The 13th Floor Haunted House – Full Review

The 13th Floor Haunted House is a Haunted Attraction located in Denver, CO.

3400 East 52nd Avenue, Denver, CO 80216
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Haunt Type(s):

Multiple HauntsEscape Room


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Free Parking, Paid Parking, Handicap Accessible, You will NOT be touched, Indoor/Outdoor Waiting Line

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This attraction was reviewed on October 1, 2022 by Team Hauntarama.

Final Score: 8.35

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Celebrating its 15th year, the fine folks at 13th Floor Entertainment deliver another top-quality haunt for 2022 at the 13th Floor Denver!

Cast Score: 8.29

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Cast Review:

The cast we encountered at the 13th Floor all filled their respective roles very well, remaining in character through banter and scares alike, whether trailing behind or lying in wait from the darkness ahead. However, a few spots felt a bit empty and would have benefited from an additional actor or two. The characters we encountered were also unique, and, while some bore some resemblance to one another such as the creatures inhabiting the Primal Fear section of the haunt, were each individualized to a fairly notable degree and interacted in fun and different ways.

Some cast offered threats to our existence, and others entreated us to stay long term; some cast acrobatically impeded our paths, while others laid in wait to spring out at the perfect moment. The cast inside of the haunt had terrific energy and did a great job haunting the 13th Floor.

The line actors, however, weren’t very effective from what we saw during this visit. The two we initially saw, while fully decked out in really cool-looking costumes, didn’t seem to be in character. One had a conversation while the other simply roamed around without interacting with anyone in the line. Although we did see some later interaction between a line actor and a group in line, that interaction consisted of a staring contest that didn’t seem terribly full of mayhem or murder.

Costuming Score: 8.6

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Costuming Review:

The costumes at the 13th Floor are among the best we’ve seen, both in terms of quality and fit. The makeup was very well done, as were the masks. The costumes were unique to each actor and the landscape they inhabited.

The Bigfoot costumes were truly remarkable, as the masks and bodysuits were highly realistic. Whether dark-cloaked or otherworldly, in hotel staff uniforms or animalistic, the head-to-toe costumes further immersed guests into their universe. Even while there were several run-of-the-mill costume types, such as the miscellaneous denizens of the party house, those were still thoroughly complete.

Overall, great costuming on high-energy actors made the show come to life!

Customer Service Score: 8.9

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Being a Denver haunt institution, locating the 13th Floor is a piece of cake. Parking, on the other hand, is largely up to visitors to figure out, however. There is no parking associated with the 13th Floor except the employee lot located next to the attraction’s entrance. Guests are thus left to either find street parking–in a poorly lit highly industrial area with more “no parking” signs and mud than sidewalks–or hope to find a flagger selling spots nearby, which we did for $10.00.

The haunt itself, and the entire premises, seemed very safe. Visitors pass through metal detectors while entering, and, despite staff tales of the occasional fight among guests, everything seemed under control on the night we visited, perhaps aided by the visible police in the courtyard area. The staff we encountered were all very professional and helpful, though sometimes giving off more of a security detail vibe than a warm welcome. That’s not always bad, though, as it was done with tongue-in-cheek self-awareness. For instance, one worker near the metal detectors called out that nothing that could be used as a weapon would be permitted, notably including “unicorn horns.”

The 13th Floor website provides nearly all of the information one could need, though some does take some guesswork. For instance, although there is a mention of street parking and a disclaimer of the parking vendors around the haunt, there is no real help on how or where guests should park. In addition, despite scouring the site in an effort to discern a theme, I continued to be met with three: Primal Fear, a Bigfoot theme; Midnight Mania, a killer party theme, and All Hallows Eve, a trick-or-treater theme. I attempted to determine if we needed separate tickets to each of the events but never found a satisfactory answer. If being thrown into utter mystery and disorientation was the goal, the lack of cohesive theme scene to scene did the trick. As we wound our way through the haunt, however, we discovered that those three themes all appear, despite lacking coherence between them. Although it was pleasant being able to enjoy all three themes, the entire thing falls flat to anyone who hasn’t searched out the theme(s) in advance because there is little semblance of a narrative to invest in, leaving the physicality of the space and the cast to bear the entertainment load.

Aside from the notes above, the website does a good job of providing pertinent information while building anticipation for the attraction.

Immersion Score: 8.4

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Immersion Review:

From the moment guests approach the shipping containers stacked into an entryway, the vibe hits. Beyond the metal detectors is a midway area featuring ax throwing, a bar, cabanas that can be rented for the night, mini escape rooms, Sensory Overload, a large gift shop tent, and more, with music pumping, strobe and spotlights running, and people packing into the queue lines at the center of it all. That same energy continues, for the most part, as guests enter the haunt.

After the main queue area, guests are sent to a secondary queue line that goes into a photo area. After snapping an obligatory photo or two, which will be waiting for purchase in the gift shop afterward, guests are then shuttled into another set of queue lines that finally lead to the haunt itself. While being packed in the last of the queue lines breaks the flow from the midway to the haunt a bit, it does bear some resemblance to the old Casa Bonita food queue line, where you’re too far in to turn back, but still too far away to do anything but stand there looking at the people and things surrounding you.

Nevertheless, the haunt itself re-immersed us immediately and held us rapt until we felt the air grow cool as the end of the haunt came into view. While inside, we really appreciated how the use of space here differed: we’d be in an attic or cellar, and then we’d be on a village street or in front of the party house, as the feel of spaces ranged from just tall enough to walk through to what felt like stories high.

After exiting the haunt, guests are dropped at the Sensory Overload and mini escape room queues, with the gift shop just ahead. Having sprung for the combo tickets that included the Sensory Overload and a go at an escape room, that was the perfect place for us to end up, and continued the vibe from the haunt, as we were greeted with terrified screams at the haunt finale to our left and the cacophony of the midway to the right!

Special FX Score: 8.39

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Special FX Review:

The 13th Floor has some of the best special effects one could hope to find. Between a ton of seemingly custom-made gigantic animatronic beasts, bugs, other creatures, and a handful of recognizable robots, there were plenty of high-tech frights throughout the attraction.

Lighting and darkness, lasers and fog, and blacklights and neon in motion filled the haunt, as visitors wind through the frightfully constructed pathway. Haunt fans will find rooms dedicated entirely to environmental effects like an unfamiliar something at your ankles while another effect presses unfathomably close to your face. Playing off of lights and sounds, modern technology mixed well with monsters as old as the earth, so there’s something frightful awaiting everyone. Although much of the haunt smelled of fog and food, there was a distinctly bad smell near the end, which we weren’t sure was intentional, but it certainly added to the unappealing candy we were being offered just before finding the respite of the open air.

Unfortunately, the ambient sound in the haunt was a bit too overpowered, such that it was difficult to really hear the actors’ dialogue or even the exclamations of the other person in your group. Turning the sound down to 11 would help. Despite that, there are many, many other experiences visitors to the 13th Floor will have.

Scare Factor Score: 8.23

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Scare Factor Review:

The 13th Floor is a very intense experience. That intensity, however, didn’t necessarily translate to fear as well as we would have hoped. Although the cast brought their A game, there were areas that were notable for their lack of cast or an over-reliance on animatronics.

The cast did a wonderful job targeting different people in our group, though some of the animatronics were somewhat mistimed. In addition to the cast, however, the 13th Floor does an amazing job of bringing a variety of types of scares, from physical to psychological and from jump scares to disorientation. Although the 13th Floor could focus more on creating high-quality scares, there is a lot of fear to be found in the haunt.

Entertainment & Value Score: 8

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E&V Review:

The main haunt provides a very entertaining, intense time that will treat guests to the full panoply of haunt experiences. The midway outside of the haunt sets the stage beautifully, especially later in the night when the crowd fills the space and the energy is pumped. For an extra few dollars, guests can go through one of three mini escape rooms. Though we only played through one, it was a fun and harrowing time, complete with digging through a dead body. The Sensory Overload experience, costing a few additional dollars as well, far exceeded our expectations! Guests are turned loose inside of a pitch black pathway, left to grope through the darkness while maintaining their footing on the uneven terrain. The actor who haunted Sensory Overload did an amazing job! Appearing from nowhere with a single source of light that he controlled, he was able to swoop around us unknown, delivering superb dialogue while playfully drawing us deeper into the dark maze. His was one of the best performances we’ve encountered this season.

Overall, the 13th Floor offers haunt fans a great time. From the energetic midway full of all sorts of sordid opportunities for fun to the haunt jam-packed with the best special effects money can buy and a well-trained cast, an evening at the 13th Floor offers fun and fright for all!

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