Grimsleys Gorge – Full Review

Grimsleys Gorge is a Haunted Attraction located in Phoenix, NY.

455 Main Street, Phoenix, NY 13135
View All Details

Haunt Type(s):

Home Haunt


Grimsleys Gorge Facebook Page


Message Grimsleys Gorge on Facebook Messenger
Team Skelegore Logo

This attraction was reviewed on October 24, 2020 by Team Skelegore.

How Do We Get These Scores?

Show Top Legend

Final Score: 8.34

How Did We Get This Score?

Show Overall Scores


Grimsleys Gorge in its modern form began in 2009 as a small walk-through-style home haunt using sections of fence and store-bought masks. Over the next 11 years, it has grown into what we know today: a dense maze filled with actors and unique special effects.

Creators Ryan, Stefan, Matt, and Steve are truly pursuing a passion, making the haunt a little bit longer and scarier every year while keeping the price of admission at a modest zero dollars. Although the haunt may be free, donations are welcome and go towards making next year’s show bigger and better.

Cast: 8.6

How Did We Get This Score?

Show Cast Scores

I want to set expectations right away. This is still a small home haunt and, as such, will have a fairly small number of actors. This year, Grimsleys Gorge has somewhere between 12 and 18 actors. They tell me the number of actors hasn’t changed due to COVID, just who is available to help out.

Being a tightly-knit cast means that every actor, no matter how big or small the part, is giving their role 100% effort. There is not a single person in this show that doesn’t completely embody their character on some level. From the caretaker at the beginning to the prisoner in his cell, they are all giving it everything they’ve got.

Dialogue is well thought out and fits very nicely into the story. The prisoner will beg and plead with real conviction to be let out of his cell; I may or may not have told him I preferred him in the cage, and he might think I’m a psychopath now.

One of the better bits of dialogue comes in the furnace scene where the actor asks why you came to the basement. His lines work well enough to play in with guest comments such as when I told him not to blame me, I wanted to go to the second floor. He let us know that was okay too, and to see the doctor anyway.

Every scene has it’s own dedicated character that strays far away from the generic ghoul or zombie, and really shows the homegrown aspect in the roles.

Costuming: 8.66

How Did We Get This Score?

Show Costuming Scores

One of the things you won’t find at Grimsleys Gorge is licensed characters. Every single costume, mask, and piece of makeup is totally unique to this show. Immediately after entering the attraction, guests will meet the caretaker who is dressed up in a very detailed costume and mask. He looks rather disfigured, but that’s kind of the point. Other notable costumes throughout are the boiler room character, the hanging torso, and the doctor.

Let’s talk about that hanging torso real quick. Not only is this a clever illusion that may or may not require chopping the actor in half, it’s also incredibly detailed. The makeup really ties it together, and really created a suspension of disbelief.

We noticed a few actors here and there that didn’t have such detailed costumes or makeup, but they’re also in positions where it’s not necessary. The details are used purposely in areas where guests will definitely see and appreciate them.

Customer Service: 8.7

How Did We Get This Score?

Show CS Scores

The staff at Grimsleys Gorge is absolutely wonderful. Every interaction with them is always so pleasant and welcoming. Guests are greeted outside with a smile and graciously invited inside where they’ll find hand sanitizer and markings on the floor to stay 6 feet apart from other groups. The “ticket taker” will let you know all the rules before letting you in as well.

As you drive down Main street, you’ll notice the town office building looks quite festive and a little spooky. This is how you’ll know you’re in the right place. There is also a very large American flag hanging on the outside of the building.

Guests should take caution to the moving floor feeling after the Hellevator shakes them up, as there are tarps on the floor which could become very slippery when wet. Beyond that, there’s no risk of hitting your head on a low clearance or otherwise getting hurt.

Finding information ahead of time might be a little scarce if you’re not a social media user, as Facebook is the main platform for their info. We’ll always do our best to make sure we have the most up to date information here on The Scare Factor, too.

Atmosphere: 8.3

How Did We Get This Score?

Show Atm Scores

The graveyard scene out front is a dead giveaway that you’ve found the right place (see what I did there? Dead giveaway. Hah!). The headstones, monuments, and mausoleum facade have references to Grimsleys Gorge and the people that make it happen. A closer look would reveal these are all made from styrofoam or another similar light-weight material, but from the sidewalk, they look pretty close to the real thing.

Again, this is still a home haunt, so the outside decorations won’t be to the level of what one might find at a show with a permanent location. That being said, the outside decorations are a bit on the ‘family-friendly’ side of things, but the scares on the inside are definitely a step up from that.

Special Effects: 8.16

How Did We Get This Score?

Show Sfx Scores

For at least two of the last three years I’ve seen this show, my group has been sized up at the beginning being told to stand on a black mat “to make sure you’ll fit in the coffin-I mean the one room.” I always get really excited that I’ll be stuffed in a coffin, and then I remember it’s actually for one of my favorite haunt effects – the Hellevator. What a magical piece of machinery those are, creating seamless transitions between scenes that would otherwise confuse guests on how they made it to the basement without the use of stairs. I still think there ought to be a coffin transition, though.

Show lighting is carefully crafted in each scene to work well with fog, and actors. There’s even a great vortex tunnel illusion with an actor that’s not afraid to scare you when you’re the most disoriented.

Other prop effects include popping electrical noises, a pointy torture device that comes swinging at you, and a moving coffin. These are all very well placed and used to good effect.

Sound is one of the areas where the special effects falls a bit short. There’s not very much ambient sound throughout and, when there is, it has a rather low volume. The Hellevator has its own sound effects inside, and the volume is loud enough to sell the illusion quite well. The effect sounds in it are fairly loud and create a good scare on their own.

Theme: 8.47

How Did We Get This Score?

Show Theme Scores

The theme every year is a little bit undefined, but every scene manages to stay within the established look throughout. After boarding the elevator ride to Hell, guests wind up in the basement where they’ll find all manner of creepy crawlies and things that go bump in the night.

The creators say that their overall thought process is to create a scenario that is as realistic as possible by using original characters and scenes that don’t allow the guest to let their guard down because they recognize a scene from a movie; it keeps you on your toes. We would have to agree with that assessment, as at least one person in our group really thought we were wandering around a basement, looking for this mysterious doctor.

Scare Factor: 7.32

How Did We Get This Score?

Show Scare Scores

The scares this year feel a little more energetic than in previous years, showcasing a new scare that I won’t spoil for you, but we do recommend looking up. While much of the outside decor might lead passers-by to think this is a show they can bring their little ones to, it’s really going to depend on each individual. The actors are definitely on the ball when it comes to timing and, when coupled with the show lighting, this is a dark and spooky place.

For families with small children, Grimsleys Gorge also puts on a kid-friendly, lights on walk-through on Halloween before the lights go out, and the creepy crawlies come out to play.

While still packing a punch, the full show may be a good intermediate step for younger kids to start enjoying ‘real’ haunted houses.

The finale scene is actually quite well done, featuring some dialogue from the doctor that alludes to the idea that perhaps you actually died along your journey. He says he can bring you back from the dead, but some of us prefer to be walking corpses thank you very much.

Entertainment & Value: 8.68

How Did We Get This Score?

Show EV Scores

I feel like I’m beating a dead horse, but I’ll say it again, this is a free home haunt. In terms of minutes per dollar, that’s an infinite amount of time for every dollar spent! What a deal! Seriously though, donations are welcomed and guests can pay what they feel the show was worth for them.

Outside the show, there isn’t much going on, but guests looking for a bite to eat afterwards can find a number of local dining options.

How Did We Get These Scores

More Info Button

View Full Score Sheet >

Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 10 out of 10

Jim Alibrandi – 10/10October 30, 2020
So good, my wife did lots of screaming and grabbing me for safety. Will go every year for sure, it …show more is a definite thing not to miss!!

View All

Submit Your Own Review!

Past Awards

2020 Awards

Best Plague Protection (Given by: Team Skelegore)

Privacy Notice

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. Learn More Here.

Join our

on youTube!

We visit Halloween haunted attractions year-round! Follow us for haunted house walkthrough videos, behind the scenes footage, and more!