Review of Haunted Mines Haunted Attraction
Review of Haunted Mines Haunted Attraction
Review of Haunted Mines Haunted Attraction
Haunted Mines is a Haunted Attraction located in Colorado Springs, CO.
3910 Palmer Park Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80909View All Details
Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Handicap Accessible, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, Optional Games/Midway, “Hi-Tech” Attraction, You will NOT be touched, Original Characters, Indoor Waiting Line, All-Indoor Attraction
Team Hauntarama reviewed this Haunted Attraction on October 12, 2018.
Special Note for 2018:
We’ve changed the way we give scores for this year. We are now using a weighted average that puts more emphasis on certain features of the haunt (IE: “How scary was it,” versus “Does the haunt’s location authenticate their theme”). That said, these scores should not be used in comparisons to previous seasons. For more information about this, click on the small “Score Sheet” link at the bottom of this review. We appreciate your understanding. Thanks and Happy Haunting! –The Scare Factor
Final Score: 8.9
Hidden behind an unassuming strip mall facade lurks one of Colorado’s best haunts! The Haunted Mines is back this season, after a year-long hiatus, and in a new location. We were curious about Hellscream Entertainment’s efforts to turn the old Cowboys nightclub in Colorado Springs into the cavernous pathways resembling a mine, but the haunt’s production crew pulled it off beautifully. Utilizing more than two hundred custom made mine facades, the crew painstakingly constructed a twisting tunnel through the space, even sculpting some portions by hand while the facades were still pliable. That level of attention to detail permeates the Haunted Mines entire attraction, from the moment you enter the door. Although the exterior of the building is lacking, which resulted in a lower score than the haunt would have otherwise earned, don’t be fooled because the Haunted Mines is dynamite!
As patrons first pull into the parking lot at Haunted Mines, they are greeted by a few standard strobe lights, a couple of Halloween inflatables standing atop the roof, a smattering of wandering monsters, and, often times, a local food truck parked opposite the front of the building. Approaching guests are directed to the loading dock area behind the building along a candlelit sidewalk, to where the entrance line begins. After a short trip up a ramp and into a nearly unmarked, windowless door, however, the splendor of the attraction opens up into a haunted lobby, complete with creepy cast, impressive props, a DJ (and, on some nights, live local bands), a coffin ride, and local vendors, such as Jack’s Axe Throwing and The Arbitrarium jewelry. Haunted Mines also remains true to its roots, continuing to offer support to the Haunted Minds, a nonprofit started by the haunt’s former operators that coordinates donations to local causes, and partnering with other businesses and organizations, including the neighboring Bristol Brewing Company, the Combat Veterans’ Motorcycle Association, and the USO.
Hauntgoers’ first stop is with Haunted Mines’ resident voodoo gatekeeper, who beautifully weaves the yarn of the mine’s history (and rules) before sending them off to the next set of creeping creatures, culminating in a close encounter with an exuberant elevator operator who escorts them deep into the remains of the long-lost mining colony of Cold Falls. From there, the cadre of macabre miners maraude about, popping out from the mine’s many nooks and crannies.
The experience changes as the crew shifts through miners and denizens of the Cold Falls Colony, to clowns, but the level of quality actors did not. Each cast member adds something unique to each segment of the haunt, unifying the decor of each space, the lights and sounds, the props and scares. If anything, the clown cast kicked it up a bit, with their unique blend of eerie sweetness and subtle scariness, being both more present and less relenting. Not to mention, this area contains a couple of added physical effects, that require the characters to keep a watchful eye on guests while maintaining their scary effect, which the cast achieved effortlessly. Even the lobby’s creepers and coffin ride staff maintained an impressive level of commitment to their roles.
While there is a lot about the Haunted Mines that makes it one of the most impressive haunts in Colorado, those other efforts would fall flat without the support of the Haunted Mines stellar cast.
There’s nothing worse than a great cast having unoriginal, poorly done costumes, masks, and makeup, but that was not a problem for the Haunted Mines, as their costuming was practically seamless. The makeup was clearly done to exacting standards, and the costumes were detailed with quality and believability in mind. Meanwhile, the masks were perfect for their settings; they were similar enough to the static props and animatronics that you are never quite sure if the figure you see off in the distance will remain still, trigger its mechanism or stand up and come after you.
Customer Service: 9.3
The non-haunt staff at the Haunted Mines left nothing to be desired, as they were all extremely friendly, helpful and excited to welcome guests into the event. Finding the entrance to the event, however, proved more difficult than anticipated. Even with the clear instructions available on its website and social media, the entrance door is less than apparent. Larger signage both in front and back of the haunt, more creepers outside directing guests toward the door, or even more lights, sounds or other similar efforts would liven up the exterior. On the other hand, the indoor ticket and queue lines and attractions are perfect for Colorado’s wintery fall weather, providing plenty of potential fun before the guests even reach the Mine’s gatekeeper. It was somewhat awkward for guests with VIP tickets, however, as the VIP line leads almost directly to the Mine entrance. Although there is access to the other lobby activities, including the coffin ride and axe throwing booth, it was not readily apparent from the VIP entrance.
Nevertheless, even with all of the moving, squeezing, slipping, shimmying and shaking bits of the Haunted Mines, there was no real concern with safety inside. In fact, according to Vince, one of the owners and operators of both Haunted Mines and Hellscream, the Haunted Mines is ADA compliant. We didn’t take the accessible routes so we can’t opine on the differences, but it appeared that the Haunted Mines did a good job of providing wider pathways throughout the haunt. To make things even safer, the Haunted Mines marked several of the potential tripping and falling hazards to highlight the potential for patrons.
While Haunted Mines exterior is practically bare, its interior is packed with props from corner to corner, truly setting the scenes, creating the seamless effect of being in an authentic space. That exemplary decor is perfectly paired with the attractions masks and costuming to truly sell the spectacle, providing polished scares. Meanwhile, other odd bits and pieces have been left hanging out where they literally can’t be missed. The inside of the haunt itself is so thick with detail in some areas that it is literally impossible to take it all in before being sent off to the next set. Upon reaching the clowns, the decor again leaps to life when patrons accept the jesters’ offers to “see like we see,” which sounds a lot more intimidating than it is, but is nonetheless befuddling fun and was a unique experience for this review team.
Unfortunately, the plaintive exterior brought the ultimate score on this category down, because otherwise, the Haunted Mines’ score would have reached a peak as high as Pike’s.
Special Effects: 9.29
For all of their mechanised mayhem, the devil is in the details at the Haunted Mines, in the best way possible. Their technological terrors thrive, combining with the cast and settings to result in a true triple threat. The sights, the sounds and the smells, filled our senses, as the ambiance was astoundingly effective. Haunted Mines was also home to many impressive animatronics and other sorts of mechanical mischief, which were treats unto themselves while making footing delightfully hard to find at times. Indeed, even the very structure of some parts of the mine might move underfoot, and there was often no guessing at what one might encounter around the next corner.
Whether patrons are bumping along in the mineshaft lift, briefly blinded by bright lights, enjoying clownvision, squeezing through crevices in the cave, or even just strolling through the strobes, there are plenty of extra effects to fully round out the haunt. Haunted Mines lobby is also home to a technological treasure: the coffin ride, which gives guests the opportunity to experience the cloying claustrophobia of a closed coffin being bumped about.
The tale of the Haunted Mines begins well before guests arrive at the labyrinthian haunt, harkening back to Colorado’s early days and the mining colony of Cold Falls before leaping forward to the discovery of caves beneath the former Sinister haunted house. With a shout out to its sister haunt, Hellscream, the Haunted Mines’ story even wends its way to include Dr. Von Helton, the creative yet sadistic mind behind much of the Hellscream Entertainment family lore. With multiple introductions to the haunt’s clear, concise and chilling saga, there’s no missing the thematic connections as you traverse the thrills at Haunted Mines.
Scare Factor: 8.38
Haunted Mines boasts some of the most various scares around. The cast, as described above, was tremendous, and special effects were beautifully used, but the real magic came with how the haunt managed to marry the many elements into a smoothly scary experience. While briskly walking away from a pursuing ghoul in one section, for instance, you’re suddenly blasted with a sensory scare from out of nowhere, while, in another area, your attention is grabbed by a flailing animatronic allowing a cast member to emerge from the shadows behind you. In other areas, for example, the actors might isolate a part of the group, separating a screamer from the security of the crowd. Likewise, the journey down the “mineshaft” would have been entertaining on its own, but the actors’ passionate performance paired with it to create a masterpiece.
There were a few things that lowered this score in the final analysis, however. For instance, there were times when it was readily apparent where a scare would originate, even to the extent that I would make eye contact with an actor before he or she rushed out. Though it was fairly minimal, it was noteworthy when it happened. Similarly, at times, either the front or back of the group received all of the love, while the other side was left to wander on almost unaccosted. The other matter that affected the Haunted Mines final score in this category was the finale, which was mediocre given how much attention and detail went into the rest of the event. Nevertheless, as this is the first season of the current iteration of the Haunted Mines, in a brand new location to boot, much of that strikes us more as mere growing pains; things that are likely to be worked out in future years’ scares.
Entertainment & Value: 8.78
It is difficult to believe that the Haunted Mines is able to pack so much entertainment into the space they occupy, but they have done an amazing job. The only area of the attraction that was a disappointment was the exterior of the building. Otherwise, the freaky fun is jam packed from wall to wall at the Haunted Mines, beginning with the rocking lobby. The use of space and amount of enjoyment inside the haunt itself is equally sky high. With the ability to buy combo tickets for access to both Haunted Mines and Hellscream for one low price, the only outstanding question that remains is, what are you waiting for?
Photos from Review Trip:
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