The 13th Gate – Full Review

The 13th Gate is a Haunted Attraction located in Baton Rouge, LA.

832 Saint Phillip Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
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Haunt Type(s):

Escape RoomHaunted House


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Paid Parking, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, You will NOT be touched, Indoor Waiting Line, Indoor/Outdoor Attraction

Team Giraffic Shark reviewed this attraction on October 12, 2017.

Final Score: 9.54


Tucked away in Baton Rouge, 13TH GATE is a gem of a haunted attraction, gaining national popularity and recognition. Home to both 13TH GATE and NECROPOLIS 13, 13TH GATE is an immersive haunted attraction like no other. Packed with special effects, scenery, and definitely not short on scares, this attraction delivers an impressive and massive haunted event.

Creative masterminds, including Dwayne Sanburn (Creative Director, Midnight Productions) have created environments so real and authentic, it’s easy to believe that Guests are stepping through time portals to witness these scenes of horror.

13TH GATE is a must see for any haunt enthusiast, no matter how far the distance. Plan a trip to Baton Rouge, LA and see for yourself what lies beyond the 13TH GATE.

Cast: 9.58

The Cast in both 13TH GATE and NECROPOLIS 13 is truly top notch. From the first gentleman we interacted with, a performer on the sidewalk that photo bombed our photo with the attraction sign, to the phenomenal ‘Tilly’ in the main queue portion, to the highly interactive elevator operators, everyone is highly interactive and story driven, providing a great added layer of detail to the attractions.

Though the houses are filled to the brim with sound effects, a lot of the actors also make their own sounds to deliver scares. These screeches, roars, and snorts are truly otherworldly, terrifying and spine tingling. Though these sounds are frequently heard in haunted attractions, they never reach this quantity, volume or effectiveness. The Cast is truly dedicated to their craft and utilizing simple effects to scare and creep out Guests effectively.

Scripting and dialogue is also perfectly utilized throughout 13TH GATE. Each main scene character in a scene has clever dialogue to move along the story as well as pace Guests through the attraction. From witty banter to creepy admonitions, Cast do an excellent job at delivering clear and concise communication to the Guests without having to rely on the standard ‘wait’ or ‘move ahead’ lines or motions that haunt performers usually fall prey to.

Costuming: 9.65

Costuming in 13TH GATE is by far one of the most thorough displays of costuming and makeup utilized in a haunt to date. With head to toe costume treatment, minimal masks used, and detailed makeup on a cast of hundreds, costuming is extremely thorough and detailed. Human characters are adequately distressed while still relatable and real in order to effectively deliver dialogue and communicate with Guests. Creature costumes and effects are also done effectively to seem realistic while being fantasy.

The only character costume choices that seem to be slightly out of place are the clown characters in NECROPOLIS 13. While monopolizing on the fear of clowns through major movies and other news related clown incidents, it doesn’t feel like the perfect fit for a realistic cemetery atmosphere. That being said, they are executed in a decent fashion making them appear dead, or just some decrepit inhabitants of the cemetery.

Customer Service: 9.81

Customer Service is clearly a priority at 13TH GATE. Dwayne Sanburn, our host for the evening, was hospitable, informative, and willing to answer questions and discuss the haunt at length. All other staff members were also helpful, friendly and professional, making a great atmosphere for Guests.

GPS programs easily locate 13TH GATE, and parking is relatively straightforward, though could become more challenging on busier nights. 13TH GATE is handicap accessible and accommodations can be made for Guests needing other assistance through the haunt. Metal detectors are in use at the entrance to 13TH GATE, adding an important level of security to an event of this type. The haunt is easy and safe to maneuver despite some creative scenarios meant to seem rickety and unsafe. Regular safety inspections occur to ensure safety standards and quality within the attractions, keeping Guest and Cast safety front of mind.

Atmosphere: 9.13

13TH GATE calls Baton Rouge home in an industrial area under several bridges, and is directly on a street corner. The building is rather plain on the outside and despite some generic signage it would be easy to drive past without realizing it is a haunted attraction. Upon entering the building and in the indoor queue, Guests are immediately transformed to a dark, highly themed, and immersive environment.

Across the street, NECROPOLIS 13 takes place in a manufactured above ground cemetery, visible from the vendor area and ticket booths. Setting the perfect scene for the haunt, including sounds, lighting, and visuals, it is in stark contrast to 13TH GATE across the street. Due to the urban setting, however, while in the haunt, the bridges, streetlights, power lines, etc are still visible with cars and sirens audible, slightly detracting from full immersion in the world of the cemetery. On busy nights, a ‘ritual’ of sorts takes place in the cemetery as a show for Guests waiting in queue.

Special Effects: 9.57

13TH GATE is a feast for the senses, with giant immersive sets, special effects, and more details than can be imagined. Every few rooms finds Guests in a completely different realm, with unique and original design and completely fleshed out with props, smells, actors, effects, and so much more. With so many details, it becomes easy to be distracted for the perfect scares. Favorite moments include winding in and out of a London street through many store fronts slowly traveling down the streets, complete with all the locals along the way (including a prostitute that doesn’t accept coupons). Don’t forget to look up and see the impressive night sky.

Some of the most unique and effective effects included the train tunnel, wading through a room filled waist high with bodies, and the prehistoric ice caves, unlike anything else ever seen in a haunt. Lighting is perfectly incorporated into a majority of the haunt, including some fantastic illusion moments. Some areas could stand to have slightly more dynamic lighting to highlight props and give some depth to show off the impressive scenery, including some of the outdoor sections, and some scenes that are generally flat in color.

There are also a few too many inflatable claustrophobic tunnels used in the haunt overall. While some are effectively used in a different manner (body room, laser room, etc), the full height ones are used too frequently without pay off (actor standing at the end, air effect on ankles, etc), causing a break in theming and little scare tactic for most Guests besides knowing your face is mashing up against fabric where thousands have smeared against before.

13th GATE knows how to pack a punch with their special effects, with a detail in every corner, and animatronics well spaced throughout the haunt. Filled with plenty of shocks and surprises, the scenic design and construction perfectly masks and hides scares and surprises making for effective jump scares and effects scares as well.

NECROPOLIS 13 has you second guessing and wondering if you are walking through an actual cemetery because the scenic design and construction is so strong and realistic, down to the gravel pathways in between all of the crypts creating the perfect nearly silent crunching sound in between scenes. In a mostly realistic setting, some great unexpected effects are used to really stand out from the surroundings.

Theme: 9.43

13TH GATE takes Guests on a journey through 13 nightmarish realms. However, Guests (including us) may be too involved taking in all the detail and being assaulted by scares to properly delineate each of the 13 realms, if distinct lines even exist. While this theme might be hard to follow that closely, it does not go unnoticed, as the haunt is clearly one made from a multitude of nightmares, feasting on horrible scenes filled with terror and nearly every phobia possible. This includes, of course, traversing a small bridge over a pit of 400 live snakes inches away from Guests’ feet. Certain moments seemed slightly out of place including Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas (though his pumpkin patch is one to win awards).

Fright Effect: 9.42

Warning: Blood pressure will begin to elevate while standing in the queue. Even before entering the haunt, nervous energy builds due to the perfect atmosphere featuring dark hallways and dangerous devices looming overhead. Filled with its own shocks and surprises, the queue is the perfect build to the haunt. To start the haunt, Guests are ushered into elevators where the journey begins. A disorienting trip in the elevator is the perfect way to start a haunt of the unexpected.

Scares in 13th GATE are everywhere. Perfectly hidden actors and effects are around every corner and even in plain sight. If one doesn’t get you, the next one in 2 feet will. While NECROPOLIS 13 does have some more dead zones in the cemetery, (pun intended?) they are rather effective in continuing suspense through to the next scene. With the silence and only the sound of gravel beneath feet, the few sound effects, and those provided by actors really jump out of the soundscape to provide effective scares.

Creative, innovative scare designs make 13TH GATE one of the strongest designed haunted attractions in the country, and helping them create some of the most unique and unexpected scares along the way. The variety of scares is part of what makes them impressive. From a scare as small as a grain of sand to a scare as large as a train, the 13TH GATE is where everything is out to scare Guests that dare venture within.

Value: 9.76

With 13TH GATE at a nearly 40 minute walkthrough, it is absolutely worth every penny and every hour spent in the car driving to Baton Rouge with crazy friends. With NECROPOLIS 13 being a less expensive add-on, and shorter walk through time of just over 15 minutes, it rounds out the experience well providing nearly an hour of walk through at a modest price point for the quality of show received. There are also a handful of mini escape games that can be played at a very reasonable rate.

While both experiences are highly recommended, if time or funds are limited, make your visit to 13TH GATE a priority and save NECROPOLIS 13 for next time. However, A combo ticket for both haunts is highly recommended, as both haunts are MUST SEE attractions for any haunt enthusiast.

13th Gate General Admission: $30
13th Gate VIP: $50 ($55 at gate)
Necropolis 13 General Admisson: $20
Necropolis 13 VIP: $30 ($40 at gate)
COMBO (13th Gate and Necropolis 13): $35
COMBO VIP (13th Gate and Necropolis 13): $60 ($65 at gate)

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Past Awards

2018 Awards

Grossest Scene - London Body Bag Scene (Given by: Team Giraffic Shark)

Best Lighting (Given by: Team Giraffic Shark)

Best Scenic Design/Scene Layout (Given by: Team Giraffic Shark)

Best Hearse (Given by: Team Giraffic Shark)

Best Hiding Spots (Given by: Team Giraffic Shark)

Best Blackout Scene (Given by: Team Giraffic Shark)

Most Original Effects (Given by: Team Giraffic Shark)

Best Elevator Effect (Given by: Team Giraffic Shark)

Best Puppetry (Given by: Team Giraffic Shark)

Best Mirror Maze Effect (Given by: Team Giraffic Shark)

Actor Shout Out - Tilly – Interactive Queue Entertainment providing scares and character driven interaction (Given by: Team Giraffic Shark)

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