertise a particular room or two every year as the one that is possibly the most unique or the one that has the most detail put into it. This year they decided to take rooms and scenes from over the history of their 30 years in operation and put them all together in the house for one season. I was not aware of any room or set that might return but I will say that I enjoyed every scene they presented.

I was made aware of a whole new trailer that sits just outside of the house now. From the waiting area, I could see that a banner and a plaque reading ‘Barrett’s Historical Museum est 1991’ marked the entrance into this year’s haunt. At first, I could only think that maybe it was actually just a stereotypical haunted museum. I was welcomed into the front door and immediately to the left what I thought was an evil clown actor. That only lasted for a second before I realized what it really was and I had to take a moment. This museum was not just some typical scary-themed museum, this was a memorial and tribute to a few actors that have passed. The model character standing next to me right at the entrance is the evil clown Phantasmo, brought to life for many years by Mike Pearson who passed away shortly before haunt season in 2020. He was also the mastermind behind bringing us the Screens and Screams last year. Although I never knew him beyond seeing his character at the haunt once a year, I can feel how devastating this loss was to this wonderful family. Out of a deep respect for the community they have made with each other over the years I had to just stop and appreciate how beautiful of a tribute this was to him. I’m even getting emotional just writing about it. This model of his character really did look exactly like him. Knowing that most guests probably won’t realize the significance, they’ll still get startled quite a bit like Barrett’s is giving him another season to do what he loved to do.

I should also mention that at the end of the museum there was another tribute to another actor who we lost back in 2014. William McAuliffe was a line actor who reminded me of the Undertaker with his black leather trench coat and wide-brimmed hat and his crazy sharp metal finger claws. He really had a spooky presence about him that I enjoyed, it was very touching to see him again as well. The museum also had Anarchae and K1 and a few other characters. K1 actually came to life though and I wasn’t expecting that! Well done!

The outdoor attraction follows more of a storyline ever since they created the facility. This year they created The Condemned: A small town that was taken over by a dangerous chemical leak from McTeel Industries. This Nitrogen Oxide-based pesticide known as PW-30 became too hard to contain so they decided to quarantine off the whole town and let its people fend for themselves. The chemical caused many of the town’s people to go insane and they are now referred to as Coulro-Sapiens.

The Condemned: 8.45
Barrett’s: 8.24

Scare Factor: 8.73

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Barrett’s Haunted Mansion is definitely one of the scarier haunts in the New England area. The detail and the passion they put into it every year make it one of the greats known throughout the country.

I’ve always admired the variety of what they offer, in that it’s not just a haunted house with multiple changing scenes but also an outdoor haunt that has one general theme. The characters I bumped into were both classic characters that don’t necessarily have anything to do with the applied theme of the year, and also characters that do have something to do with either theme. The dedication their actors and crew put into providing a great show is incredible and it has been one of the few annual haunts I have to see every year because of it.

The Condemned: 8.72
Barrett’s: 8.75

Entertainment & Value: 8.61

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Now is a good time for me to reiterate the fact that you can get a short 1-minute preview haunt for FREE! If you want to talk about value then this is a great place to start. Besides the parking attendees, the first staff member I bump into is more often than not a highly energetic and dedicated actor. If this is what they give you before you even pay for it, then think about what they can provide after purchasing a $35 ticket.

Yes, Barrett’s Haunted Mansion’s general admission price is $35. I clocked the Condemned at about 6 minutes and the Mansion at 7 minutes. Throw in another minute for the free preview haunt and we got 14 minutes of total haunt walk-through time for $35. Let’s not forget that we also have great queue line actors keeping us on our toes out there, and most nights they will have some sort of stage show as well.

Barrett’s probably offers the best deal I have ever seen. A few years ago they introduced the ‘Bite and Fright’ deal. On Thursdays and Sundays when the haunt is open, you can go inside to the restaurant and purchase a meal from their pre-selected items, AND get yourself a ticket for $45 dollars. Those menu items aren’t bad at all, they have chicken parm, chicken broccoli and ziti, burgers, pizzas, nachos, all of their food is fantastic. That’s essentially getting a whole meal for just $10, tip and tax included in the price. This year they are trying something even crazier called the ‘RIP Character Bite and Fright’. For $85 a person, you can get any of their selected meals, Fast Pass (RIP) to both attractions, and you get to eat your dinner with the company of one of Barrett’s talented actors! Both bite and fright deals are only available on Sundays and Thursdays.

Fans of the haunt will know about their very popular events ‘Darkness Unleashed’ and ‘Devil Night’. Unfortunately due to the fact that both these events involve touching in a time with a virus spreading, they have decided to cancel these events for this season. However, as I write this they had just announced a new event with detail coming soon for ‘Night Terrors’. I’m interested to see what this will be all about.

They really do try to offer as much as they possibly can every year. In my opinion, they do it better than most other attractions. Barrett’s is always well worth the price and a great scare.

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