- Paul F. P. Pogue
- Nightmare Hospital at Haunted Angelus
Haunted Angelus, one of the newer haunts in the city, hits with a solid first year and the promise of bigger thrills to come. The house doesn't seem very large from the outside; you might find yourself wondering how much value you're going to get. But rest assured they take advantage of every square inch with a haunt that feels at least twice as long as it actually is.
The first half is essentially a series of themed rooms with everything from "nightmare hospital" to "nightmare pits of hell" to "nightmare-you-get-the-idea." The second half unpacks into the exterior for an extended jaunt through a wooden labyrinth that twists and turns. The makeup on this one is a real standout. As you can tell from the photo, they didn't skimp on the blood and gore. Even faces you might only see for a few seconds in darkness are plunged in blood. Plus, Angelus jams its finger down on the "creepy kid" button and keeps it there, with unnerving junior psychopaths wandering through some of the murder-halls.
Incidentally, the haunt is fully ADA accessible with doors and passages wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs and no cramped ceilings or ramps. Like its sister house in Florida, it's a fundraiser for The Angelus, a cerebral palsy group home in Florida. Organizers tell me they plan to make it three times as big next year. I'm not sure how exactly they plan to pull that off, but it certainly should be worthwhile.