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Mini Round-Up of Seattle-Area Haunts

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I don't normally go to haunted houses or that sort of thing, but since some family and I went to Scarywood last year I have been craving some good walk-through haunt action. This year I wasn't able to make it over to Idaho, but I figured since we have quite a few haunts around the Seattle area I would visit some of the higher-profile ones and see if anything compares to Silverwood's very nice Halloween event. Keep in mind I have never been to any major theme park Halloween events, so these are nothing to compare with the big productions, and overall I was slightly disappointed by most I tried, with one notable exception.


First, a friend from work and I headed out to Snohomish, WA to go through the Nightmare on 9 haunted house. They have a large selection of other attractions like a "flashlight" corn maze, food vendors and Zombie Paintball--something I might want to come back and try next year. From what I saw it involved a tractor towing a big trailer through scenes where various zombies can be shot with mounted paintball guns. It seems like it would be fun with a couple of friends after having a couple of beers at their huge barn. Part of the line for the haunt and most of the other stuff was inside this big space, easily 200ft long and 40ft high at the center. It was packed when we got there, waited about 20 minutes for tickets and then 1 hour or more for the haunt itself.


As for the haunt, it was pretty decent, but nothing really stood out that made me go "Wow!" The one I remember as really creepy was the sudden trio of giant pig snouts slopping through a trough of gore... it was generally your standard set of scenes (doctor/hospital room, hanging bodies, murder clown room, etc.) that were fairly well done but again nothing that was particularly notable. I will give them credit for keeping the line moving slow to keep people from bunching up, but it resulted in long lines, and the house itself was relatively short, about 10 minutes at most. I rate it as "go for it if you love haunted houses, otherwise skip it"


The second place I headed was the next night, Saturday October 30th, so I was of course expecting long lines. The place i chose, as the only theme/water park in western Washington, is already notorious for long lines in the summer. Wild Waves/Enchanted Village have recently tried a new strategy of splitting into the water side and the dry rides side, and you can pay for only rides for less than half the summer price. However, with all the water rides and about a third of the other attractions--and a lot of the food, I found out--closed and a pretty big crowd for this small park, it quickly turned into 1 hour+ waits for each of the 3 haunts.


WARNING: Crappy Videos Ahead


I pulled up as the sun was setting and it looked light, but apparently people kept coming because before long the lines were crazy for everything


Coming in you can get a fairly good look at Wild Thing and other rides across the lake


This old Arrow hurts like the dickens IMO, and they "let" you go around twice, although once back at the station the first time they ask if anyone wants to get off. This means in the summer people wait for more than an hour for this garbage, but if there is no wait I sometimes go on it. This night I did not.


I got one ride in on Timberhawk before lines really picked up. This small woodie is one of 4 S&S wooden coasters built, and is pretty tame overall. It's the first drop and a couple of the subsequent ones that are the fun parts, but it sadly just peters out near the end. They could have done a lot more with some bunny hops or helixes at the end.


I then tried to go find food, and would have even accepted cheap nachos with cheese sauce, but couldn't really find anything that didn't have a huge line and was still worth it. They have a candy store but I needed something more substantial. Luckily I usually plan for these occasions and they allow re-entry, so I headed back to the car for some trail mix I had stashed. It wasn't comfort food or anything but the remaining allowed me to wait in line for pretty much the rest of the night with snacks to munch on.


I found the Kang-a-Bounce which I love, but I thought it would be weird for a 30-year old guy to be riding it by himself after dark with a bunch of kids.


The first haunt was a "3D" chromadepth black-light attraction called The Playground or something much like the thousands that seem to be popping up everywhere; it reminded me of 3Dementia at Scarywood but without the awesome hand-painted panels and more unique scenery. This was a mix of fairly nice mass-produced panels and some lower quality hand painted stuff, and it was pretty cool overall. I left feeling satisfied and looking forward to the next haunt. On the way out I passed some other rides like the Timber Axe--makes me sick a bit--and the Klondike Gold Rusher wild mouse, neither of which I bothered with.


I was tempted to wait in line for the new drop ride they installed this summer, but I'm glad I didn't because I would have missed the cutoff for the final haunt later in the night. It looks like the smallest Double Shot that you can order and is called Brain Drain; it has some LED's on it that make a little light show when it launches but it doesn't look like anything really special. The Combo Ride at the Puyallup Fair is the only other drop ride in the area, and it costs $10 per ride and is only open 2 periods each year, so next year I will have to try this little tower. It's not quite one of those kiddie drop rides since it appears to be a full-size S&S tower footprint, but I'll say it looks short and sweet.


I headed to the line for the next haunted house, the Chamber of Souls, over on the other side of the park. It was actually in the water rides section, and it took me a bit to find the correct way to get there... The line was somewhat entertaining with sounds coming from the haunted house, and then there was this;


So yeah, there was that. The haunt itself was again worth the wait, but it was nothing super amazing or groundbreaking. It again seemed like a re-hash of most of the common haunted house setups, but I will say that the actors in this house were some of the best I saw at this event or others in the area, and one particular doctor with a syringe really made me think he would jab me with it a couple of times, he didn't hold back at all, it was awesome. One of the scenes I remember was filled with tires, wreckage and body parts, with disorienting flashing lights and strobes.


This was at the height of the evening and the scare actors seemed to be at their best, with a few of them looking genuinely creepy. I got chased by the obligatory chainsaw-wielding maniac I already heard hours before, but somehow it still manages to be a bit scary sometimes.


The final haunt I don't have any pictures or video of, since the line had a view of just the scrambler and I couldn't get any good video of Timberhawk doing its last few runs before the 10PM noise curfew. It went way after 10PM so I wonder how strict that is on certain nights.


Camp Whispering Pines was a promising concept, a kids camp that is haunted/murdered/not quite clear, and looked well executed except... well, there were hardly any actors left around. Since it was nearly 11:30 when I got to the front of the line, it seemed like some of the actors had already left and a few of the scenes seemed deserted where there should have been a scare or two. There were a couple of good scares but the majority seemed to be walking through scenes expecting to be scared. The very end had a pretty badass-looking guy with some sort of hazmat/diving bell helmet and armor suit on and a big scary axe.


The exit from the haunt was fairly close to the parking lot, but the number of cars trying to exit made a big traffic jam for quite a while, so I was in no hurry to get out of there



Overall, I think this would be a good event if I went earlier in October, but my penchant for procrastination led to a late start to the season. The next night, though, I headed to (or attempted to find) a couple of other area haunts, and ended up at my favorite of the ones I tried. More on that tomorrow night, for now, another crappy video of the neighborhood Halloween decorations I never knew existed! 2:30 or so is getting to the crazt over-the-top neighbor I now have to start a Halloween decoration rivalry with. Any cheap haunted front yard ideas?


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On Sunday, October 30th I tried to go down to the south Seattle area to go to the Georgetown Morgue haunted house. I had bought the combo ticket from Nightmare on 9; the same company runs both haunts, so you can buy a combination ticket of both haunts for $30. I drove all the way down there and then realized I didn't have the address or know exactly where it was. After searching around (too far south it turned out) for about half an hour, I gave up and decided I could go the next night if anything. Looking back I am glad I did, since it ended up taking me to the best haunt I tried this year.


I took the normal exit to home, and passed by the entrance to the Haunted Nightmare haunt at the Nile Shrine Club/golf course. I had passed by it all season but since I couldn't find the georgetown haunt, I decided this was as good a time as any to try this local haunt out. It's only about 5 minutes from where I live, and I regret not checking it out sooner!


Unfortunately I don't have any pictures or video, so this will be text-only--sorry about the lack of content, I tried to bring my camera on the 2nd visit but ran out of batteries


Coming into the driveway, there is a long drive to a fork in the road where, if you're lucky, you will be waved to the left into the main parking lot near the box office. If you get waved right, you will have to park in the far lot and either walk across the dark golf course or wait for the shuttle, which fits about 16 people each trip. I was unlucky and had to wait for the shuttle for 1/2 hour or so, but I got to talk with the parking attendant a bit about the attraction.


After making it on and off the shuttle, slightly impressed that they actually provided a shuttle, I got in the line for tickets. I didn't know it at the time, and just assumed it was normal, but it was "lights out" night and they were selling little LED finger lights for $1 along with tickets... I declined, with an "I'll be fine" and headed over to the queue for the attraction.


I was pleasantly surprised by the themed queue area, and I wasn't the only one who noticed. There were weird anatomy pictures, specimens in jars including realistic severed head, some pretty decent projected ghosts and other cliche haunt staples. It was all surprisingly well done, and the creepy pirate actor in the area was providing some decent entertainment. It did a good job of setting the mood and so far I was getting excited for what looked more and more like a promising haunt.


Once I got to the front, I got a slightly weird look that I was alone, but I didn't care; looking back, it was a great experience, and while it would have been nice to have a friend or two, being alone led to some genuinely creepy moments that I loved! I would urge anyone who hesitates to visit parks or other attractions like this to just go for it, you will have fun if you get over looking weird or lonely and just enjoy it


The first house, out of 5 (impressive for a private fundraiser event), was The Curse of the Nile, obviously a play on the name of the club and themed to an ancient Egyptian tomb. This was a short but pretty cool haunt that had some creepy props and a couple of good jump scares. Nile crocodile soldiers with glowing green eyes flanked the first corridor, and I didn't get it the first visit but there was a nice air blast at your feet that got me good the second time through. The final room was dark, but then burst into smoky light as a suddenly-illuminated pharoh lunged toward me. A promising start!


I actually got another good scare as I exited the first building, with an actor whispering in my ear as soon as I pushed through the curtains to outside. The next house was the Ballinger Lake Asylum, the front of the house illuminated in red light and crazed shrieks and babbling emanating from within. This house featured some awesome actors--one of which could have easily been a stunt double in the exorcist--that were unrelenting in their taunting and didn't mind physically blocking your progress to creep you out. The actors were especially impressive since they are all volunteers, and the whole production is the main fundraiser each year for the club. By the time I came out of this house I was properly creeped out, and it was not about to let up.


The path to the next haunt was fairly long, and it was themed almost like another whole area, and suddenly I found myself surrounded by black-cloaked goth-looking girls chanting some female name I didn't recognize, again getting close enough to make me genuinely creeped out. I actually said, "I shouldn't have done this alone!" and half-ran out of the area as they laughed behind me, through a small dimly-let graveyard, expecting someone else to pop out at me. I made it to the next house and waited until the next group got a head start inside.


Infernum, marked with "Hell" right below the name, was an interesting little haunt. The walls were painted with weird symbols and it was foggy, dimly lit and loud as hell. The soundtrack was great, with loud whispering, backward speech and other creepy otherworldly atmosphere; again I was impressed with what they achieved with limited resources. There were a couple of good pop-out scares and another "Final Boss"-like moment with an actor jumping out in a huge demon costume with blinding lights behind, and again I was pleasantly surprised at how good the pacing and overall feel of what they were doing. My head actually began hurting I was smiling so much, so it was nice that I had to wait outside the next house again for the group ahead to make some progress.


Sorry for the long review, but as you can see I really enjoyed this haunt, and I think anyone in the Seattle area should definitely make the trip to see it next year. I will update this again with the last 2 houses of this haunt, and I finally did make it to the Georgetown Morgue haunt in south Seattle, so I will write a bit about that one as well. Hope you enjoyed reading, and again sorry for the lack of visual content. Sometimes I find that going without a camera makes the experience better, and in this case it was certainly true, so I don't regret having nothing to share with you all

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