Team Mysterious Misery reviewed this attraction on September 30, 2016.
Final Score: 9.23
Scare-A-Torium is quickly becoming one of the most talked-about haunts in Central Ohio. It is going on its 4th year in the same location and that always serves as a bonus. The Collins’ are not newbies to this industry and, with their many years of experience, the attention this haunt is getting doesn’t surprise me. Weather does not deter this haunt from providing you a terrifying night: the waiting line is covered and the haunt is indoors. So, when it is raining, you still have options. Scare-A-Torium can keep the entrainment going for hours, making it worth its value. Maybe being scared is not your thing? You can still go to Scare-A-Torium and enjoy the Escape Rooms, which are exciting in their own respect. So, grab some friends and make it a night at the one stop shop of hellish entertainment. As Neena would say, “Don’t forget your belt!” Their goal is to scare the pants off of you.
From the moment I stepped out of my vehicle and approached the line, Tipsy the Clown was there, engaging in dialogue and bossing me around. The cast does a stunning job at keeping you engaged through your whole journey and their ability to do that keeps you distracted from other scares that are lurking around the corner. On the evening that we decided to test our fate, there were 78 horde actors ready to scare up delight. Scare-A-Torium schedules 80 actors every haunt night to keep the haunt in running order. The cast at this haunt goes through a process which helps them put their best foot forward in the industry. Each person wanting to work here must go through an audition process every year. Mr. Collins told us he isn’t looking for people who want a job, but he is looking for those that have passion for Halloween and a fire in their belly to do what they love. After the audition process, they start training classes in January and have one a month on different areas of acting and you can really see the training pay off in this haunt. Some actors that stood out to me were Marko, Lauren and Zack. Marko has been with the haunt for 3 years and he was incredible at staying in character and interacting with me.
Scare-A-torium is phenomenal in this category. Mr. Collins and his team have been in the business long enough to know how to highlight their creatures using costuming. This year, we got a sneak peek into the costume room and makeup room; let’s just say they are to die for. We got to meet Michelle, who has kept the costumes in horrifying fashion for the last three years. The amount of costumes shocked us, but by having that many it gives the actors the ability to put their own twist on their character. Scare-A-Torium is not known to utilize many masks, but to create one-of-a-kind characters with makeup. There are three chief makeup artists: Keith, Bobby Jo, and Susan and they have an amazing, talented team that works with them… keeping their patients in hauntingly-glorious shape. They also have a UV room where UV makeup is done so they can create mischievous clowns.
Customer Service: 9.52
Scare-A-Torium wears customer service well after being in this location for their fourth year. With many billboards, commercials and radio spots, they are becoming well-known in the area and you can’t miss the place. Well-lit signage directs you to the appropriate place where you will be greeted by FREE parking. The majority of the parking lot is lit. There are officers on hand to make sure no patients get loose. They have staff that are in contact with each other at all times, giving you the correct information you need. From the moment you step out of your vehicle, the bone-chilling creatures are delighted that you want to come and play. This attraction has merchandise for sale and cold drinks. They also offer a party room in case you want to have a spooktacularly-good monster bash. They also have attractions while you wait in line, like the fortune teller who, by the way, was dead on with me (which was a surprise).
From the moment you step out of your vehicle, you will be face-to-face with a fear-inspiring being of some sort. They will want to make conversation with you, so be prepared. As you walk closer to the door, you’ll notice the ambulance that’s ready to take you off to the morgue. It is very ominous as you stand in line, listening to the screams of nightmares from the inside. The building actually sits where the Northland Asylum (a real, former institution) used to be located.
Special Effects: 9.25
Scare-A-Torium is said to be the first haunt in the country with a vortex tunnel that uses UV LED lights. They are excited to show it off and we could definitely tell why. It has a very unique effect and is different than we’ve seen at haunts in the past. New this year was the two-story, “maximum security” room, which we found frighteningly satisfying with the use of the additional space above. The team made an amazing Audrey II that only feeds on human blood, so if you hear the name “Seymour…” run; you may be its next victim. They have a contamination cell where Luther is housed and he is as dreadful as can be. UV paint and 3D glasses are some other special effects that they apply in a well-used manner. They also put everyday items to use, such as a ghillie suit in just the right place.
The collective theme of Scare-A-Torium is “the collection of fears.” In the Northland Asylum, you will make your way through in a self-guided tour to be confronted with patients (creepy-good creatures) that the diabolical Dr. Collins has tried to keep control of. In RIP’s 3D Funhouse, your senses will be delighted as they are all enhanced to even what a good friend called “anxiety.” As we all know, clowns are not in it for the laughter. They also have four escape rooms that keep your nightmares a reality. Overall, the collective theme works well over each individual space.
Fright Effect: 9.32
There’s nothing like being decontaminated in the first few minutes of your tour. Then, somewhere in the middle of my journey, I realized that being lost in a pitch black maze might not be the best idea for someone who is claustrophobic or has nyctophobia. There’s nothing like seeing a child run by you who is oozing blood and screaming for help. Coulrophobia is definitely going around these days, but it is all too real in RIP’s 3D Funhouse. They call it a Funhouse, but there is nothing fun about clowns looking to scare the hell out of you while your senses are on overload because of UV lighting and 3D glasses. Don’t forget about the Escape Rooms, as there is nothing more terrifying than your heart racing and anxiety setting in with 3 minutes to save your life and those with you.
It took us approximately 13 and a half minutes to make it out of The Northland Asylum. It took us approximately another 10 and a half minutes to get out of RIP’s 3D funhouse. So, between the two, we spent a total of 24 minutes being face to face with fear. Your time will depend on how slow or fast your group walks, as it is self-guided. If we use my timing and you pay the basic, general admission price of $20 (or even the $23 for a timed ticket), you are getting over one minute of delectable fear for every $1 you spend. This is one killer deal for Halloween entertainment.
General Admission ($20) includes The Northland Asylum and RIP’s 3D Funhouse. Customers enter the Scare-A-Torium in general queue lines in the order of arrival. VIP FASTPass Admission (sold in limited quantities, nightly) is $30, which allows you into a separate queue line to save time and avoid the wong waits! Timed Ticketing Admission is $23 and it allows you to choose a time and date ahead of time and skip the waiting line. Simply choose the day and time you wish to attend, purchase your ticket, print it and bring the ticket with you to redeem at the Box Office. A limited number of tickets are sold in 30-minute time slots. These are only available by online purchase only.
NEW THIS YEAR: 2 new escape rooms bringing the total to 4 available. The escape rooms are a separate admission cost at $5 per a person per a room. The escape room names are: RIP’s Boxcar, Cut-Throat Cabin, 13 Coffins and Lyncom Labs.
Sunday Lights-On Tours: ($10: Adults (12+), $5: Children (3-11), 5 pm – 7 pm, October 11th, 18th and 25th) features escorted Tours with the house lights, sound effects, and animatronics turned on, BUT WITHOUT MONSTERS; suitable for younger audiences (but may be frightening, for some). Children (12 and under) MUST be accompanied by an adult to participate in Lights-On.