Review of Hundred Acres Manor Haunted Attraction

Review of Hundred Acres Manor Haunted Attraction

Review of Hundred Acres Manor Haunted Attraction

Hundred Acres Manor

Hundred Acres Manor is a Haunted Attraction located in Bethel Park, PA.

1 100 Acres Drive, Bethel Park, PA 15102
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Haunt Type(s):

Best ValueMultiple Hauntscharity-haunt1EscapeRoom1HauntedHouse

Links:

Hundred Acres Manor Facebook PageHundred Acres Manor WebsiteHundred Acres Manor Twitter PageHundred Acres Manor on InstagramLouisville Halloween

Contact:

Call Hundred Acres ManorEmail Hundred Acres ManorMessage Hundred Acres Manor on Facebook Messenger

Features:

Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Handicap Accessible, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, Optional Games/Midway, “Hi-Tech” Attraction, You will NOT be touched, Original Characters, Covered Outdoor Waiting Line, Indoor/Outdoor Attraction, Family Friendly

Team Houdini reviewed this Haunted Attraction on September 24, 2021.

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Final Score: 8.95

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Summary:

Hundred Acres Manor holds a special place in my heart as it resides in the same location as the first haunt I ever attended, way back in 1995. Back then it was known as Phantoms in the Park. It ignited my passion for haunted attractions that has only grown over the decades. In 2004 Hundred Acres Manor engulfed the area and has resided at this location ever since. It is a tradition of mine to visit HAM first each year as we previously did with Phantoms in the Park.

Hundred Acres Manor returns after a yearlong hiatus, due to Covid. Continuing as a nonprofit haunt, the manor is not your typical residence. It bends time and space transporting you to five unique areas spanning over a mile. This year the lift is closed. But, a new area has materialized. Folklore, a familiar theme was rebooted into Voodoo: The Spell. Also, three familiar themes are returning: The Host, Breach, and Hallows Eve. Additional attractions include The Maze, and (for those of legal age) The Scream Bar.

As the sun falls out of sight and the moon rises we anxiously await to enter the manor. Looking up at the towering stone façade and stained glass windows I think back to the old tan and grey building with the Hundred Acres Manor name in meek green letters on top. So much has changed and even though this is not the same haunt I experienced over a quarter of a century ago, the nostalgia hits hard. It makes me feel like I’m thirteen again, excited and anxious, wondering what awaits inside…


Cast: 8.79

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I’ll admit in the past HAM has had its up and downs with actors. I’m happy to say that although the manor did not seem as packed with a large number of actors the quality seemed much higher. We estimated around 56 actors within these terrifying walls providing enthusiastic scares. A lower number than in past iterations. Some actors moved through multiple areas providing numerous scares which made the cast feel larger. This, accompanied by the use of animatronics helped limit the downtime between interactions.

We were surprised at the range in dialogue this season especially in The Host section. It provided the most diverse dialogue. As we navigated the streets of London we were asked, “Don’t you know there’s a curfew?” and “Why are you in my shop after curfew? You are bringing in disease, the streets of London are filthy.” This seemed to be integral to the plot as it was brought up a few times. This makes sense because during both the plague and Jack the Ripper, curfews were put in place. Possibly it is a social commentary on the lockdowns and quarantines we experienced not too long ago? One sozzled lass sang “London Bridge”, the nursery rhyme not the Fergie song, in the bar area. She did an excellent job of slurring her speech and walking like a drunkard. She also asked my wife if she was the “Fair Lady.” A gentleman questioned if I “needed something to ail me,“ apparently he could see I was in pain. I asked if he had something for back issues and he quickly offered me an “elixir.”

All the actors spouted off their lines with British accents providing more authenticity. Even the individual with the chainsaw had original lines as he told us, “There’s no more room in the tombs dearies.” Right before starting his chainsaw up and screaming, “But I can fix it right quick.”

The remaining themes stuck with the typical jump scares approach. Loud bangs on the metal backdrops, screams, growls, and even a “boo” made up more than half of the dialogue. We appreciated the swamp lady who blamed everything on me since “I brought the demons from the shadows” (possibly) and the doctor who tried to unsuccessfully save a patient in The Breach. Let it go doc, he was missing all his organs already. The actors did provide their lines according to the scenes which felt natural. We would have liked a little more interaction, however, the number of patrons that partake in the manor each night would ultimately impact the flow of the show.


Costuming: 9.03

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As I have mentioned before, costuming is my least favorite category to review. Perhaps it’s because I’m more of an old-school guy and don’t pay attention or generally care what people wear. However, if I do notice a costume it has to stand out as good or bad. For a good amount of the actors, I couldn’t get a good view of their attire as they popped in and out so rapidly.

During our visit to London, the costumes seemed appropriate and nothing felt out of place. Old-style clothing, disheveled and worn, fit the characters. Pale makeup and black eyes provided a sickly look to these cheeky Brits. It was hard to see more details as most were behind drop-down windows. I would have liked to have seen some actors as Alien or some type of creatures on the ship/facility, maybe next time. We also bumped into cult members with goat heads, a monk, some colorful gents who were truly glowing, a couple of lumberjacks, a Yeti or two, and a witch who all had on fitting costumes for the theme in that area.


Customer Service: 9.5

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Hundred Acres Manor is easy to find even if you haven’t visited it 30 plus times. It is located in South Park. Entering the address will lead you to the haunt. However, a slight change was made two years ago. Due to parking restraints near the haunt on 100 Acres Drive, you can now park at the skating rink lot on Corrigan Drive. On busy nights parking fills up fast. This is located on the main road heading into South Park from Bethel Park.

After parking, you will cross the main road and head to the wagon ride. There is also a building with restrooms to the left, which has always given me the creeps, or you can wait to arrive at the haunt which also has restrooms. This is a non-haunted ride to get you from the parking lot to the haunt and back. I will admit this put a damper on my tradition of cueing up “Thriller” on my phone while driving down the dark windy park road. I remember when I would have my cassette tape ready to go before heading up the road. It still provides a creepy feeling when a low branch scrapes the top of the covered wagon and for a brief second everyone wonders what the hell was that?

The ticket booths are designed in stone matching the manor itself as does the gift shop. Both were easy to point out.

We noticed security onsite and police nearby. In regards to Covid, they are sticking with CDC guidelines. They have limited high touch areas, added hand sanitizer stations, and all employees must wear a mask. Customers are not required to wear masks. Inside the haunt, we did not notice any major safety issues. There are dark spots, uneven ground, some steep ramps, as well as low spots, proceed with caution.

All the staff we encountered were extremely helpful and nice including but not limited to, management, the wagon ride helpers, the ticket booth, gift shop, Mortem Manor, and security.

If you need more info before visiting HAM has a robust website and is active on social media.


Atmosphere: 8.78

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From the outside looking in, it’s pretty clear this is a haunt. The outside façade, giant animatronic demon, pumpkin photos ops, and music from the main house scream haunted house. The “Scream Bar” is off from the haunt and walking by you can hear some pop and country music but closer to the haunt it is not noticeable. We did notice a lack of line actors when we were in line, which was a short time this evening.


Special Effects: 9.67

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Sound plays a prominent role throughout the experience. Each area and sometimes each new set had its soundtrack and sound effects. As we strolled the streets of London we heard crows, wind, bells (Big Ben?), howling werewolves, and creepy background music. The breach had intense music spreading through the ship while Voodoo had wind, crickets, locusts, frogs, swamp noises, and an intense chest-thumping composition in the church area. Folklore’s soundtrack had a fantasy feel to it as we entered that quickly changed to a piece of more intense background music with wind sound effects. All Hallows Eve had quirky Halloween music playing throughout. We noticed that depending on if you were inside or outside the sound effects were appropriate to the surroundings which was another nice detail. Another layer of sound was with the animatronics which sounded like these were turned up to eleven. They were ear-shattering.

The set design was impeccable. Each area consisted of movie quality sets that provided a feeling of immersion to that area, especially the newest attraction, Folklore. The design made it feel like you were in the mountains, in real snow and ice. I don’t know if it was just from our minds playing tricks on us but it felt colder in this frozen wonderland gone wrong. A few times I thought I might slip on the snow and ice on the walkways and ramps even telling my group to watch the ramp it’s icy, facepalm.

The detail and Easter Eggs are deep, I even saw a picture of Jack from The Shining in the Folklore areas which made sense to the theme. The Host looked like England/London/Britain/UK… I’m not great with geography and have never gone overseas… so in my head, they are the same place, I think, damn public school systems. Therefore, I’m relying on all I have seen and learned from Monty Python, The Pink Panther (movies not the cartoon), and Austin Powers, yeah baby! Posters for Jack the Ripper were posted around the area, dummies with those oval police hats were standing around, and a large red phone booth in the outdoor area felt authentic.

The Breach felt more confined and isolated. With large steel walls, flashing lights, weapons cases, and glass containment units it felt like a classic spaceship facility. Details were spread throughout even down to the “Argos” logos painted on the walls.

Voodoo: The spell placed us in the middle of the Deep South, I’d say New Orleans. Don’t get excited about this party because everyone here is deceased. So as much as I hate to say this, put your “tiddies” away and beware of the demons that inhabit the cemeteries and swamps around you. We also noticed the lighting shined, pun intended, in this area in the cemetery the purple colors gave it an unearthly feel. A little later we enjoyed the black-light area; it kind of felt reminiscent of the Princess and the Frog also set in New Orleans.

Transitions between areas stood out this season such as the blue laser hall leading to the Alien area, the caverns leading to Voodoo, and most notably, the hallway leading to Folklore provided a disorientating optical illusion, or were we moving?

The mix of movie quality sets, lighting, sounds, background music, and originality deliver visitors to a whole new dimension of terror.


Theme: 9.16

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Hundred acres Manor normally houses 6 diverse themed areas, although this year “The Lift” is out of order. Don’t fret, there are still 5 imaginative areas to explore. Returning this year is “The Host” an old-timey romp through Jolly ole London set during the turn of the century. You will experience the dark side of the swinging city; plague, Jack the Ripper, and AH—HOOOO! Werewolves of London. Another familiar area is “Breach” where you enter a space-bound research facility, known as Project Argos, filled with extraterrestrial experiments. Rounding out the trilogy of returning themes is “Hallows Eve” a trip through time into a classic, but not normal, Halloween Party. HAM has been hard at work providing two new themes for this year as well. “Voodoo: The Spell” is a twisted trip through the dark and dangerous deep south, where a curse has unleashed the underworld. Finally, the newest and most unique theme is “Folklore” where legend and nightmare meet is in the Seven Valley Springs Mountains.

All were very well executed with each theme looking distinct. All Hallows Eve seemed to deviate from the original theme roughly halfway through, leaving the 50’s/60’s Halloween party and becoming a hodgepodge of classic haunt scenes. Regardless of the theme, the attention to detail is impeccable and nearly unmatched.


Scare Factor: 8.51

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Hundred Acres Manor did a good job at bringing the scares while trying to maintain Covid safety measures. Relying mainly on startle scares, it seems a person, prop, or animatronic was always ready to scare with a scream, bang, or air cannon… I hate air cannons! They did a good job of distracting us with inanimate bodies who replicated the same outfits as the actors, making us question who was real and who was not. The animatronics came in all shapes and sizes, especially HUGE! There were several notable animatronics and larger-than-life monsters and demons throughout, which added to the horror and diversity.

They seemed to focus on everyone in the group but I would say it leaned more to the middle and end of the group. I was in the front of our group and several times I heard my team behind me react to something and by the time they turned around, it was over. We are glad to see an attempt at a finale.


Entertainment & Value: 8.43

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As usual, Hundred Acres Manor is a grotesque and great time. Accommodations at the manor range from $27.00 for general admission, $40 for VIP/skip the line, and Super VIP lets you skip the line and you get a hoodie for $60. In the past, I have waited hours to enter the manor. I would suggest getting skip the line on busy nights and for an additional $20 bucks you can get an awesome hoodie, so why not go for it?

Also this season, every night the first 100 people through the manor receive a free T-shirt and from the posts, it appears to be a different shirt each night! It took us 24 minutes to walk through the attraction. At the general admission price, the minutes per dollar is .89, which is lower than average (based on last season’s averages).

Outside of the manor, HAM provides additional activities. The legendary maze is now a standalone feature that you can navigate for $8. I do miss it being part of the haunt but it was fun nonetheless. We found two of the best actors of the evening inside of the maze. They were funny, scary, and interactive. These guys were incredible at appearing behind us and then suddenly we would turn the next corner and they were in front of us. It was almost as if they had special powers.

Missing this year are HAM’s two amazing escape rooms. Come to think of it these were the first escape rooms we ever did. Also missing this year is the Buried Alive simulation narrated by Tom Savini.

Over 21? Grab a drink at the Scream Bar presented by Straub Brewing. Hungry? Grab a snack at the concession booth where they have hot dogs, nachos, pretzels, and more. If the concession stand doesn’t help your hunger then check out a food truck that is stopping by the manor.

Want a HAM shirt, glass, shot glass, or something else? Then check out the gift shop. Still want more, something unique and unusual? Check out Post Mortem Horror Bootique. Post Mortem is a satellite gift shop for the Kissimmee Florida haunt, also online at Shop Mortem, offering pop culture/horror-themed items such as spirit boards Halloween hats, board games, Ghostbuster backpacks, Gremlin pops, Halloween umbrellas, Halloween hats, and so much more.

Hundred Acres Manor’s schedule is listed online but during the time of this review, they are open September Friday 7-11:30, Sat 7-11:30, and Sun 7-10. October Wednesday – 7-10, Thursday- 7-10, Friday 7-11:30, Saturday – 7-11:30, and Sunday 7-10. They are also open on November 5 and 6 lights out for Leukemia for $35. The lights-out tour is a blast.

New for 2021 Hundred Acres Manor offers kids days Sunday, September 26, from 11-3, October 10, from 11-3, and October 24, from 11 -3. Kids $8 adults $8. This is a no scare lights on tour where the actors wear family-friendly costumes.

Also returning in 2021 is Elf-burg a family fun Christmas-themed drive-through experience. We enjoyed the 2020 show and are looking forward to this year.

Although HAM is a personal favorite I must step back and look at the haunt from a reviewer’s perspective. In doing so I can honestly say Hundred Acres Manor is still an incredible haunt. After 17 years Hundred Acres Manor is still keeping things fresh, frightening, and fun. I can’t wait to see what they can accomplish over the next 17 years.


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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 7.75 out of 10

The Hauntfinder General – 9.5/10 – September 9, 2016
While I was originally planning on starting the season with a huge bang next week in Michigan, last …show more minute circumstances led me to Pittsburgh yet again. Still, kicking the season off with what I always claim to be the ‘best house in PA’ is not too shabby. Always a great area for haunted attractions, but the drive is kind of long and shitty. And the PA tolls are just terrible. And the rain. Can’t forget the rain… It poured so bad right up to a couple minutes before we got there. And then it just stopped entirely. Weather is so bizarre. Nevertheless, I was just happy that we wouldn’t have to get drenched from the car to the ticket booth. We didn’t arrive til late-like 9:30ish. Two full hours after they opened. I wasn’t concerned by this seeing how it’s so ridiculously early in the season. I only had one other place I was planning on hitting last night, and they were open til midnight, and 20-some odd minutes from there. So there was plenty of time. Or so I thought… Upon arriving, they had lot attendants directing traffic, which I was surprised they’d need so early in the month. But as we approached the illuminated labyrinth that is Hundred Acres Manor, I could see the line was bigger than anticipated. Still, I figured general admission would suffice. So we paid our $20 (a modest price for such a good attraction) and proceeded through the archway to the line, which I could now see was clearly even longer than I had thought. The place from the outside looks pretty amazing. Spotlights shining in the sky, metal music blasting over the PA, cool stained glass windows glowing in the castle-like exterior of the enormous structure. Truly an intimidating haunted attraction if there ever was one. It began to rain again. Then stop. Then start again. And what luck, their line there is uncovered for no apparent reason. It looks like they constructed their line area and just forgot to put on a roof of some sort. No idea why there’s nothing there. 20 minutes pass and I realize that for $10 more, VIP would’ve totally been the right way to go, as we’ve only moved 1/4 of the way to the entrance. There appeared to be a total of 4 line-actors patrolling the perimeter of the line. A deformed nurse, chainsaw zombie guy, alien guy (that smelled funny), and a stringy-haired screaming girl. They’re mildly entertaining for the first half hour, then boredom and annoyance quickly set in. 75 minutes pass overall before we get to the door. That’s an hour and 15 minutes of listening to clusters of high school kids inane conversations and stupid selfies being snapped from every angle all while being rained upon. I definitely admit I f*cked up not going VIP. But it won’t happen again. By now it’s 10:45, and we’re just entering the place. They’re sending in small groups of people, hence the slow line. But I can’t complain. After all, group separation is key to an ideal experience in these places. What luck, the VIP couple in front of us are slow-moving, so it takes literally no time at all to catch up to them. Sometimes it’s just a no-win situation. I just reviewed this place last year, so I’m recognizing a lot in the first half of the place. Most of which is virtually unchanged. The attraction starts with a traditional haunted house kind of vibe, with lots of long hallways, flickering lights, cobwebs and such. The first memorable prop/animatronic is the sawed-in-half corpse that rises into the air and lets out a spray of flatulence out of it’s hanging intestines as we pass by. The Torture Tank section is a trip also. I think it’s the same, but it’s a little more memorable this time for some reason. Featuring scenes involving a corpse with a birthday cake and party hat with the back of it’s head blown out, a crazed magician with a chainsaw, and very realistic mutilated dummies in various gruesome scenarios. I’m looking forward to the 2 new additions allegedly installed in this place for 2016. But I’m assuming they’re probably towards the end, which the were. Things remain kind of humdrum for me (since I just saw all this stuff a year ago) til we get to the voodoo section, which if I’m not mistaken, was the standout for me last season. We pass through an outdoor courtyard complete with a small graveyard and flickering candles before entering through some sort of mausoleum into a very realistic cave section. Employing the use of flowing water, dripping stalactites and whispering voices, and a charging giant skull headed creature, this section is virtually unchanged from last year, but still equally as effective. The bayou area with the wooden bridge and waterfall is also an amazing part. Another of my favorites from last year. Lots of jungle-like atmosphere. Snakes, giant plants (even a guy dressed as a plant), and a giant crocodile head that emerged from the darkness comprised the rest of this part. Finally we make it to the first of the new sections. This one has some kind of alien/sci-fi theme to it. We pass through a bunch of science-laboratory rooms and hallways featuring actors in bio suits and alien carcasses before coming upon the coolest room in this area. Designed to replicate the interior of a space craft, a lop-sided room (at almost a 45 degree angle !), complete with a giant dead alien thing sitting at a console of some sort. This one was a challenge to make it through because of the extreme floor angle. Very cool though! This area concluded with a pair of dazzling neon blue laser light tunnels that were mesmerizing to pass through, along with a slow-moving black-lit tunnel where I ran headlong into some actor guy that looked just like Dick Van Dyke. I laughed about this for the rest of the way through the place. Then came the second new section. This one based around traditional Halloween themes, traditions, and classic monsters. This one wound up being my new favorite. We began by entering through what looked the facade of an old house all decorated with traditional Halloween decorations. We passed through furnished rooms like you’d find in a house from 50 years ago or more, complete with creepy, silent characters watching as we pass by. Eventually winding up in some sort of attic lined with costumes and old decorations. The next portion revolved around traditional horror movie monsters, such as witches, mummies, vampires, and werewolves, to name but a few. I recall passing through curtains that looked like bloody guts at one point. Haven’t seen those before! The attraction convened in a big room with a giant, multi-eyed alien animatronic creature that roared as we passed through the exit door. By now it was 11:30, and there was no way we’d make it to Demon House, which I wasn’t too broken up about. They didn’t impress me much the last two years anyway. So I called it a night, and began the long trek home. At about 40 minutes, this place is a staggeringly large house. So much to see and experience within, there’s really something for everyone here. Love the new attractions, especially the last one. So glad to see that they got rid of their annoying maze at the end. Instead replacing it with legitimately good attractions. I hope more places follow suit! Really the only bad things I have to say about this place is their need for a cover over their line area, and the actors could play maybe a slightly bigger role in this place. Not many of them are overly memorable, mostly opting for a quick pop out scare and disappearing. All things considered though, this place remains THE house in PA as far as I’m concerned, and has consistently updated and improved their attraction every year that I’ve been there for the last 6 years or so. Keep up the great work guys! Their 13th year open has definitely started with a bang. Great way to start the season! Hauntfinder Rating: * * * 1/2 (out of 4)

Caleb – 6/10 – October 8, 2017
I am very sad to see what has become of Hundred Acres Manor. It has been the same scenes and set up …show more for years with little to no changes. The lack of actors is getting very disappointing as well.

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2018 Awards

"Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto" - Best Animatronic (Werewolf) (Given by: Team Scary Potter and the Hauntwarts Express)

"Wouldja look at that?" - Best Set Piece Non-Mechanical (Chapel) (Given by: Team Scary Potter and the Hauntwarts Express)

"You stink... but I love you" - Best/Most Diverse Smells (Given by: Team Scary Potter and the Hauntwarts Express)


2016 Awards

Scariest Haunt in Pennsylvania (Given by: Team Scary Potter and the Hauntwarts Express)