The Scream Machine – Full Review

The Scream Machine is a Haunted Attraction located in Taylor, MI.

25710 Northline Rd, Taylor, MI 48180
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Haunt Type(s):

Escape RoomHaunted House


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Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Handicap Accessible, Food/Concessions, “Hi-Tech” Attraction, You will NOT be touched, Indoor Waiting Line, All-Indoor Attraction

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This attraction was reviewed on September 13, 2019 by Team Michigan Macabre.

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Final Score: 8.84

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The Scream Machine is always a haunt to visit each season, and this year was no disappointment! 2019 is a year to celebrate The Scream Machine with a complete 180 from years prior. The theme stays the same; Dr. Strach is seeking volunteers to experience their ultimate fears to harvest those emotions from you to complete his research. Be prepared, the fear-inducing scenarios you are subjected to become more terrifying each year!

A visit to The Scream Machine is one you will not soon forget if you are able to escape with your sanity.

Cast: 9.07

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The cast of The Scream Machine never falls short. The cast enhances this haunt and brings a one-of-a-kind enthusiasm to the show. The Scream Machine is within the same walls as years prior, but increased their cast by ten this year! Due to this, there is never a dull moment, and there is interaction at every turn.

Peepo the Clown always goes out of his way to make us laugh, and bring us an unexpected shock! New this year is a very striking and irresistible man who provides a titillating show!

The actors were devoted to their roles and never broke character. One or two characters could have done more within their roles, appearing a little apprehensive compared to their cohorts, uttering sayings like, ‘Go!’ ‘Move’ and ‘Get Out!’

One actor with a mask encouraged us to ‘move along’ which from behind the mask and sounding muffled, somewhat took us out of the moment. It must be noted, sometimes our group can be a little curious, so we probably did require the directive action.

Two actors in a medical exam room provided us with a scare that we have never witnessed before leaving us in awe! No spoilers here, but they are professionals when it comes to using their props!

Another actor who performed very well in her role was Nurse Paula. Paula took control of her scene, kept us involved, rolled with the punches, and of course, led us into the belly of The Scream Machine.

Costuming: 9.14

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The costumes were appropriate for each character, and none felt rushed or incomplete. There were a few masks observed. One which could have been a boar? This was unique, but a man with a boar mask is more comical than scary. Perhaps he was a staged comic relief?

The costumes were all unique and added scare value to those donning them. We will mention a few favorites; one completely camouflaged an actor so well they produced the most surprising scare of the night. Another costume was so well mimicked by the dead we were unsure who the living, breathing, people were in the room!

Once again, Dr. Strach’s costume was a hit and unique to The Scream Machine. The improvements made from last year were terrific, Dr. Strach’s almost mechanical sound of his voice added to his madness.

A character that struck us as somewhat out of place, not because of who they portrayed but rather, stuck out as not ‘fitting’ for The Scream Machine was a young lady depicting Samara from The Ring. At least, that is how we took her character. It is out of place to us, because all the actors at The Scream Machine are original, not that having a popular movie character included is a negative – but it stood out.

All makeup appeared professionally done, and the queue line girl looking for her pet provided an up-close look at the skills used by The Scream Machine.

Customer Service: 9.38

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The Scream Machine showcased new LED signage on the building front as well as a sign by the road. The Scream Machine located in a plaza is limited as to what they can do with the outside of their venue, but the haunt is easily found. Parking is not a problem with a large parking lot, and the haunt is wheelchair accessible.

The staff is polite and eager to make your night a memorable one. No safety concerns were observed. Safety is a priority as security is onsite and identified by their outfits. All information is provided on their website, social media, and displayed on their window front.

Atmosphere: 8.34

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The Scream Machine makes a statement with the door front decorations, signs, and line of awaiting victims. There is excitement, screams from within, and of course, you cannot forget Fetters’ ringing bell. When you hear the bell, your stomach lurches, and your body prepares itself for the fear awaiting inside. Fetters provides the queue line entertainment with the help of an additional actor or two building the anticipation and fear within you while you wait. Additionally, sound effects are playing to begin the game of disorientation, transporting you into a realm of fear and dread.

Special Effects: 9.26

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The improvements made to The Scream Machine in regards to the Special Effects category were awe-inspiring. We had to remind ourselves we were in The Scream Machine as the sounds, scenes, props, and all-encompassing details were so drastically different and improved it was hard to believe. The Scream Machine sets up shop only a short six weeks before the doors opening, the hard work and many staff hours devoted is unfathomable. Let’s dig in shall we?

Not wanting to spoil all of the hard work accomplished, I will note a few areas that were superb.

The entrance was a great addition! The use of the video and how it gets incorporated further was a nice segway. One improvement would be to somehow soundproof that area (hey we aren’t the builders here…we simply make the suggestions!!) or make the video even louder. The good and bad of The Scream Machine is, the location is one huge room, so separating the sounds emanating throughout the haunt has to be difficult. This is a perfect example because only the person up close to the video could hear what was being said.

There were no repetitive sounds; every room/scene had its own audio. The props were not items you could find at your local Halloween store. From the stuffed animals in the taxidermy room to the appliances in the kitchen, the file folders in the nurse’s office and the artwork on the walls, it was all well thought out. The Scream Machine does have some higher-end props as well, for instance, the blinding lights and deafening sounds of the car horn you can hear echoing through the venue. The scenes were decorated meticulously from floor to ceiling. The Scream Machine will fully submerge you in the scenes visually and acoustically.

Theme: 7.25

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The Scream Machine’s theme is one we look forward to when visiting them because it is unique and original. We are well-versed in the “foraging fears” theme, but those who have not experienced The Scream Machine may not fully grasp this going in. Again, the newly added video at the beginning is a good way to assist with getting the theme out there as well as the Dr. himself explaining his research.

We would love to see the phobias themselves be announced or detailed throughout the haunt in a more obvious way. Due to the constant barrage of things going on you can easily forget the theme going through and it can quickly become a haunted house of all things scary, more than a well thought out and established theme carrying you through the haunt.

Scare Factor: 8.34

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The Scream Machine always brings a very high scare factor to the public. Now with the details added this year, the scare factor surely has risen to an all-time high! All facets of this haunt induce fear; the props, actors, sounds, and overall atmosphere. Many different scares are utilized, and an expected ending scare encourages you to run screaming.

One use of fog created an atmosphere of disorientation and a genuine fear of being separated from our group members, as well as a fear of being watched by those lurking within the fog.

Here are some quotes from our group as we ventured through:
‘I want to get out so bad!’
‘Hello?? Don’t leave me!’
‘They are coming out of EVERYWHERE!’

I think those suggest a quality scare factor, don’t you?

Entertainment & Value: 8.87

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It took our team about 20 minutes to make our way through The Scream Machine. The action never slows, and you always feel like you get your money’s worth.

With general admission being $18; that is a minute per dollar score of 1.1.

We felt like it was a long adventure; even though we did run into another group ahead of us at one point. Perhaps, positioning some actors to create a steady pace throughout is needed.

We visited on opening night, and even though no concessions were available that night, they will provide them in the future. Bathrooms are available on-site, and there are also two 5-minute escape rooms. Our team did go through one escape room, and we successfully escaped in time!

General Admission – $18
Skip The Line – $25
Two additional 5 Minute Escape Rooms – $5 each

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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 9.33 out of 10

Savannah – 10/10October 28, 2021
This place was amazing! Definitely needs more recognition for sure! This was my 5th haunt this …show more month.. Erebus was my #1 until I went here! I don’t scare easily at all and this place scared the crap out of me! Staff did an amazing job!! Short wait time to! Definitely will be back next year!

Isaac Currier – 10/10September 13, 2019
I absolutely love this place, it was my 2nd round this tear but this time i went by myself! If you …show more dont know Fetters The Clown, he is a great guy! He is the operations manager here and he will maje your visit very fun, especially like how he did for mine! I recommend this place for brave people and people think they can make it out alive 😉

Ben Zeestraten – 8/10October 6, 2023
Haven’t been to one in 14-15 years. Took my daughters to their first one (11 & 13 yr). They …show more were brave going in by the 3rd or 4th scare they were begging to get out. I loved it. GREAT For taking someone younger to. Especially for their first haunt.

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Past Awards

2019 Awards

Best Intro Scene (Given by: Team Michigan Macabre)

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