Hysterium Haunted Asylum – Full Review

Hysterium Haunted Asylum is a Haunted Attraction located in Fort Wayne, IN.

4410 Arden Drive, Fort Wayne, IN 46804
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Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, Special Events, You will NOT be touched, Original Characters, Covered Outdoor Waiting Line, Indoor/Outdoor Waiting Line, Indoor/Outdoor Attraction

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This attraction was reviewed on September 28, 2019 by Team Zombillies.

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Final Score: 8.65

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Hysterium Haunted Asylum is celebrating another year of, ‘ANARCHY – Patients Rule!’ As the name implies, the patients – which are now the staff – have taken over the asylum, and they aren’t taking any more’ patients. They’ve turned their delusions into reality, and now YOU get to experience all of the mania in person!

Our team hadn’t visited Hysterium in a few years, so we were due for a return trip to the psych ward. If we didn’t know any better, we’d say these patients’ sorry, ‘staff members’… were pulled directly from some of the best haunts we’ve seen to date! We were genuinely surprised with how well this haunt was doing, and genuinely laughed for days over some of the things we heard in there.

Join us as we recap our 2019 tour of the new and improved Hysterium Haunted Asylum’ just remember… ‘Watch the corners!’

Cast: 9.19

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The entire crew was wound for sound during our visit! There was enough of them that there were very few breaks where we didn’t have someone or someTHING interacting with us. Management informed us that they hired Allen Hopps (a nationally-renowned scareactor trainer and special effects artist) to help with actor training this season. Although we hadn’t visited the asylum in a few years ourselves, we could tell an incredible difference from previous seasons!

It was obvious that each crew member we came across was knowledgeable about the characters they were portraying as they played them well. Some were into their roles a bit more than others (we still heard a ‘wanna play’ and an unconvincing ‘help me’ used once or twice), but overall, this crew was VERY prepared for every reaction and comeback line we threw at them.

We noticed that the acting intensity had peaks and valleys through the house – a nice touch that made it easier for us to let our guard down. There were some areas where the actors were ‘balls to the walls’ and other times where they were more verbally interactive and calm talking to us. ‘Chex’ was one of the characters that was chatty with us, asking us what we thought about her checkered room, if we liked playing checkers, etc. mixed with an unsettling, high-pitched, squeaky laugh.

Before we were admitted to the Asylum, we were able to spend some time in the patients’… dangit, ‘staff’s’… lovely dayroom. As soon as we walked through the doorway, people were flying everywhere! One was kicking and shaking the metal filing cabinets while another wished us Happy Birthday, papers and magazines filled the air and then they all told us their names (which were Jake, Squeaks, and Chaos). There was also a little girl in the room with us that never broke a straight face while she tapped her weapon on the floor repeatedly. We must say, this was the most interactive group of the night! We have so much to say about them; they rocked us in a recliner, prepped us for a nap, asked us if we brought chicken nuggets, and more! As an interesting side note (not review-related): this was the little girl’s first night acting in a haunt! We can already tell she’s on the right track to be a great actress someday.

Everyone we conversed with had good dialogue and we hardly heard any generic phrases. Matter of fact, a lot of them used unique lines at us that we’d never heard before! For instance, one actress was in a downright hizzy, frantically yelling at us, ‘You have to get the flowers! You have to get the flowers!’ while naming off every flower you can think of like an auctioneer. She was speaking 1,000 words a minute! Another randomly opened a door and yelled, ‘Pineapple!’ before slamming the door shut again. Really’ the word ‘Pineapple’ got a jump scare out of us!? Hey, it worked’ kudos for originality!

Everyone in this crew was a shining star that night. It’s truly difficult to narrow it down and only talk about some of them. Aside from those we already mentioned, Dr. Heigel had a hell of a time with us in the elevator as he yelled an assortment of things at us (although we couldn’t hear all that much of it due to the loud sound effects), a guy on a bed begged and pleaded for us to help him because they chopped his legs off, and the cast outside targeted us every chance they got. We literally couldn’t get away from them (not that this was a bad thing). They took pictures with us outside, tormented us in the port-a-potty, they growled at us while we were taking pictures, went sliding past us, and continued to torment us well after we escaped from the Asylum. Dr. Heigel had also broken free and, as we left, he chased after our car down the side of the street until he took a tumble in the grass – now that’s DEADication!

Oh yea, don’t smell the flowers’ because ‘they smell like death!’

Costuming: 8.7

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We also noticed a significant improvement in the costuming department. For the most part, the attire was appropriate for the scenes and the characters wearing them. We noticed a lot of dirty and distressed clothing, a straight jacket, nasty scrubs, and other garments that blended in very well with their surroundings, especially the checkered morph suit.

The grunginess didn’t stop at the clothing and fleshed out into the makeup. Many of these characters looked like they hadn’t taken a bath or rested in quite some time! They had wounds, darkened eyes, facial appliances and more to give their costumes an additional realistic touch. Some colored contacts were added here and there and these always seem to add an extra dimension of dead-ness to those wearing them.

Although most of the madmen were wearing makeup, they also utilized a few masks. One looked as if they had killed an older man and was wearing his face as a mask, while another was a unique clown that we don’t recall seeing prior to this night.

Some of the standout costumes included Nurse Rose who looked very convincing as she held a heart in her hand. She explained that it belonged to a patient she had fallen in love with. Others include the very intimidating chainsaw attacker with an apron, Squeaks, and Dr. Heigel.

Customer Service: 9.76

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Hysterium was pretty simple to find. They came up as Hysterium Haunted Asylum on Google Maps and our trusty GPS took us right there. The outside decor and smaller sign on the building confirmed we had arrived. Parking might be a bit tricky on busy nights, but we found that there was plenty of free street parking and lot spots available across the road’ which is luckily a not-busy side street.

The ticket booth was the first thing we came to on the left side of their entrance. They had a tent set up to provide coverage during wet weather. The waiting area itself was also covered. Hysterium definitely takes safety seriously. At the entrance, a police officer scanned us with a wand so that we couldn’t bring any unwanted items inside the haunt with us. He was very friendly with us as well – which helped in *not killing the fun vibes we were getting from the queue area – and actually doubled as a non-invasive door keeper to the haunt.

The multiple staff members that we interacted with were also super friendly and helpful. They were able to answer any questions we asked and informed us of special events that the haunt will be hosting (more on those in Entertainment & Value below).

Before visiting, a lot of information pertaining to the attraction and tickets were easy to find online.

Atmosphere: 7.3

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Outside Hysterium, a large hand-carved wall greeted us with two undead warriors perched atop their skeletal horses. As soon as we saw this, there was no mistaking we were at the right spot (a sign by the road also confirmed this). While we didn’t feel these two guardians gave off much of an ‘Asylum’ feel, the wall certainly did and we still felt like they made some good, classic haunt decorations.

As we approached the ticket booth, horror sounds were playing outside. Before we entered the queue line, we took advantage of their large, creepy-guy-with-logo photo op. By this time, multiple patients had escaped from within the building and started running about like kids hyped up on Redbull and Mountain Dew!

Every now and then, we would hear a very loud BOOM thundering from behind the building. If this doesn’t make you wonder what’s going on inside, we’re not sure what will. Although there wasn’t a big fancy facade on the building or a whole lot else going on outside that screamed ‘haunted house’ to us, the concept certainly changed once we got inside.

Once it was our turn, we were told by the Police Officer at the front door that we could enter… but alas! The door was locked. One of the patients inside had locked us out! We nicely knocked on the door and they jiggled the handle in reply, but still no entry. This went on for a couple of moments and, finally, a man opened the door, loudly yelled something at us, and slammed the door shut again. Yes, still locked. We played this game for another moment or so before he once again opened the door, told us to ‘quit your knocking,’ and finally let us in. This made for a great and unique entrance for the show!

Special Effects: 8.25

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A mixture of realistic, intricately-detailed, and more-techy effects greeted us as we progressed through the Asylum and its exterior courtyard. There were quite a few smells and sounds to behold, which aided in bringing this looney bin to life.

Some of the music reminded us of vintage songs you’d hear coming from an old record player. There was also some classical music in the dayroom and elevator’ before it turned into quite a treat that we won’t dare ruin. But, we will tell you a bit more about the elevator in ‘Scare Factor’ below. The sounds didn’t stop there, though, as some of the most effective were those paired with large creatures that came at us, ready to chomp down on our torsos! To be fair, we did encounter some very quiet areas outside where the only sounds we could hear was us talking about the squishy’ well, we don’t want to ruin that one either.

To say the least, we noticed a lot of changes since our last visit to Hysterium about 3 years ago. Some scenes were new while others had been changed a lot. From a well lived-in dayroom, a kitchen displaying an overhead meat conveyor and an outstandingly-realistic sewer to grungy hallways, a laundry room, a nasty bathroom complete with a running bloodbath and a blood-filled toilet (someone was having a bad day), you can expect to see many typical areas of your rank-and-file asylum… only this one is more filthy and grimy.

Some of the other scenes we came across include a room completely covered in a black- and white-checkered pattern, a patient’s room with a lot of writing on the walls, a never-ending closet to a ‘hellish’ scene and a new clown area. We also lost our minds in a maze of rooms and doors… lots of doors! Choose your path wisely.

Oh yea, don’t change the channel on the TV in the dayroom!

Theme: 9.08

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Hysterium Haunted Asylum’s ‘ANARCHY – Patients Rule!’ is where the patients have totally taken the wheel at the Asylum and they’re turning the facility in the direction of their own delusional mind warps!

Before we even entered the building (and without digging for theme info on their website), we had a few general hints of what the theme was, given their haunt name and the multiple crazed lunatics that had escaped to the queue area. Our visit started out in the day room of the facility where a handful of patients / staff welcomed and assisted us with getting checked in properly. They even informed us that we might get a pretty jacket like theirs! (It was a straight jacket.) They eventually sent us on our way to get checked in. At that moment, the haunt grew darker starting with a run-in with Dr. Heigel in the elevator.

From there, we journeyed through a sewer and other mechanical areas before finally reaching more asylum-like corridors, including a courtyard, a closet, hallways, a bathroom, a kitchen with a meat conveyor, and portions of a freakshow. It was clear that we were likely in a mental facility, and then transitioned to living the patients’ delusions.

All throughout the attraction, they used theme-related dialogue. This and the mixture of scenery and the situations we experienced kept reiterating the theme throughout the majority of the haunt.

Scare Factor: 8.16

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An immense variety of scares were used on us as we made our way through this nuthouse. The scares rarely came from the same directions, which made them more difficult to predict. Some of them were also nestled in the cover of camouflage, perfectly blending in with their surroundings.

Our check-in began with a seemingly-normal elevator ride that, we can assure you, is anything other than normal! We don’t want to give it away but this was definitely an intense elevator scene.

From there, the fright techniques were targeted at both of us pretty heavily. We witnessed acts of victimization as some of these staff members were set on killing others, large creatures tried to eat us, they chased us with a shovel, shouted out demanding threats, and some would randomly open doors to say something before slamming them closed and reappearing to startle us later! We just never knew when one of these buggers was going to pop out at us. Oh yeah, and speaking of those large creatures, when they come out at you, they likely won’t stop! Just when you think it’s gonna hit you’ well, it just might!

It must also be noted that you might be walking along and the ground beneath your feet could disappear, just so ya know. They also utilized a trap door that was clever and, furthermore, a well-placed chainsaw pursuit scared us right into something that was even larger.

The finale of the attraction consisted of multiple attacks from characters and a dizzying walk across their vortex tunnel. Although this isn’t the scariest or most intense of endings, it did serve as a unique way to twist us back into our own realities.

Entertainment & Value: 8.95

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Ticket prices remain the same as last season. General visitations to visit the patients within this thoroughly crazed Haunted Asylum are priced at $15.00 per visitor. On busy nights, you can get into the action faster by purchasing Fast Pass admission for $25.00 per person. They also have VIP Platinum passes for no wait in line priced at $35.00. Their site says that coupons can be found where you can buy Pepsi and they have codes for online savings on their website as well. Don’t forget to bring some chicken nuggets with you too (per the patients in the dayroom).

Our trip through the Asylum, including the dayroom, lasted about 20 1/2 minutes. At the general admission price, this brings their MPD (minutes of entertainment received per dollar spent) to 1.37, which is well above the average that we see most often.

Aside from the attraction itself, we did experience some additional enjoyment from the roaming characters outside the building. They put on quite a show and made sure we were entertained before and after we entered. There was also some spooky background music to help pass the time outside.

The owner did inform us that they will be utilizing their Tool Shed mini escape room in different ways this year, and they will be offering some special events as well. They are bringing back their ‘full contact’ night, which is ‘adult only and 18+.’ Visitors must sign a waiver before they can enter this event. It will take place on October 31st this year, and they are also hosting a Blackout weekend on November 1st and 2nd.

We are very glad we were able to make a return visit to Hysterium Haunted Asylum, as this is among the best haunts we’ve seen in Indiana so far this year! The characters had us scared and laughing and everything in between from start to finish, and we really felt like we were living inside their delusional realities!

If you gather up the courage to visit, always remember, ‘Never eat the applesauce or the pudding; that’s where they put the pills… and pills are bad!’

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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 10 out of 10

Ryan – 10/10October 16, 2020
It was awesome. It’s a lot better then the haunted cave. Love the changes, and we had a great time! …show more It really scared my children. The acting and displays were better then we could have asked for. Great time and scares for Halloween.

yasss – 10/10October 12, 2019
IT WAS FUN! i’ve been to many haunted places and this was by far the best. i’ve been to indy, and …show more never knew in my city, Fort wayne there was one scarier.

Jeffrey – 10/10September 28, 2019
This place totally had me creeped out even though Im an avid haunted house finder and ave been …show more through many. Their actors are top notch and one of the best haunts I’ve been to in quite awhile!

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Past Awards

2022 Awards

Best Vortex Tunnel (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Qro - Chance Hallaran (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Mo - Jelly May (Given by: Team Zombillies)

2020 Awards

Funniest Scare - Bobby and Bennie (Given by: Team Zombillies)

2019 Awards

Best Intro Scene (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Craziest Patients (Given by: Team Zombillies)

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