Ghoul Brothers House of Horrors – Full Review

Ghoul Brothers House of Horrors is a Haunted Attraction located in Akron, OH.

3235 Manchester Road, Unit X, Akron, OH 44319
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Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, “Hi-Tech” Attraction, You will NOT be touched, Original Characters, Indoor Waiting Line, All-Indoor Attraction

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This attraction was reviewed on October 26, 2019 by Team Cleaverland.

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Final Score: 8.98

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Ghoul Brothers House of Horrors started with a bang in 2017, introducing themselves to the Akron/Cleveland area with a very self-assured first year.

They’re still going strong two years later, delivering a superb experience with fantastically detailed sets, awesome effects, superb makeup and masks, and a large cast (for the size of the place) that is positively rabid and relentless in their job of frightening guests.

Cast: 9.22

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More than 40 actors seemed to be bursting at the seams of this relatively small/short space. Their numbers and style made it feel like they were swarming all over us, which we’ll address more in the Scare Factor section.

If you want to participate in a 3-minute dialogue with all the ghoulies you meet in a haunt, you’ve got the wrong place. The approach here was much more given to multiple quick hits, sometimes in the same room, and even by the same individual.

The actors were quite interactive, though not overly verbal. Some said more than others, but it was usually a quick interchange… the better to get ready for the next crazy person trying to scare your head off!

The whole cast was fantastic, but max creepage was delivered by: the wheelchair dude who demanded a peck on the cheek to pass; an evil emissary (is there any other kind?) of the Umbrella Corporation who provided an intimidating presence, as he followed us nearly all the way through; a massive pig-man who was primed and pumped to crush us with a barrel; and an eerily still girl in the attic.

Costuming: 9.13

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What a pleasure it was to witness the exquisite makeup, masks, and costumes on display. In this area, Ghoul Brothers operated on a different level than most everything else we’ve seen this year (save maybe one).

We saw fabulous subtle and not so subtle makeup effects from scars, abrasions, and other traumas to ghastly pallor, and freaky masks immaculately presented right down to blacked out eyes.

Favorites? The Umbrella Corp creep who was just totally decked out from his sinister horned helmet to his spurred boots. The dark light clown mask. Exposed rib cage guy. The doll ladies. They were all so good, it’s hard to stop naming them!

Customer Service: 8.87

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Ghoul Brothers is located in a shopping plaza on the south side of Akron. Free parking was in a typical retail lot. A banner on the wall announced the place. Both times we’ve been here, we had to drive around the whole plaza to find it, so just keep at it and you’ll get there.

Safety appeared to be a prime concern for this attraction. There was a friendly sheriff posted outside. From an incident we heard about from earlier in the day, everyone appeared to know what they’re supposed to do when an incident occurs.

Their website has the basic info needed for a visit, and some cool visuals. T-shirts were for sale at the box office. No concessions, but being in the shopping area of a large city meant there was lots of food choices around it.

Atmosphere: 8.2

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So there’s no getting around it, we all know that strip haunts almost by definition have an uninspiring exterior. You’re not out in the country, surrounded by forest, at an abandoned meatpacking plant, by a remote campground, or anything like that. You’re in a shopping plaza behind a grocery store, so the magic has to start to happen as soon as walking inside.

Well, at Ghoul Brothers, it definitely did! The interior/lobby was very impressive and really constituted a set in itself. It resembled a grimy industrial location where various unsavory practices have been happening.

A giant monster puppet right inside the door gets things rolling. From there, great lighting and roaming queue actors did more mood setting. The queue passed bodies staked out on slabs, some other cool props, and a fright effect before getting to the entrance.

Shout-out to the diminutive axe-man who harassed us walking in. He threatened our phone with his weapon when we tried to check in, told us the phone wouldn’t work to save us, and then it really did stop working… he had some mojo! And then he popped up inside the haunt… and got in our way again on the way out… yikes, this guy was everywhere, and an excellent representative!

Special Effects: 9.61

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In a word, outstanding. Ghoul Brothers seriously brought it in the effects department with superb sets and wonderful props, much of which were home brewed.

The sets are incredibly detailed. Several had a root cellar kind of look or resembled rooms in an exceptionally freaky home, while others gave off more of a science fiction-al vibe. Some of the best included an excellent attic area, a drawing room, a cultish set, and a frightening carnival that was equal parts jolly and chilling… let’s call it ‘jolling.’

Some great animatronics were used throughout, including a torn-in-half demon torso, a malevolent clown, and a jaw-dropping and ‘bone’-chilling titanic one in the cult set near the end. Very impressive!

Fans of Lovecraftian horrors can get a nice fix at Ghoul Brothers. We noticed quite a few Cthulhoid tentacled faces around the place, including a large portrait of the OG GOO (Great Old One) himself (itself?).

At most places, a squeeze tunnel is an effect in and of itself, and all visitors can see is the tunnel they’re going through. Here, the two squeeze tunnels incorporated other effects and were more like a part of the sets they bored through. We enjoyed this more integrated and participatory usage of a trick that typically doesn’t have much to it.

Air blasts and electrical cracklers added to the environment. The lighting and sounds were fabulous, too. The sounds were unsettling and pervasive everywhere, but special props must go to a sample of the unearthly scream from Disney’s classic album Thrilling, Chilling Sounds of the Haunted House, and crazy laughter in the carnival area.

Theme: N/A

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There was no overall theme. It was just a great place to get a great scare.

Scare Factor: 9.17

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This was for sure our scariest sustained experience of the season. The haunt was pretty much on all-out assault mode all the time and we never felt safe. Listening to an audio recording of the visit, it was pretty much non-stop screaming and yelling from the team!

Upon entering the very first room… actually, even before that… the actors did a crack job of taking us out of our comfort zone continuously. It was as intense as we could imagine a no-touch haunt could be. They got up in our face and invaded our space.

We were targeted multiple times in most rooms, sometimes by up to four actors! They just kept popping out of every damn hole in the wall that we couldn’t see, then reappearing just around the corner. We got zapped time and again with scares that were aided by countless distractions, and the attacks came from all over. Up, down, around, every side.

Someone with a devious brain designed the place for maximum exposure to the actors. The very detailed rooms concealed a plethora of hiding spots. About halfway through there was an unpopulated stretch of dark hallways, which provided something of a breather amidst all the hysteria… but also created some concern for what must inevitably be around the next corner! Ghoul Brothers, if you have an actual teleporter in your bag of tricks, you should bring it out into the light of day and change physics forever!

The attack ethos of the majority of the cast made the ones who were out in plain sight even more intimidating. We cite the creepy girl standing in silent waiting for us at the opposite end of the attic. Jeepers!… as well as the one who took her good ol’ time sizing us up from the other end of a long hallway, then rushed up to within an inch.

As mentioned in the Special Effects section, the squeeze tunnels functioned as set components more than the usual way they’re traversed, as the boring ‘just walk through the tunnel and it’s the only thing you can see around and in front of you’ type of experience. While we were making molasses-like progress through these shorter (height-wise) tunnels, we could look at other parts of the room and got targeted for scare opportunities by an actor and an actormatronic, which made for some panicky moments.

Ghoul Brothers had a very nice finale as well, not to mention one that avoided chainsaws. Once again, we were gang-scared on the way out the door by multiple actors.

Entertainment & Value: 8.34

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This was kind of a tricky one. First, the numbers. Ghoul Brothers took 14 minutes to get through, one of our shorter times this season. General admission is $20. The MPD (minutes of entertainment per dollar) is 0.7. Again, that’s on the low side of what we’ve seen this year and below the industry average. However’

It was jam packed with eye candy and was an all-out assault on our senses and sensibilities. The constant feeling of being under siege certainly made it feel like we were in there much longer (heard on the recording: ‘Oh my God, is it over yet!?’). There was very little wasted space, save for the dark halls we mentioned that almost seemed like a catch-your-breath necessity before steeling oneself to continue.

So, a shorter haunt had better bring the heat and announce its presence with authority… and that is just what Ghoul Brothers did. Those 14 minutes were so packed that, yes, we felt like the experience justified the price even with a shorter time.

The all-night ticket (unlimited times through) for $35 seems like a pretty good deal; we went through twice and felt like a third trip could have been warranted to catch all the props and effects. The actors switched up their performances and even some locations on our second time through, so it wasn’t like all their secret hiding places had been compromised.

Group rates (for 10+) are available online. They also sell a ‘family pack’ online that’s essentially a buy four, get one free deal. Haunt-loving Clevelanders (or out-of-towners visiting nearby attractions like The Akron Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory, which is literally minutes away, or The Factory of Terror in Canton) should do themselves a favor and schedule a trip here. Make some time for a haunting bro-mance with the Ghoul Bros!

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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 10 out of 10

Kenny – 10/10September 29, 2023
The best haunt in ohio. Far surpasses pretty much every other haunt in the Akron-Canton area and …show more been to tons of other haunts and never as impressed as I am at Ghoul Bros!

Carly K – 10/10October 31, 2018
This haunted house was so realistic! I loved the actors- especially the first zombie girl when I …show more walked in, she scared me. I also liked the clown and girl in barn thingy

Anna G – 10/10October 5, 2018
This house was very scary and It had be screaming the whole time!! I recommend everyone to come!

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