Review of Wells Township Haunted House Haunted Attraction

Review of Wells Township Haunted House Haunted Attraction

Review of Wells Township Haunted House Haunted Attraction

Wells Township Haunted House

Wells Township Haunted House is a Haunted Attraction located in Brilliant, OH.

101 Market Street, Brilliant, OH 43913
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Haunt Type(s):

1HauntedHouse

Links:

Wells Township Haunted House Facebook PageWells Township Haunted House Website

Contact:

Call Wells Township Haunted HouseEmail Wells Township Haunted HouseMessage Wells Township Haunted House on Facebook Messenger

Features:

Free Parking, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, “Hi-Tech” Attraction, You may be touched, Original Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, All-Indoor Attraction

Team Scary Potter and the Hauntwarts Express reviewed this Haunted Attraction on September 28, 2019.

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Final Score: 8.92

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Summary:

Wells Township Haunted House is back with its newest incarnation of loud-quiet-loud haunted chaos. As a staple of the surprisingly quality-rich southeastern Ohio haunted attraction scene, it’s frankly almost criminal that Team Scary Potter is visiting them for only the first season. Still, the review team who normally reviews Wells has graciously granted us the opportunity to sample their offerings this season and report our findings.

How did things fair for the veteran haunters under SP scrutinization? Proceed further at your own risk as we experience the wicked mischief together.


Cast: 8.95

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There were primarily four categories of haunters : “named” iconic personalities that return to haunt the attraction each season, traditional pop-out-of-the-shadows boo-scarerers, dialogue-heavy expositionists who anchored most scenes, and the post-Freakout (See The Scare Factor below for a full explanation of this Wells-exclusive phenomenon) usher-beasts – in approximate ascending order of frequency.

Of the non-named variety, the communicative story-shepherds were certainly the most interesting. The manipulative owner of an extensive doll collection did well, especially considering she had chosen a mostly-deaf victim to attempt to ensnare (seriously, kudos to her for her persistence); also, the Wonka-obssessed conjurist from the Wheel of Torment room was effectively sinister as she vocally aggravated the ambient tension to climactic furor… I think; there’s a regrettable difficulty affixing a critical eye to someone who is forcing me to circulate a metal plank continuously until unfriendly specters awaken to consume my earthly soul. Bias admitted.

These narrative orators performed well, though a young lady warning us of something or other in her bedroom was drowned out by the soundtrack. A little more lung may have saved us from the horrors that spilled from unswept closet space.

Kids, this is what happens when you don’t clean your room – dust bunnies are monster incubators.

It was disappointing that there wasn’t a lot of meaningful interaction with the storytellers, nor any real deviation from the script. The result was that it felt like we were watching spooky theater instead of really being involved in the events unfolding – until the Freak-outs of course. Thereafter we didn’t really have access to the interactive actors any longer, lest we be consumed by flesh-hungry Wells demons.

We did enjoy our interactions with the less-scary denizens of the attraction as well, including the dancing clowns (a female clown was particularly energetic), and the surprisingly-friendly swamp beasts.

Within the main attraction, there weren’t any significant periods of downtime between actor interactions. The ancillary Zombie attraction, however was very lean on its titular menace, but I address that further under the Entertainment heading.

We only got to speak to 4 of the named characters on the night we visited, including a very long conversation with Cowboy and a brief exchange with Aunt B. The other two, Dark and Twisty, were our guides and were a pleasure to have along for our nightmarish escapade.


Costuming: 8.84

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The best costumes were certainly allotted to the few “named” characters that we saw and also the post-Freakout (see Scare Factor) interlopers. We were actually quite impressed with the variety of assailants that spontaneously manifested during each Freakout, and the quality and completeness of their attire. Granted, we didn’t have a LOT of time to admire their demented fashion sense as we were fleeing for our lives, but the mental snapshots that we registered are complimentary.

The “normal” folk who dispersed yarns to us during the front portion of each vignette and the handful of ‘tween-scene boo-scarers wore fairly simplistic attire befitting their mostly-human characterizations. No one stood out as being woefully underdressed.

The set of clowns and the swamp lurkers were appropriately suited to their roles as well, the latter using their green ensembles to better blend beneath the pseudo-slime of their murky homes.


Customer Service: 9.39

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The parking for Wells is not ideal. It isn’t located on any especially busy street (from what I could tell at 8 PM on a Saturday), but the attraction seemed to only possess a small adjoining lot designated for parking. With that well beyond full, we found a spot on the street; not a big deal. I’d imagine that on busier evenings, things may get a touch more chaotic.

Apparently the attraction has access to several additional parking areas, but this wasn’t immediately apparent to out-of-towners like ourselves when arriving. The owner told us that their relevant signs to clarify this are continually stolen. Monsters – the bad kind.

Perhaps a small, even crude, drawing uploaded to their website could elucidate the parking situation. Again, though, we had no major issues here – just constructive criticism on how the situation could be improved.

Wells employs a token ticketing system – secure your group’s place in metaphysical line and you are able to roam the hub area until your number is called. I give immense plaudits to any haunt that offers alternatives to standing in line.

Speaking of that : the options at Wells for passing the time until your number is called include the usual – merchandise room, concessions area (we did not have the opportunity to sample their wares, sadly) a few roaming line scarers, but also a free-with-ticket-price mini-attraction that I describe in the Entertainment/Value section of this review. It’s a nice step-up from typical hub entertainment and, considering the already-low cost of entry, a huge bonus.

There were several portable toilets on-site so, obviously, I christened our arrival by accidentally walking in on someone “in progress.” Tradition is tradition, friends.

Bare in mind that Wells is a touch-lite attraction – creatures will physically interact with you to a minor degree, but nothing extreme.

All of the staff that we encountered were very friendly and helpful… and, you know, scary when the time called for it. Extra special thank you to our host, Sean!


Atmosphere: 9.1

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The hub area is very busy, with sporadic expulsions of fire billowing into the sky beside the nightly rocking of various bands. Many of the attraction’s A-list haunters prowl the external lobby while videos are broadcast onto the side of the building.

In-city attractions generally face an uphill battle toward establishing proper haunt aesthetic, but given the explosive nature of the mini-tales that make up the bulk of the attraction, the over-the-top atmosphere that greets customers seems to fit pretty well.

Fortunately guests have plenty of time to take in and appreciate the artistic chaos surrounding the attraction due to the no-line construction of the waiting system.


Special Effects: 8.63

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Each room had ample (occasionally too ample) auditory accompaniment adapted to the tenor of the scene it was enhancing.  Even the pair of metal tracks that signaled two of the Freak-outs were reasonable enough for their scenes. Honestly, the few times that a creepy soundtrack aurally weaved beneath the story beats of scenes were the best usage of audio in the attraction (even if one of these did overpower the voice of the gal orating)… well, excluding perhaps the DK song. More on that shortly.

Set design was mostly adequate – the drawbridge room had a nice array of dangling nastiness overlaying a well-realized environment. The clown area was simple but effective – Haunters, you can NEVER go wrong with funnoodles. Most of the “story” rooms featured mostly just the articles necessary to augment the localized motif, but were certainly adequate. The clock room, with enough sinister, mechanized time-keepers to give Dali nightmares was certainly a stand-out. A few times, the bareness of the surrounding vista, like in the Wheel of Torment room, detracted a bit from the effectiveness of the corresponding story and scares, though.

We did really enjoy several of their constructions though. There IS a slide so feel free to capitulate to your inner child just this once and “weeee” your way into the dark abyss. Wells’s version of the claustrophobia highway was easily the tightest we’ve battled our way through, and I’ll admit that there lazer swamp is well-constructed.

Their best overall effect/room, I think most people would agree on, is the DK room. I reference this particular experience a few times in this review and continually reference it by initials only. This intentional secrecy will make sense upon first-hand accounting. Props to the designer of this clever mechanism – very effective.


Theme: N/A

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There isn’t an overarching theme to connect the various vignettes that unfold in each room. Each “experience” is thematically independent of all that is has become before or will proceed it.


Scare Factor: 8.56

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A large portion of the attraction was compromised of rooms that followed a similar formula.  An initial expositional peace of narrative provided by a usually ambivalent host altered us to and involved us in whatever evil was present.  The tone of the narrative would swell with increased dramatic tension to its fattened bursting point.. then a pause (often interposed with a fade to black), and a phenomenon I will describe as “The Wells Freak-out’ engaged : voracious antagonists emerged from hidden nooks, air blasters ignited, and a bellowing thematic score overlaid the chaos.

Thereafter we were anxiously prompted to flee into the next hallway, swarming fiends still abuzz around us. At the best of times is felt like a chaotic escape route; occasionally, however, and especially when the formula began to feel a bit stale, it was difficult not to envision a “Show’s Over!” Cinema Card raise across the bottom of my mental screen.

Used sparingly, this particular build-up and crescendo is a very effective scare formula, but too many of Wells’s rooms were thusly-composed. The dramatic effect upon which this type of scare relies is made somewhat impotent when the customer expects it.

The introductory room was a good usage of this formula, including an environmental startle for good measure.

On that point, though, perhaps Wells’s greatest asset was its occasional environmental hazards, especially when adapted into their traditional format. When an element of the environment altered in a “dangerous” fashion, it really helped to accent the Freak-outs.

It’s important to note that the actors involved in the Freak-outs were all quite good. Forced to sustain their characters for extended periods while we trampled our way out of the room, not a single spook broke character or discontinued their menacing until, presumably, after we had escaped. They didn’t get to flex a broad swath of fright artistry given the confines of their roles, but they excelled at the limited scope of their scaring.

Plus, a positive consequence of this formula is that everyone in our group really did get attention during most scare attempts. Even when Wells ventured outside of this blueprint, zones like the swamp were designed in a fashion that allowed its residents to access each member of our party – which they did.

There are two different endings to the attraction, and we were able to experience both of them. Interestingly, to be blunt, one was pretty bad and the other was pretty good (for our numerical evaluation, I averaged the value of each). The lesser send-off was just too… boring, I suppose. It is a multi-media experience, but we really couldn’t hear what was going on or even understand any of it. The better version of the exit room included a well-placed startle that was the least expected scare in the entire haunt.

Cross your fingers and pray for an academic resolution. If you get taken for a ride, eh, better luck next season.


Entertainment & Value: 9.33

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First of all, Wells costs $14. That’s it, $14. For a professional, full-length attraction, that’s actually incredibly uncommon these days. Credit to them for maintaining affordability at a time when many attractions are pushing towards, honestly, pretty absurd price-points.

For that $14, we experienced 19 minutes of entertainment within the attraction-proper. That places the MPD at 1.36, which is a pretty healthy rate. VIP tickets are $25 and online tickets are $20.

However, free with general admission is a second attraction, the Zombie Challenge. Essentially, this attraction involves wearing a flag-football-style belt and attempting to elude the vinyl-hungry zombies from gobbling up your flags. We spent five minutes traversing the attraction (a few of us even lived!), and though we appreciate the concept, the overall experience was lackluster. After the first room, there was only a single zombie. Granted, she was a persistent, half-sized bugger, continuously returning to accost us! Even still, the trek wasn’t particularly exciting. As a way to kill a few minutes waiting for your turn to access the main attraction, though, it certainly beats out waiting in line!

We had a wonderful time at Wells, and definitely enjoyed the attraction. As mentioned in the review, the familiar execution of many of the storyline scares could probably stand to be varied a little more, but we love that they are trying something different than ushering customers down endless, bland dark hallways.

Because of this, we look forward to a return visit next season and can definitely recommend that you follow in our footsteps and take a peek at the Wells Township Haunted House for yourself this season.

Just don’t mess with that Cowboy!


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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 8.57 out of 10

Glenn – 5/10
Wait was the worst I ever been in

Yvonne Ewing – 10/10
every year my friends and I go on a hunt for the best scare. We came a crossed This attraction and …show more booked the VIP tour. I have been doing this hunt for 5 years now and we have been all over the place, this is a top 3 for me!!! After the Staff removed two intoxicated individuals we had a great time. The first two rooms where ruined due to the two that were removed but was not a disappointment going forward. The Actors were great and the scenes where top notch. for a group that is hard to scare we got our fill of heart pounding moments! we will definitely be back next year!

Sam Welder – 10/10
Always the best when we visit. The lights out is so terrifying. I was chased in the yard by a nun. …show more The adrenaline this place gives me makes me come back year after year. Can’t wait to see what this fall has in store.

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2017 Awards

Scariest Haunt in Ohio (Given by: Team Mysterious Misery)