Todd - Nightmare on Edgewood was another first for HHT this year. We were excited to be going through another extreme touch haunt and with it being a collective of 3 attractions, it sounded like there would be a whole 'lotta touching going on. Eh...not so much.
It wasn't made clear on-site what the haunt names were. According to their website, the first one we went through was Edgewood Mortuary. Of the three, this was my personal favorite and without a doubt, the most hands-on. I wouldn't have taken it as a mortuary; it seemed more like a crazed medical facility. Mutilated bodies were spread throughout and the actors were dressed like doctors, nurses and patients.
Gayle (per usual) got the brunt of the direct contact due to her overly-obvious cowering behind the group. While she was put into a head lock and damn-near trapped into the first room, the rest of us moved on mostly untouched. In the entire haunt, I had a gurney pushed at me and was pushed back into an examination chair. That's it. I'll admit, I was a little jealous that Gayle was getting all of the full-contact harassment.
Overall, the scenery was pretty impressive, especially considering it is all torn down at the end of the season, only to be put back up in the following late summer. Rather than relying on a bunch of automated eye candy, the look and feel was presented using practical props and a lot of gore - always a good staple! This was also the most chaotic haunt of the three.
The second section was Karnival, a fully clown-themed haunt. I'm happy to report this wasn't another 3D black light haunt. There were black-lit props, but it was mostly a dark, grotesque carnival theme. Contact was fairly minimal here, at least for me. Much of it felt open and unoccupied. At one point, the men and women of our group were separated to go into their respective bathrooms, aided by a few of the clown folk. In the Mens, we were then split again. I was excited by the potential of being alone, only to near-immediately meet right back up with my fellow gents. The various routes merely went around different corners and converged right after. The women then caught up to us, apparently escorted back though the Mens door. The lack of purpose with all of that had me a bit stumped.
Towards the end we had to crawl on our hands and knees into a pitch black room through a large tube. One of our members isn't a spring chicken anymore and such physical demands can be tough. I'm not sure if there was an alternative way through or not, but a haunt should always make these things an option. Once we all made it through, as I suspected, someone was in the dark room with us suddenly making themselves known.
To be honest, this one really didn't do much for me. Much of it wasn't too memorable because of the lack of content. A great deal of it felt like pinstriped walls all throughout and a handful of actors. Of course, if you're afraid of the dark and/or terrified of clowns then this will surely have an adverse effect on you. For me, it was more of, "Where's the rest?"
The final portion, Conley Manor, was my favorite aesthetically. From the start it had a fantastically modeled home interior - one of the best I've ever seen, in fact. It actually looks like a slightly scaled down house that you walk within, while in reality, it appeared to be in some sort of temporary or mobile structure. There were whole sets of a living room, bedroom (complete with a suspicious looking actress who didn't really seem to do much of anything...no touching? No throwing on the bed?) and dining room with a very fun surprise inside.
Unfortunately, the environment is the only thing this haunt has going to for it. None of us seemed to be touched with the exception of Paul, whose interaction was limited to his hat being taken off his head by a well-placed scare actor. Touch or no touch, I still enjoyed going through it up until I found myself immediately outside. It was over as soon as it began. This finale of Nightmare on Edgewood is disappointingly too short. To be fair, the structure it's in only has so much room so there's no one to place blame on. It was just a let down for me because it looked so great. I would have much rather had this haunt in the lengthy section devoted to Karnival. Who doesn't want to spend as much time as possible in a modeled haunted house?
Overall, I was entertained and impressed by the level of detail and construction throughout Nightmare on Edgewood(less so with Karnival). Going through these scenes, you would never guess they were temporarily placed. Everything looks very solid so the talent in transformation incredible. I expected a much higher level of touching given all of the warnings displayed by the ticket booth. The actors did a fair job in their duties of intimidation and scares - contact aside, however, there's no real sense of story presented in either haunt so neither actor carries a narrative.
I believe Nightmare on Edgewood needs to lock down what they're about. If they want to take the extreme route, keeping a diluted story is fine but they'll really need to up their game in contact and invasion of personal space. A portion of money made goes to the little league whose grounds they operate on. For this reason, going more extreme may not be the ideal move or image they want. If not, the quality of the haunt could surely be enhanced more so by telling a story, putting in some primary characters or making the haunt interactive in other, non-contact ways.
Paul - Nightmare on Edgewood is a haunt on the south side of Indianapolis that has been going for 40 years now and they've been able to do build some fairly crazy haunts over that span. Currently they have 3 haunts that you get to go through for your admission fee, and there are some pretty intense scenes. Edgewood is a full-contact haunt, so expect some grabbing, pushing, and showing on your way through.
You start out in Edgewood Mortuary which reminds me of some old run-down doctor's office from 1982, but with way more bodies lying around than you should be comfortable with. This was my favorite of the three haunts, mostly because of how authentic the set felt. Just the right amount of light and fog, very good props, and the actors did well also. The actors bring lots of knives into play and you're likely going to end up with quite a few of them against your skin, so be warned!
After you escape the Mortuary you visit Karnival. This is a clown-themed haunt that keeps things pretty dark. There aren't many happy clowns in here, mostly just psychotic ones that will invade any personal space you have, then take that space from you altogether. It's definitely one of the darkest clown attractions I've come across, and they do an admirable job of taking advantage of it.
The final haunt is Conley Manor. This is more your traditional haunted house, but with one of the most pissed-off families ever living in it. You walk through the front door and wind your way through the whole first floor before you finally exit through the garage. While you make your way through you'll see some really crazy decorations, way more blood spatter on the walls than any building should have, and actors coming at you from all directions!
Overall I enjoyed Nightmare on Edgewood quite a bit. The sets were super creepy, the crew did a great job of making you feel not-at-home, and I walked out feeling like I had been on quite a journey. I was a little disappointed in the touch aspect of it since the most contact I had was someone running a stretcher into me in the Morgue, but some of the others in the group were dragged all through the place! You definitely get quite a few scares per dollar at Edgewood and it's one you'll remember for a long time! (If you're not one of the unlucky lobotomy recipients in the Morgue that is....)
Teresa - This was our first time going to Nightmare on Edgewood. I was impressed to hear it was celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. I think the current owners have "only" been there for the last 10, but the place has some history and generations of fans. This is another haunt that has to be torn down and rebuilt every year, as it is located on a baseball field. I couldn't believe these buildings we were looking at were facades! This place is regularly voted the scariest and most intense haunt in Indiana and is full-contact, which is right up my alley! We got our tickets, and after snapping some pics with an extremely tall clown with awesome spinning eyeballs, we went inside to see what this was all about. There are 3 separate attractions here. The first was Edgewood Mortuary. Right away, the actors grabbed one guy and pushed him against a mortuary table leaning against the wall. They touched me a lot, jumping out, grabbing me, pulling my hood off, touching my hair; they were threatening in tone, and definitely made the haunt more exciting and fun. They were relentless with their jump scares, sometimes sticking with us for a little while, popping out multiple times. They came at us with various weapons and medical instruments. Not a place for the squeamish! One held a cleaver to my throat, and not all that gently! With a couple exceptions, the touching wasn't very aggressive. Most of it was more "teasing" in nature. There were some creepy scenes and some well-placed props, my favorite of which was an alligator in a swamp.
The next part was Karnival. We waited for a couple of minutes outside of what looked like a circus tent, with these awesome clown-head lanterns. Inside there were lots of carnival-themed posters, decor, games, and the like. Right away, I made a new "friend". He asked me if I wanted to play a game, which...of course!, so he put his arm around me and led me through a portion of the haunt to a "game". When I won, he said I got to stay there with him, but I didn't want to miss any more fun, so I bade him a fond farewell. He was definitely my favorite actor in this section. All of the clowns seemed to have fun with us. We got to stagger through a vortex tunnel, crawl through a low tunnel, squeeze through an air tunnel, and we experienced some cool lighting effects, all which helped put the "fun" in "fun-house".
When we exited Karnival, there was an escape room, which we didn't have time to do. It looks pretty cool on the website though. Let us know if you try it!
Last was Conley Manor. This one is very "classic haunted house". We walked through various rooms, each having some character or prop (or both) to make us jump. I enjoyed the girl with the dolls, the dining room, and the surprises from above. And beware the smell of gas. That's all I can say without spoiling it!
For me, the Mortuary had the most intimidating actors, Karnival was the most fun, and Conley Manor had the best props. Don't let the full-contact disclaimer dissuade you from going. These aren't THAT aggressive and they are lots of fun!
Donna - Nightmare on Edgewood is celebrating it's 40th year of haunting the residents around the Indianapolis area with three very different haunts in one location. The first haunt we entered was EDGEWOOD MORTUARY. This was the scariest of the three in my opinion due to the actors and very creepy scenes. However, I did feel that the Mortuary theme was not kept all through the haunt as some of the rooms were a bit out of place but still fun and entertaining to walk through. After leaving the Mortuary you go briefly outside and travel through the very creepy cemetery out back.
The next haunt awaiting you is the KARNIVAL, a circus-themed attraction, with sinister clowns waiting around every corner. This is a typical Circus/evil clown haunt but with a few fun surprises (we don't give away spoilers on our reviews but be prepared to crawl at one point!).
The adventure concludes in CONLEY MANOR, a very short traditional haunted house with not many actors but one of the best animatronics I have ever seen!
Note* This is a "Hands On" haunt and you will get pushed, shoved, have fake knives shoved at your throat, grabbed by the shoulder and held back from your group, so not for everyone. They do tell you that when you buy your ticket but be aware if you don't like to be touched, this is not the haunt for you.