Harco House of Horrors – Full Review

Harco House of Horrors is a Haunted Attraction located in Jewett, OH.

106 Main St, Jewett, OH 43986
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Haunt Type(s):

Haunted House

Links:

Harco House of Horrors Facebook Page

Contact:

Call Harco House of HorrorsEmail Harco House of HorrorsMessage Harco House of Horrors on Facebook Messenger

Features:

Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, You will NOT be touched, Original Characters, Indoor Waiting Line, All-Indoor Attraction

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This attraction was reviewed on October 28, 2022 by Team Cleaverland.

Final Score: 8.3

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Summary:

Embarking on its second decade of haunting, HARCO (short for Harrison County) House of Horrors makes its home in a former school building.

Unlike other old schoolhouses we have been to, bygone school days are not a theme here. Instead, it’s a kaleidoscopic trip through many and varied scenes of phantasmagorical dark fantasy settings stacked one after the other.

We made our first visit here in 2022, but it certainly will not be the last! Splendid effects, a great cast, and a satisfying sense of value combining a long walkthrough with a low admission price all marked our highly entertaining experience.

In years past, the attraction also offered a corn maze, but that did not happen this season. This is a charity haunt benefiting a kids’ basketball league and other local causes.


Cast Score: 8.24

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Cast Review:

HARCO House of Horrors (HHOH) had one of the most populated haunts we’ve seen this year. There seemed to be so many freaks and creeps in there, we wondered if half the town had shown up to do some scaring!

The highly energized crew of creatures tormented us at every turn. Lots of different character types popped out, yelled, grunted, growled, crawled, and got in our face for a challenging look. Special credit for screaming must go to the maniacally shrieking girl in the laser swamp.

We were told things like: ‘I will hunt you down in the darkness’ and ‘Look at me, you coward!’ Someone invited us to pet the skull he held, and another gave us a severed head to carry around. Great individual and ensemble work all around, but we especially recognize the bayou dryad/forest spirit lady for getting off great lines in a wonderful scratchy voice and pursuing us all over the place!


Costuming Score: 7.85

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Costuming Review:

We witnessed a good mix of masks and makeup, probably leaning more toward the masks. Many haunters wore a simple black robe, not a bad choice for a dark haunt like this, but also not too finely detailed.

But the scarecrow, pumpkinhead with wicked fangs, Molly the giant doll, and the horned skull mask cultist all looked fabulous. We also saw a group of particularly hideous clown masks along with distinct costumes – one sported a stripes and polka dot clown onesie, another wore a Purge-ish smiley face outfit, and so on.

Once again, the forest fairy wowed the most. She had a terrific makeup job featuring super freaky contact lenses along with an accessorized full-body get-up.


Customer Service Score: 9.63

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Customer Service Review:

You’ll find HHOH in Jewett, Ohio, near the border of Pennsylvania due west of Pittsburgh. GPS got us to the doorstep. We parked on the street across from the entrance, but there is also a parking lot to the side.

Signage outside could stand a bit of lighting, as they were hard to read until we were on top of them. It’s through the doors and up the stairs to ticketing. Don’t forget to grab a piece of free candy! We encountered very friendly folks all around the place.

The walkthrough is quite twisty, so much so that it’s a little disorienting. In spots, a guide popped in and out to tell us which way to go. As you might imagine from the institutional venue, there are several flights of stairs to negotiate.

Being housed in a former schoolhouse, we also enjoyed the use of real restrooms. Always cause for celebration, wooo! These locker room-style bathrooms were pretty creepy, though… and even worse, the clown posse confessed some people get freaked out when they walk in to find the clowns changing in there. That would be enough to scare the poop out of most of us!

There is no website, but they do have a Facebook page with pertinent info.


Immersion Score: 7.17

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Immersion Review:

Outside of the attraction was sort of a mixed bag, atmosphere-wise. At the exterior, we found skeletons climbing on the outside walls of an imposing and very darkened building. A pretty spooky introduction!

Inside, though, harsh bright white lighting that we’re not used to in haunt lobbies filled the entrance hall and ticketing area. Members of the extended haunt family chatted in chairs, reinforcing the strong sense of community we felt here. They put up some nice props and decorations, plus there were lots of food options and merch, along with a photo opp.

Opposite the ticketing table, we found the gym, a good place to relax before or after the haunt and watch the horror movie that’s playing while munching on popcorn. If you want something more substantial to nosh, they had hot foods for sale like hot dogs and sloppy joes. And homemade cookies, bake-sale style! Caramel apples, cotton candy, candy bars, chips, beverages, oh yeah the munchies were laid on in style and plenty here.

Once they opened the magic door to the pre-attraction entrance hall, we got a sneak peek into the haunt style via an elegantly rendered foyer. The entryway sparkled with an eerie vibe combining props, awesome lighting, and a couple of pre-walkthrough startles. This development surprised and rather intimidated us after the bright ticketing area.

Immersion overall proved to be fairly high. Some detractions/distractions to the immersion level were the escorts appearing frequently at the end of a scene to guide us (however appreciated that might be for the directionally challenged leader of this team!), a penchant of some of the actors to unmask before we exited their scene, low dividers in the dark maze, and in some areas a tendency toward black plastic walls.


Special FX Score: 8.46

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Special FX Review:

The high volume, variety, and quality of lighting contributed mightily to our experience. It began (as noted in Immersion) with the entryway, in which we entered through a nifty bit of laser lighting, and continued into the Buzzard Bayou. Here, fog and moody green lighting blended to set the tone for an outstanding opening set.

And from there, the hits just kept on coming! We went in expecting more of an old-school kind of thing, and came out happily surprised with the effects wonderland they had created. Great, beautifully detailed, and finely crafted sets included a spider lair, the toy room, a glowing jack o’ lantern scene, a sinister dungeon area, a cool graveyard set with a zombie prop, a skeleton roasting on a spit over a roaring fire, and the robed cult figure room.

Colorful storm clouds on the ceiling had us oohing and aahing. The laser swamp room was designed well. We even got to see a water effect.

We heard the Halloween movie theme music through the first part of this haunt. Later on, our ears were treated to other scarifying music… plus Brenda Lee’s Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree? We hope this is a sign of a holiday show to come!

We also got auditorily assaulted with loud noises like metal clangings, thunderstorm crashings, and horn blasts, some of these while making our panicky way through a squeeze tunnel. Which brings us to the scariness section of this review…


Scare Factor Score: 8.07

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Scare Factor Review:

The pre-attraction entryway also contained a ‘sissy board’ of visitors who tapped out and got their name written on the wall of shame. Some apparently gave up before even stepping foot inside the first room! Maybe a good call, because we found HHOH to be plenty scary.

The actors inhabited many effective, dark hiding places. They got a good amount of mileage out of their tactics and costuming. Out of nowhere, quick-start chainsaw attacks threatened us four different times! We skittishly crept and yelped all the way through.

The effects got in on the frightening act, too. A well-timed drop window put a jolt through us. A bit of party separation made us feel apprehensive. One of the best was a baby crib moving on its own, enough to make arm hairs raise. The Salem’s Lot props (ratlike Barlow the vampire from the 70s TV miniseries) looked properly horrific. Not to mention the spooktastic lighting and other excellent effects work, all of which served to ratchet up the tension.


Entertainment & Value Score: 8.68

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E&V Review:

HHOH took us 22 minutes to get through. Against the $12 general admission, the MPD (minutes of in-attraction entertainment per dollar spent) formulation came to 1.83. That’s the best we had this year (on a pure numeric basis, not counting the place with unlimited trips per night!).

Anything approaching 2 is getting really high on the scale. Plus, we had a blast here, so this attraction delivered tremendous value.

We’re going to beat this drum one more time, get outside your comfort zone and visit a new attraction or two next season, or sample one that has off-season events. This was the last of four haunts this year that were brand new to us and The Scare Factor, and they all provided very good experiences.

This was also our last review visit of the season. Thanks for seeing us off in style, cast and crew at HARCO House of Horrors!


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