Team Zombillies reviewed this attraction on September 10, 2016.
Final Score: 8.3
The Haunted Angelus House in Indianapolis, Indiana is now in their 5th season of instilling fear into folks to raise money for The Angelus, which is a cerebral palsy group home in Hudson, FL. With a modest, yet unique blend of special effects and actor-driven scares, this haunt is also 100% standard wheelchair-accessible, so almost anyone can ‘get their scare on’ here! The monsters here will not touch you, but they do get nice and close to help keep you out of your comfort zone. We visited the Haunted Angelus on their opening night and their outdoor maze section had not been completed at that time, so it’s absence has not affected this review. However, we were informed by management that they’ve made a few changes to it this year and it’ll add around 15 minutes to the total length of the haunt. For a great haunted attraction that supports an even greater cause, look no further than The Haunted Angelus House, Indy!!
Several new and returning cast members were encountered at Haunted Angelus this year and, because they don’t follow any particular theme, they’ve got quite a variety. On top of that, the majority of them were quite interactive with our group! We can’t get through the ‘Cast’ category without mentioning ‘Bobby J,’ Angelus’ resident hillbilly. After getting kicked out of the cabin we saw him in last season (apparently, his landlord found out he was still living there), Bobby J now roams the queue areas of the haunt and effortlessly keeps everyone entertained while waiting in line. As we made our way through the haunt, the cast in and around Dr. Peta’s veterinary clinic warned us of the mad Doctor’s evil intentions, asked if we had an appointment, and also warned us that Dr. Peta does NOT like walk-ins (so we knew we were doomed from the get go). The carnival clown was debatably one of the most energetic of Angelus’ crew as she offered us a game of darts and triggered an unexpected surprise in the process! ‘Twisty’ played his part very well while he creepily-stalked us out of his scene, as did Freddy Krueger via his sinister humor and iconic, evil laugh. Several other actors and actresses kept us on our toes as we wound our way through the building, although their dialogue skills suggest that most of the crew this year are relatively new to acting. Thus, we’ve seen a bit more overall energy and interactivity from Angelus’ crew in the past, but we have little doubt that their intensity will rise as the season progresses!
Most of the costumes at Angelus seemed to be appropriately done for each of the characters and their respective scenes. The overhanging zombie looked really good (from the glimpse we caught of him’ we didn’t stick around long), as did ‘Twisty,’ ‘Freddy,’ ‘Dr. Peta,’ and ‘Carver,’ to name a few. Probably the most ‘off-the-wall’ outfits we saw were the crazed Teletubbies after the circus area’ watch your kids with these guys if you have any in your group! A mix of masks and makeup was used throughout the haunt. Makeup, when used, was applied well and helped increase those characters’ believability, while the masks served well to identify (and intensify!) the characters too. Some of the costume accessories that we noticed include a still-attached fetus, a noise-maker toy that’ll make your skin crawl, and real metal weapons that let us know their handlers meant business!
Customer Service: 9.56
The Haunted Angelus House is located next to a large fireworks/Halloween store (how appropriate, right?). A large sign by the road, the haunt’s awesomely-decorated hearse and a ginormous banner on the front of the building were a ‘dead’ giveaway that we had arrived. Tons of free, paved parking is available in front of the building. As we neared the ticket window, ‘Bobby J’ greeted us and let us know that he’d been kicked out of his home (which was inside the haunt last year) and that he was ‘looking for someone to take him home [and that he] would be fine with living in a shed or a pile of leaves,’ so if anyone out there has a spot for Bobby J, he’d surely be obliged! Anyway, there’s a free photo op on the way to the indoor waiting area, so don’t miss out on your group photo that will be instantly available online. This attraction was very easy to navigate, we did not notice any trip hazards or any other dangers and it’s fully accessible for standard wheelchairs.
A hearse parked near the road is almost like a national ‘haunted house’ symbol for us, so as soon as we saw that, we knew our night was about to get started! While we didn’t hear any ‘haunty’ sounds or music playing outside the building this year, but unsuspecting customers’ yelps could be heard echoing up to the building after Bobby J would abruptly introduce himself to them. Once inside, the atmosphere changed and got much darker’ in more ways than one! We noticed a ghostly, gore-filled port-a-potty, ambient music, a large zombie projection on the wall, a well-decorated and realistic saloon facade, dancing laser lights and, of course, Bobby J just might find you again in there too! If you see him don’t worry, ‘he’s just a prop!’ There wasn’t really a line during our visit, so Bobby J was able to keep us entertained during our entire wait. This helped pass the time very well and prepared us to enter the saloon and madhouse to follow! We are sure that on busier nights more queue roamers will be there to interact with the crowd.
Special Effects: 8.41
Angelus consists of a large array of effects, including a few animatronics, many customized props, neon items and even some old-school effects too! Because they’ve created many of their items in-house, there’s quite a bit to see here that you won’t find anywhere else. Strategically-placed lighting helped provide just the right amount of illumination and creepiness to some of the scenes, particularly the string of flickering, vintage bulbs. The sound effects were rather quiet in the beginning, but things started to pick up once we entered the vets office. Many of the scenes were detailed very well! Some of them went as far as to put realistic piping behind the walls, massive tombs, bodily waste in lavatories and even ‘rain’ that fell from above (just to name a few). Having so many things to look at also made it easier for the creatures and scare-actors to hide, so watch your back! Some of the other effects we noticed included poppers, cobwebs, a falling cabinet, bubbling water, a dart game, a large clown that you walk under (don’t forget to turn around after you do), colorful tubes, banging doors, smells, a ‘sketchy’ walkway, lingering fog and even a rare bridge surprise!
This attraction does not follow one particular theme. Instead, they try to offer a little something for everyone. Whether you’re afraid of clowns, zombies, the dark, Freddy Krueger, falling, water, or even Jason Voorhees, The Haunted Angelus House has something for you and your friends!
Fright Effect: 7.19
A range of scare methods were awaiting our arrival as we navigated through Angelus’ corridors. While most of the scares that got us to jump were due to effective hiding spots, other types included common fears, intimidating slaughterers, sudden air blasts, loud noises, shifting flooring and more! Now, some of the scares and actors could be seen out in the open as we made our way closer, which decreased their effectiveness to an extent, but we never were really sure just exactly what was getting ready to happen. These were usually the more drawn-out and intimidating scares, rather than quick ‘pop’ scares, so don’t underestimate them’ even some of the things that you think aren’t going to move just might have a little surprise in store for you! As mentioned in other parts of this review, this haunt tends to favor more of an ‘old-school,’ actor-driven approach to scaring their customers. While there’s still lots to be afraid of and a fair amount of actors spaced throughout the attraction, the sheer intensity level was right where we’d call it a family-friendly haunt during our visit.
General admission tickets can be purchased for $22.00 per person, online or at the door. Angelus states that they believe everyone is equal, so they do NOT offer VIP or Fast Pass tickets that allow you to skip the line. We visited them on their opening night again (which was a special opening for the Horror Hound convention) and, because of how early in the season it was, their outdoor maze section wasn’t ready yet, so we didn’t get to see it. Therefore, we can’t say for sure how long it will take to navigate this maze, but we were told it’s usually around 15 minutes (depending on how many times you make a wrong turn). Our trek through The House took us 20 minutes, so if we add that time to the maze, it brings us to a total of 35 minutes. Now, of course, most groups’ tour times will vary, but if we figure in a 35 minute venture with the $22 ticket price, The Haunted Angelus House rings in at 1.59 minutes of entertainment per dollar spent, which puts them right above the average of 1.5 (which is based on all of the haunts that we visited last season). Flyers are running around town with $2.00 off coupons if you can latch onto one of those. Angelus is also a part of Indy Grimo’s haunt tour package that includes a VIP hearse transportation service to 4 Indy haunts! They will be hosting some special events so be sure to check out their calendar on their website! This attraction also came in #6 on our ’31 Voted Must-See Haunted Houses’ list for 2016 as voted by their fans! If you find yourself in the Indianapolis area looking for some haunting-ly fun entertainment that we believe is pretty suitable for the whole family, including those in wheelchairs, then The Haunted Angelus House in Indiana should be on your list to visit this season!