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This attraction was reviewed on October 20, 2018 by Team Zombillies.

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Final Score: 8.27

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The Mayhem Mansion is an old-school haunted house that actually takes place in an old 2-story mansion! In this attraction, you are welcomed back to the 1930’s, where the horrifying, prohibition-based story will unravel as you make your way through it’s tight hallways and corridors.

Since our last visit in 2016, the Haverford’s Hollow Trail has been completely redesigned. This year, you’re invited to pack paintball-shooting shotguns into the woods with you in a flag football-style zombie survival game! It’s just you, your group, and many energetic and sneaky zombies.

Pro Tip: Bring lots of friends. You’ll need ’em.

Cast: 8.83

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This cast is made up of all volunteers and they have been given one task; to eat your group alive! They will be on you from all sides, above you and sometimes down on the floor. The cast also interchanges every night, but every time we’ve attended the mansion, we’ve always been impressed with their level of interactivity.

In addition to the new recruits, we also crossed paths with some familiar faces from our last visit. Lineus, the resident butcher, continues to be a favorite with his intimidating and meat hook-slinging demeanor. Sometimes he can be spotted just outside of his scene, working the queue line.

The two ladies in the bar were some of the most believable, bickering back and forth with one another and, at one point, one of them was thrown against the bar! They never broke character, which had us wondering if they were even acting at all. The female cultist in the funeral scene was the first to let us know there might be some foul play going on, and made us get down on our knees and individually bid the late Elizabeth farewell.

The most realistic performance, however, was debatably the old woman up in the second level of the house. She worriedly kept asking us to help her find her grandson. We kept pointing to the child actor that was rocking silently in a nearby chair, but even though she turned and looked at him, she insisted he wasn’t there. Maybe we were seeing things?

Each of the actors, where appropriate, were very energetic, knew every nook and cranny in the house, and had strong dialogue usage. They certainly aren’t afraid to touch or offend you, and you may even get weapons rubbed on you, unattached accessories stolen (and later returned), or asked to interact with their props yourself! Oh yes; we can’t forget to mention the guy that crawled after us on all fours, arched over backwards, and then we later found suspended from the rafters coming at us from above! All of these combined to produce a highly-interactive show on the night of our visit.

Costuming: 8.24

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There are no furry monsters, or creatures, or classic slasher villains at Mayhem Mansion. What we found instead was authentic and period-correct attire that brought to life the realistic residents of the mansion. Details extended all the way down to their jewelry and hairstyles, and each of them seemed to be outfitted with modest outfits, including various dresses on the females and slacks, shirts, vests, and overalls on the males. One female even had money poking out the top of her dress! Lineus the butcher was among the most menacing-looking characters, as he looked as if he was ready for slaughter!

Makeup use is the weapon of choice for these characters, but we did see a good partial mask floating around. Darkened eyes and facial features, blood, runny black eyes, wounds, a cross on one’s forehead, and various markings made up the bulk of the makeup effects and helped make the characters more believable.

Customer Service: 9.25

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If you’re visiting Mayhem Mansion for the first time, you’ll know you’ve arrived when you see the bright red light on the porch and the arrow sign out by the road. We didn’t see any signs at nearby intersections, but our trusty GPS knew right where to go (plus, we’ve been here before).

The haunt shares it’s property with the local baseball field, which is located behind the mansion. That said, there’s a good amount of self-serve parking available in a well-lit gravel lot that’s also behind the house.

Everyone we met at the ticket booth and back in the paintball trail were very friendly and professional, and were more than happy to answer all of the questions we had about each experience. Pat, the rule-giver, always does a great job of psyching us up and making us feel like we might leave with a LOT more than we thought we’d bargained for.

Navigating the house itself if pretty easy and straightforward. The flooring itself is smooth, but there are some slightly uneven thresholds that will catch your feet if you’re shuffling them across the floor. There are also a couple of flights of stairs to scale up and down before you’re officially finished.

If you decide to try the zombie paintball excursion, there is a lantern at the opposite end of the parking lot and caution tape to keep you headed in the right direction. Wear appropriate footwear, as there are a few small roots on the trail that aren’t easily visible with the small flashlights provided.

Atmosphere: 8.05

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Mayhem Mansion takes place in an older, run-down-looking, 2-story mansion. Just looking at the building and the overgrown shrubs and vegetation surrounding it easily makes you believe it’s an old, abandoned and possibly truly-haunted place.

You won’t find any huge props or high-dollar decorations here. In fact, those things would probably take away from the authenticity of the building. There is, however, a small zombie paintball shooting gallery for the young ‘uns, a good-sized (but hard to see) ‘Mayhem Manson’ sign on the roof and a detailed prop display on the front patio.

Before you go in, you’ll also get a chance to watch a video (projected onto a screen) that creepily tells the backstory of the Haverford family and the grizzly events that took place in the house. The mood of the video is mild and matter-of-fact, though – hardly an indication of the intensity that you’re about to experience.

In contrast, and also before entering, you’ll likely notice a dry erase board that tallies how many quitters they’ve had so far this season; there were a LOT, as of this writing, and the totals didn’t include children.

Lastly, once you’re in the front door, Pat will give you the rules and fill you in on some important survival tips before you get started. The whole time he’s talking, the minions of the Mansion are banging on the walls, screams can be heard coming from all throughout the house, others will be taunting the group from behind the walls, and some may even walking amongst you in the room! This is where the energy level gets cranked up big time, and we promise that even the most avid of haunt enthusiasts will start to feel their hearts race before the haunt even begins.

Special Effects: 7.6

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Mayhem Mansion is a true old-school haunt that doesn’t utilize high-tech effects or animations. This is a very actor-driven haunt and the scenes have been built in a way that allows them to interact with you in many different ways. See that hole in the wall? Yeah, something can see you coming and may use that hole later to catch you off-guard. There are a lot of doors and hidden crevices that are put in place on purpose and every actor knows how to use them.

Most of the scenes are the actual rooms of the house. Some black walls are put in place to guide you through and serve as transition zones between them, but the biggest chunk of what you’ll see is the natural structure of this century-old abode. You’ll get a glimpse into a dungeon-like portion of the basement, mechanical rooms, bedrooms, all with authentic furniture and more! There are some areas where you can see the original paint peeling off the walls! In those areas, it just doesn’t get any more realistic than that.

Despite the lack of fancy props and effects, you’ll still see some great usage of strobes, body bags, scents, colored lights and things that move on their own that really shouldn’t. They’ve got a few illusion tricks up their sleeves too; you might get an abrupt stop to your journey if you choose the wrong path at the wrong time!

Several different sounds can be heard throughout the Mansion, most of which are created by the actors and their props, but we did also encounter some vintage music. Maniacal laughter, squeaking doors, the creepy sounds of children and some low macabre tunes were heard as well during our tour.

Theme: 8.93

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The Mayhem Mansion’s theme is set in the 1930’s – the prime of the prohibition age. Aside from being an actor-driven haunt, this is a great reason for keeping the haunt in an ‘old-school’ classification. Nearly all of the furnishings and scene amenities are period correct, which helps make the story more believable.

As mentioned in Atmosphere, you’ll get to see a video in the queue line that explains the full story. The short story is, the Haverfords were big into the moonshine business (you might even catch a glimpse of their ‘still inside the house, and the residents will quickly hush you if you mention anything related to ‘shine). After the tragic passing of their daughter, the family decided to host the funeral at their home and, in their time of extreme distress, make a special batch of their bonafide brew’ a batch that would kill everyone who attended. The police supposedly boarded up the entire property after discovering the massacre, and it’s said that the house is now haunted by the spirits of those who succumbed to the Haverfords’ fury. But, it’s also said that the police ‘may’ have forgotten to seal up one of the windows on the upper level. Will you be able to find the way out?

Scare Factor: 7.74

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Mayhem Mansion’s ‘old-school’ features play a pretty big role in this category as well. Most of the scares come from the characters themselves, but a few are derived from the various props that are utilized by these malicious monsters as well. Before you go through, Pat will be the guy to tell you, ‘They will light your a$$ up!’

During your tour, it’s likely that you will be sent through dark places, come face to face with frightening figurines, be subjected to intense cases of intimidation, just plain weirded-out by some of the things that are going on, or any combination of the above. You may also witness acts of victimization, be asked to drink something, attacked from all angles, and come in direct contact with many of the fearsome foes throughout the haunt.

We did notice several distraction attempts too. These were cases where one actor would attract our attention in a scene, while another actor that was hidden from sight would sneak in a surprise attack when we least expected it! Scare levels ranged from subtle whispers and calm (but not-so-friendly) conversations to intense screaming and fast-paced chases through the corridors of the Mansion.

Our group of two reviewers was sent in with another group of 3, so we had a great chance to see how other people would react to the scares inside. We can tell you, those guys were definitely taken out of their comfort zones on multiple occasions and there were lots of times when we saw them shaking and scrambling to get away from the characters!

There may not be much to look at here, but the actors are what makes this little-known haunt quite a bit scarier than some of the other attractions we visit.

Entertainment & Value: 8.21

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General admission to Mayhem Mansion is $15.00 and we clocked our tour time at 15 minutes before we escaped our demise through the 2nd-story window. With an even 1.0 MPD (minutes of entertainment per dollar spent) rating, and considering the quality of the attraction, the ticket price comes in at pretty close to average for the area.

Kids 10 and under can enter the attraction for just $10. You can upgrade to VIP (fast pass) or re-enter the haunt for an additional $5. For the zombie shooting range, you can test your aim for a mere $3 at some close-range targets. The Haverfords Hollow Terror in the Woods Challenge is priced at $25 (does not include access to the Mansion) and is an interactive paintball experience that takes place on foot in the woods behind the baseball field. Your goal is to make it all the way through without getting ‘bitten.’ If you don’t, you can buy another ‘life’ for $10 and more ammo for $3 once you get to the checkpoint tent.

Mayhem Manson is put on by the local FOP and donates to Boone County Cops and Kids, which helps local youngsters enjoy Christmas that wouldn’t normally be able to.

$15 – Mayhem Mansion
$5 – VIP / Fast-Pass
$5 – Re-Entry
$10 – Kids 10 and under
$25 – Zombie Challenge
$10 – Life Re-buy
$3 – Ammo Refill
$3 – Zombie Shooting Gallery

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