The Haunted Mine – Full Review

The Haunted Mine is a Haunted Attraction located in Tarentum, PA.

748 Bull Creek Road, Tarentum, PA 15084
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Haunt Type(s):

Haunted Cave

Links:

The Haunted Mine Facebook PageThe Haunted Mine Website

Contact:

Email The Haunted MineMessage The Haunted Mine on Facebook Messenger

Features:

Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Food/Concessions, “Old-School” (Low Tech), You will NOT be touched, Original Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, Indoor/Outdoor Attraction

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This attraction was reviewed on October 13, 2023 by Team Houdini.


About Our Reviews and Rating System


Final Score: 7.97

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Summary:

The Haunted Mine has returned for its third installment of the rebooted franchise. Located in Tarentum, PA, 160 feet below the earth’s crust in an abandoned coal mine from the 1800s, The Haunted Mine is the most unique haunted attraction in the area.

After its long hiatus of a decade or so, they keep coming back bigger, better, and coal-er than ever. Can you survive the cramped and confined caverns or will you end up like a canary in a coal mine?


Cast Score: 7.78

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Cast Review:

The Haunted Mine descended into darkness with an extensive cast of nearly 45 actors, a commendable enhancement from previous years, though the evening’s pace was tempered by the local Friday night distractions. These dedicated minor miners weren’t mere passengers on this haunting journey; their infectious enthusiasm and full immersion in their roles contributed significantly to the authenticity of the experience.

Within the unsettling confines of the newly unveiled Scary Larry’s Lab, we confronted a sinister world of eerie experiments, treacherous test subjects, and horrendous hazmat hygienists. Their piercing screams of agony, desperate warnings, and fervent pleas for help echoed through the eerie laboratory. The nearby cemetery served as the final resting place for tormented spirits, ghoulish apparitions, and malevolent demons who, with unwavering determination, continued their ominous warnings, mournful wails, and tales of woe.

Deep within the bowels of the mine, we encountered the coal-d hearted cadavers –- the tragic souls who met their demise in the maniacal mines. Their soot-covered frames wandered the subterranean passages eternally, trapped in a never-ending cycle of agony, their haunting screams a chilling backdrop to our journey.

A few actors rose to prominence amid this dedicated ensemble, interjecting their unique dialogue into our immersive walkthrough. The flamboyant butcher, in particular, injected a devilish humor into our expedition. Not only did he present a macabre charcuterie board, but he also serenaded us with a twisted rendition of ‘Baby Shark,’ crooning, ‘Killing You, do do do do do do, do.’ His unsettling yet energetic performance, cleaver in hand, left an indelible mark on our psyches. In the cemetery, a bloodied ghoul added a spine-tingling neck twitch to her character, intensifying the atmosphere.

The groundskeeper showcased a clever sales pitch, seamlessly integrating the graveyard theme into his promotion. He offered our group a morbidly fitting ‘Die One, Get One Free’ deal, enticing us with caskets for our unfortunate souls. Throughout our odyssey, other actors contributed genuine screams and heartfelt warnings, sharing stories of friends lost below, to enrich the overall atmosphere. Unperturbed, we ventured deeper into the foreboding mine.

As the experience unfolded, a series of well-executed jump scares kept our adrenaline pumping, featuring exhilarating chases with chainsaws that left us breathless with fear.

The majority of the cast portrayed their roles convincingly and authentically, with only ‘minor’ exceptions. Nevertheless, the ensemble as a whole delivered strong performances, infusing their characters with unique dialogue and actions that truly delved into the heart of their roles, proving they were not merely mining for compliments.


Costuming Score: 7.7

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Costuming Review:

A touch of costume diversity graced our journey. Each section of the haunt boasted its unique attire. The lab, a realm of eerie experiments, cloaked its denizens in hazmat suits, while the cemetery summoned dark and pale makeup to embellish its ghostly inhabitants. As we ventured deeper into the mine, our eyes met actors adorned with soot-like makeup, reminiscent of the miners whose tragic fates befell them below the earth.

Throughout The Haunted Mine, a prevailing theme emerged in the form of attire: an ensemble predominantly shrouded in dark, foreboding clothing. Hoodies, black shirts, and jumpsuits dominated the scene, a practical choice considering the haunt’s theme. However, the prospect of introducing a touch more variety to the costumes could undoubtedly enhance the overall attraction.

The costumes displayed a spectrum of quality, with some standing out as visually captivating, while others blended into the mundane landscape of everyday street clothes. Masks and makeup effects, including gruesome details like dangling skin, lent an air of realism to select characters.

Fortunately, none of the costumes veered into the territory of being poorly executed to the detriment of the overall experience. Though generally satisfactory, our hopes ventured towards a more meticulous approach in the future, one that could breathe life into the characters with a heightened focus on detail.

While the combination of dark attire and facial makeup lent an air of adequacy to the experience, the prospect of witnessing more intricate and detailed costumes and makeup across the entire haunt held the promise of elevating the excitement level significantly. After all, just like a well-mined seam, a little extra sparkle can turn a good haunt into a true gem.


Customer Service Score: 10

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We embarked on our journey to the mine’s location, entrusting Google Maps to be our guide, though it may be a tad perplexing as the mine shares its address with an entirely unrelated haunt known as The Shadows. Thankfully, salvation came in the form of clear signage from the main road, discreetly leading the way to each haunt. Parking logistics were more finely tuned this season, courtesy of the vigilant parking attendant who orchestrated the vehicle ballet.

We ventured into the mines without encountering any foreboding hazards. Visitors should be able to follow suit as long as they heed the guidelines, This year, we observed the welcome addition and comforting touch of extra lighting in the parking area.

Once within the mine’s depths, we swiftly realized the importance of our mandatory hard hats. With the low, unforgiving ceiling and the genuine cave’s propensity to introduce its rocky surfaces to the unsuspecting, an inopportune collision was best avoided. To transport guests, a small mine car was on hand, and it was wise to keep all appendages tucked safely within, lest they transform into unintentional props. Adhering to the rules and employing common sense emerged as indispensable safeguards in this underground realm.

A concerted emphasis on safety resonated throughout the experience, a testament to the recognition of the inherent perils of traversing a bona fide mine. The staff executed their role in this regard admirably.

At the ticket booth, staff members greeted us with warmth and hospitality, offering a small sweet treat and readily addressing any queries we might have harbored. Their friendly disposition did not go unnoticed. Subsequently, the haunt’s owners engaged us in conversation, bringing us up to date on the improvements made this year and sharing tantalizing visions for the future.

For those seeking further insight, the Haunted Mine’s online presence is conveniently located on the Tour-Ed Mine & Museum website. Here, visitors can access all the requisite details, including address, pricing, and dates, presented in a straightforward manner. Additionally, the haunt maintains an active presence on Facebook, facilitating seamless updates and interactions.


Immersion Score: 7.96

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Immersion Review:

The core tale’s as simple as a shovel’s scoop: lost souls trapped in the coal mine …but oh, there’s more hidden in those subterranean shadows. Scary Larry’s mad lab brews experiments gone haywire, the cemetery’s a resting place for those entombed by the mine’s treacherous depths, and the mine itself echoes with the wails of miners crushed by back-breaking toil.

It’s not just a spooky story, mind you; it’s a record etched in coal dust, with nearly 30 souls swallowed by these black caverns, and a few more that seemed to have vanished into thin air. Yes, it’s genuinely haunted, and come spring, we’re hoping to embark on a paranormal dig, so keep your lamps lit and stay tuned for that black-hearted adventure.

Before we plunged into the depths, the newly revamped waiting area did not host a parade of queue line actors, barring the ever-delightful Scary Larry, a miner’s joy to behold. En route to Larry’s lair, we strolled past some eerie decor. An old wagon barn and cabins miners once called home were adorned with laser lights, casting ghostly shades of green, purple, and orange, setting the spectral scene.

Larry, sporting his signature quirky glasses and a new zany electrocution gadget, ushered us in. The haunt’s enigmatic realms could be sorted into five acts: the experimental entrance, the blood-soaked butcher shop, the ghostly graveyard, the pre-haunt zone housing the maniacal chainsaw chase, and the elevator descent into the mine, all culminating in the ominous mine itself.

The feeling of claustrophobia was as thick as coal dust as we navigated the haunt’s treacherous terrain, especially in the novel elevator sequence where the cage (a lift device to transport miners) plunged us into the mine. This unique locale set it apart from run-of-the-mill haunts, immersing us in an unparalleled journey, akin to miners descending deep into the earth, where every nook and cranny may hide its own dark secret.

The transitions between these eerie domains flowed seamlessly, guiding us from one nightmare to the next. The brief walk from the funhouse to the mine was graced by flickering lanterns that intensified the eerie ambiance. While awaiting the mine car’s arrival, we spied an individual in the control room, desperately yearning to join our expedition.


Special FX Score: 7.58

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Special FX Review:

This season, the funhouse zone took a dramatic twist, shifting its focus from a lighthearted phobia-like funhouse to an all-encompassing spine-tingling experience. The addition of LED lights and lasers cranked the overall creep factor up a notch. The place seemed overrun by sinister experiments. It featured unfortunate humans dissected on the slab, looming extraterrestrial visitors, and ghostly skeletons that materialized out of the shadows. The decor was devilishly enticing, often drenched in fluorescent neon paints, casting a wicked aura of greens, oranges, and other eerie shades, enveloping us in a noxious haze of fear.

While the visuals were spine-chilling, there were moments of silence, and the absence of spine-tingling sounds and sinister scents left room for improvement. Our senses were left partially untapped, like an untouched coal vein ripe for excavation.

In the butcher shop, the entrance was a gory spectacle of hanging heads and dismembered body parts. We were met by a towering animatronic butcher before we could even step inside. This grotesque figure beckoned us forth with an ungodly grin.

As we ventured into the graveyard, it was clear that the team had outdone themselves yet again. The scene was adorned with a multitude of tombstones and scattered skeletons, conjuring an atmosphere straight from a nightmarish legend. Tombs littered the ground and animatronic specters rose from their resting places, silently watching over the unhallowed grounds, adding an extra layer of creepiness to the setting.

The mine experience proved to be a treasure trove of special effects, intensifying its ominous ambiance. Illuminated walls gave the shaft a supernatural aura, highlighting the natural splendor of the glistening, damp rocks. Moving beams played tricks on the eyes to create the illusion of a cave-in, while fog blanketed the area, reminiscent of the suffocating embrace of coal dust. The echoing screams and clattering mingled with eerie echoes, bouncing off the cavern walls. From skeletons, spiders, rats, and dismembered body parts strewn along the path to real mining equipment like the trusty sluice box, all made eerie cameos. The mine experience was authentic, with each twist and turn revealing new horrors lurking in the darkness.


Scare Factor Score: 7.55

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Scare Factor Review:

The most effective thrills in this haunted expedition were the sudden, heart-pounding jump scares that took us entirely by surprise. Among these, the ear-splitting roar of the chainsaw was a standout, an auditory assault that never failed to catch victims off guard. This season, a peculiar emphasis was placed on the sinister, unbroken gazes of some of the younger actors, a silent, unsettling presence that added a layer of chilling tension.

The fusion of various elements, from the well-executed special effects to the immersive atmosphere, led to a potent combination. The mine’s dark depths were adorned with a plethora of grotesque scenes. Some actors contributed to this ambiance with their ominous warnings about the infamous butcher. They effectively set the stage for the horrors that lay ahead. The sight of barrels brimming with dismembered body parts and the ghastly meat grinder was enough to evoke visceral repulsion in stout hearts.

Yet, intimidation was the order of the day, particularly embodied by the chainsaw-wielding characters. Another unexpected fright leaped forth from the shadows as the spider creature, accompanied by a massive animatronic arachnid, lunged menacingly toward us.

The anticipation of the mine caving in was more than just suspenseful; it triggered a subtle sense of claustrophobia, heightening the overall tension. A skillful mix of scares emanated from various characters and skillfully employed animatronics.

A personal favorite moment occurred in the graveyard, where a zombie suddenly emerged from behind a tombstone. We experienced the disorienting sensation of caskets seemingly falling and collapsing, coupled with other sections of walls that appeared to be crumbling around us, creating an unsettling walk. It kept us perpetually on edge as we feared that the very walls were closing in.

The overall balance between different scare tactics and the calculated targeting of every member of our group was commendable, ensuring that no soul was spared from the haunting horrors within.


Entertainment & Value Score: 8

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E&V Review:

The Haunted Mine has delved deep into their coal pits and showed us they are not just stickin’ to a trilogy; they’re like miners down in the tunnels, prospectin’ for spooks, and we’re all fired up to see where they’ll strike coal next.

This year, the ticket price for the mine experience went up to $25 ($20 on Sundays), right in line with the regional average. We spent about 25 minutes down there, so that is a buck per bone-chilling minute. That’s a tad under the average rate of 1.2 MPD from last season, but by the mine’s lantern light, it’s a darn good deal. After all, how often can you venture into a haunted attraction set right within the bowels of a bona fide underground haunted coal mine?

The Haunted Mine sure knows how to mine ’em good, year after year, refining their sets and designs from rough chunks of coal into polished diamonds of fright. We’re excited to announce that our video walkthrough will drop after the season, so don’t wander too far. We can’t wait for our next “coal-aboration” with The Haunted Mine.


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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 7.38 out of 10

Josh H – 10/10October 28, 2022
The scariest haunted house in Pittsburgh!!!

Sara – 9/10October 9, 2021
One of the best haunts I’ve been to this year. The actors are friendly. The decorations are great …show more and they do a good job at scarring you. Had to wait for a while but it was definitely worth it!

Jim – 8.5/10October 2, 2021
The most unique experience for a haunted house I have been to. I thought the lighting and signage …show more was poor in the parking area. However I loved the haunt.

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Past Awards


2022 Awards

Most Unique Location (Given by: Team Houdini)



Past Awards


2022 Awards

Most Unique Location (Given by: Team Houdini)


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