Overall Score - 7.1 / 10
Scare Factor - 7.6
Actors - 7.6
Visuals - 6
Value - 7.2
Teresa - This was my first year at Fright Manor. I really enjoyed it! We found out on the way in that this will be their last year at this location. In fact, they were planning to be in a new location and when that fell through, had to set up in this building again in a month's time. I have a feeling the decor was a little rushed because of that, but it was still a lot of fun. This building is large and the haunt is one, long trip, with all kinds of different scenes. We started with a redneck Norman Bates-like character, who was all kinds of talkative. He did a great job of starting us on a humorous note. As we proceeded, there was a mix of humor and horror, sort of alternating throughout. I really enjoyed the interactive nature of some of the scenes, including playing skee ball, playing hide and seek, and the pick-a-door game. Some characters were recognizable from movies (like a scary Freddy Krueger); others were unique. Besides Jeb the redneck, I really liked the gravediggers with the dragging shovels, the guy with the grinder making sparks fly, the clowns who played games with us, and my favorite, the girl with the "pet", who was actually a girl with no tongue. The "pet" followed me down the hall, dragging her chain and she was pretty creepy! Some actors had fun homemade costumes, others had not much makeup at all. What I liked about all of them was their ability to interact and that they would keep following us, popping out at opportune moments. Sometimes I couldn't even see that they were still there, but they would call after me, taunting, long after I thought they were gone. There were some fun props, including the strongest vibrating floor I've ever experienced, and an awesome body strung up horizontally and flailing. We also had to crawl through some portions, and go through some air tunnels, which always makes you feel vulnerable to attack. What this one lacked in decor and polish, I think it made up for with fun actors and sheer length. It has the feel of an old-school haunt. I really like the old traditional haunts when they focus on creativity. I can't wait to see it next year when they have more time to set up in their new location!
Paul - Fright Manor is kind of an old-school haunt just south of downtown Indianapolis. It's in an old commercial building in an area where I wouldn't ordinarily expect a haunted attraction to be, but they do a pretty good job with the space, especially given the limited setup time this year due to some unforeseen location problems.
Due to the location issues there were a few obvious shortcomings. One month of setup time isn't nearly enough for a haunt of this size. They use up just about every possible inch of the building, which makes it a pretty long voyage, but there's a pretty heavy amount of un-themed plywood walls that line your path. The lighting is fairly sparse and there are a few areas that could have used some music or noise of some sort; one of the ones that sticks out in my mind is the outside maze portion at the end. It was so quiet in there I was beginning to think we had wandered into an unfinished part of the haunt that we weren't supposed to be in. Like I said, I understand, I just have to mention this stuff as part of the review.
BUT... even with the areas that could use improvement, this haunt was a blast! There are a few scenes I don't remember seeing anything remotely similar to in other haunts, and even being several days out from visiting Fright Manor, I vividly remember more of the experiences here than I do at most haunts I visit. The glowing mask room is a fantastic idea, the blacked-out room with the gravedigger(s?), the clown skee-ball, and the hillbilly house all stand out, as do a few characters; Hillbilly PBR-drinking White Castle-eating guy, Freddy, the clowns, the gravediggers, grinder guy, and the "pet" on the leash. Some of the animatronic props were super old-school, which actually made them more fun than some of the new stuff you see out there.
I had a good time at Fright Manor. Even though the visual appeal may not have matched some of the bigger haunts out there, it's still a really good time. As much fun as I had here with their shortened setup, I can't wait to come back once they have the full production at their new location next year!
Donna - Fright manor is always one of the highlights of our Indy Road trip! Tom has been putting on a great show since 1983 and, even though it has changed locations a few times over the years, it continues to be one of the best in the Indianapolis area. This year was one of the better years for this haunt in my opinion as it had an old school feel and a tremendous amount of detail and every room. Even though they didn't have a lot of time to build this year, you would never know it to go through the haunt witch is by the way very very long.
The actors are very good especially the first room which is more comical than scary but It got us laughing right away. As you progress through the haunt each room has a different theme and some are comical where some are terrifying but all are entertaining and fun. This haunt is well worth the money and I would highly recommend it as an annual Halloween tradition.
Gayle - I really enjoyed this haunt! It had the look and feel of a classic haunt. These are the types that lured me in as a kid! I felt the scenes and props were well done, and there were several eerie areas, where it was somewhat quiet, but not for long. The actors were well placed and did a great job with startling people as they walked through. I do know this haunt was put together in an unusually short amount of time, which speaks volumes toward the passion and dedication of the owner and his staff!! There was talk of this haunt moving back to their original location, which was before I had visited Fright Manor, but after having several discussions about it, I'm SUPER excited to visit next year. I had a great time, enjoyed it thoroughly, and look forward to seeing you guys next year! Excellent job!!!
Todd - Fright Manor is a haunt with history spanning three decades in numerous locations. For me, walking through Fright Manor felt like half haunt, half haunt museum. It's actually a little fascinating and very nostalgic. What I enjoyed the most was the amazing collection of props from years past. Looking at some of the items, monsters, etc., scene to scene, it's clear that some of them have been in use or in rotation for quite some time. I don't mean to insinuate that they're dilapidated; they're actually quite unique and not at all commonly found among other haunts with less tenure. This is where Fright Manor makes an impression on me - I feel like I'm witnessing a little haunt history.
I'd say that Fright Manor is a conventional haunt because it really is just an old-style haunt that doesn't burden itself with having to maintain a theme or an over-arching story. As you go through, you'll simply encounter various nightmarish scenes - clowns, graveyards, gory rooms, dolls, psychopaths, etc. Each scene stands apart from the others, some with highly memorable characters too.
There is also some level of interaction as well in a few areas. Some produce scares targeting one lucky member of your party while others involve some rather entertaining story telling. It might be a good idea to stretch ahead of time too. You'll need to get on your hands and knees and crawl through short tunnels in a few areas (there's a cheat path if you absolutely can't).
There were a few area where it was a little unclear which way to go whether it was due to the sheer darkness of the area or the indeterminable difference between the curtain leading to the next scene and the one intended for the actors. There were also a few scenes where it was very quiet. Next to lighting, sound is the best accompaniment to a scene and it can surely help draw visitors into the ambiance. While the sound of other scenes didn't necessarily carry through the building, the dead quiet in some areas is very apparent.
One surprising factor is the length. From the outside, Fright Manor's current residence doesn't not look like a whole lot of anything, nor does it give any hint of how long it is. There are signs of course, but the building is very unassuming. The maze within is laid out very efficiently, winding all the way down from one end to the other, then back.
The haunt itself is run by a great group of friendly people. It's has a very welcoming atmosphere and is a great haunt for families with older (or brave) kids. I'm highly anxious to return next year as we have learned Fright Manor is likely to move to its previous location. While I've never been there, it sounds like it was a much more optimal location. I'm excited to see how the space is utilized.