Final Score: 8.81
Haunted Hills Hospital is a haunt located in Lake Station, Indiana that we almost missed visiting due to the terrible rain that forced neighboring attractions to close that night. We are very glad we didn’t miss this one as our visit ended up being one of the best surprises of the haunt season! We hadn’t really heard a lot about them prior to our visit and we knew they had just moved to a new location, so we weren’t sure what to expect. What we found was a highly entertaining and enthusiastic actor-driven attraction with heart and creativity to spare. We highly recommend you go see what is quickly becoming one of Northern Indiana’s “Must See” attractions!
One thing we can say about HHH is that there sure wasn’t a shortage of actors the night we visited. Scene after scene we came across rooms with multiple actors. In some scenes, it seemed like the numbers were in the double digits, we didn’t encounter any actor ‘dead’ spaces during our tour. While a large percentage of the actors were quite young, we felt the majority showed a lot of enthusiasm and seemed to put forth a lot of effort into their character’s role. There were several stand out characters like the evil Dr. Cropsey who gave the most convincing performance of the night, the performers in the bathroom who were quite convincing as a group of creepy nuns, the crazy evil clowns who were some of the most intense of all the characters and the queue line actors who all seemed to nail their characters role despite it being a rainy, cold night. As a whole, we felt that the dialogue used fell in-line with the theme of the attraction which helped make our tour seem more realistic. We also have to give a shout out to the rabbit on stilts who looked to be 10′ tall or more. The way he was able to run around with such ease in the pouring rain and sneak up on us, bending all the way over to whisper something in our ears. You, sir, were outstanding! There were a few actors who screamed a little too much and a couple scenes where the actor’s dialogue went on for a little too long, but overall we found the cast to be our favorite part of the attraction.
While we wouldn’t say the costuming and makeup at HHH is one of the strongest elements of the haunt, as a whole we found the costumes to fit in well with the themes of the different scenes. Being the attraction takes place in a hospital, we not surprisingly saw plenty of medical attire like dirty, distressed scrubs and tattered, bloody hospital gowns. We also saw some more creative and original costuming, some of which were very cleverly created by some rather common household type items. While much of the makeup work was more minimal, we did enjoy several very effective high-quality masks and the overall creepiness to costuming as a whole. Our favorite costumes hands down were that of roaming and queue line actors, especially the rabbit, whose pants alone were a masterwork of creative design.
Customer Service: 9.44
We had no problems finding HHH with GPS. There was a flashing sign out in front of the building that houses the attraction and staff were on hand helping to direct traffic. Parking was a little confusing as it is located several blocks away at a school parking lot. On-site there were public bathrooms, a stand selling concessions/merchandise, and plenty of very helpful staff. Everything seemed well organized, with all services clearly marked and easy to find. There was quite a large number of queue line and roaming actors entertaining guest with scares, humor, and photo ops.
We heard loud music when we got within a block or so away, after walking from the off-site parking lot. After arriving we noticed spooky props, colorful lighting and an illuminated HHH sign above the entrance to the haunt itself. The roaming actors were excellent at entertaining those customers who were either waiting in line or arriving at the haunt. We even saw several groups get terrorized by a couple of characters as they were leaving! Indeed the pre-haunt performers added greatly to the overall atmosphere and got our group really excited to begin our journey inside.
Special Effects: 8.78
The thing that really stood out to us the most regarding the effects was the originality and creativity of the sets. The layout of many of the scenes was really unique in that it created an element of suspense by giving you glimpses of what was coming up ahead. We noticed many rooms that were decorated with normal household items that were sometimes modified/altered. These were some of our favorite scenes as they had a real authentic look and feel to them. Some of the set pieces were true one-of-a-kind items that were custom-made in-house that you’re not likely to see anywhere else. The use of loud intense music was utilized well, as well as soundtracks that had more eerie and creepy sounds. The lighting was well done throughout most of our tour, but a couple of the scenes we felt could have been brighter so that we could see the details more easily.
HHH is based on a mental facility that holds psychotic patients that are too evil for a regular mental facility. An evil clown named JAX was brought to the hospital and soon after started a riot in which most of the doctors and staff were killed along with the weaker patients. Now, all that remains are gangs of the most sinister and dangerous who have taken over different areas of the hospital. During our tour, we felt as if we walked through an asylum that you would only encounter in your worst nightmare. We found the script, costuming, and majority of the sets to be in-line with the overall theme.
Fright Effect: 8.42
We came across a nice assortment of scares throughout our journey from intimidating dialogue, menacing characters, and sudden startles, to ear piercing screams, distraction scares, and characters who threatened us with weapons. Our favorite frights came from the scenes that contained a large number of actors in which we felt nearly surrounded by characters coming from seemingly everywhere. The design of the scenes also played a major part in adding a unique element of suspense to the fright effect, as often you would see little glimpses of someone or something from afar that you knew you would soon have to come in close contact with. We felt it was a very original concept and it definitely made our tour all the more enjoyable.
General admission is quite reasonably priced at $15. There is also an ‘Emergency’ Fastpass available for $25 in you will skip the regular general admission line, which is a great option on nights when the lines are long. It took our review group 15 minutes to tour the entirety of the attraction. We felt they made good use of the space available to them. Being that they change over half of the attraction each season, there is always a lot of new stuff to see which provides a good value for the repeat customer from year to year. HHH is a haunt done with heart, as you can really tell that it is put on by those who love what they are doing. From the enthusiasm of the actors to the creativity of the sets, there is a real passion at work here. We felt it was very much worth the price of admission and look forward to future visits!