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  • Writer's pictureChandler Clouser

Pennhurst Asylum - 2019 Review

Haunted Attraction Reviewed: Pennhurst Asylum


Location of Attraction: Spring City PA

Date of Review: Saturday September 28th 2019

Total Number of Attractions Available: FOUR

Overall Haunted Attraction Rating: 9/10

Entertainment and Food Rating: 8/10

Atmosphere Rating: 9/10

Overall Costume and Make Up Rating: 10/10

Overall Cast and Crew Rating: 9/10

Overall Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating: 9/10

Overall Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 8.5/10

Overall Feedback: On Saturday September 28th our crew ventured out to one of our most looked forward to reviews of the 2019 season, Pennhurst Asylum! This haunt has easily made itself a group favorite with the top notch experience they provide. Our squad arrived at the haunt shortly after 8pm on what was their 3rd night of operation. Before even reaching the haunt itself guests are immersed into the spooky atmosphere! Once you turn off the main road it is one dark and eerie drive to the haunt. Once reaching the parking lot you’ve only completed ½ of the spooky lead up to the haunt itself. Next up guests walk a solid ½ mile on dark and downright creepy pathways. Eventually you’ll begin to encounter several of the buildings on the outer edge of the campus; walk a little further and you’ll finally reach the ticket booths. A rather large crowd was on hand for it only being their second weekend in operation for the season. Prior to kicking off our experience we met up with one of the owners, Derek, to chat about the haunt. Each and every time we visit Pennhurst Asylum we learn more and more about it’s eerie yet fascinating history. We can’t give any spoilers away but Derek sure made it sound like they have some spooky fun tricks up their sleeve for the 2020 season!

After snagging our tickets we made our way to the security checkpoint and then ventured forth towards the midway area. On your way to the midway area guests encounter several more buildings, all of which look rather unnerving! Our group just downright loves the overall spooky atmosphere that the Pennhurst campus possesses. The atmosphere alone had many guests nervous about what lies ahead. The midway area at Pennhurst Asylum is that of a typical midway area. Small concession stand with various treats, gift shop and photo booth. It is right here in the midway area where we encountered two of our favorite scare actors; the roaming doctor and patient! These two actors play off one another perfectly and truly are quite entertaining to watch. Their natural improv skills and ability to engage with the crowd is incredible; two thumbs up to these two scare actors!

At Pennhurst Asylum guests will complete the four attractions offered (Pennhurst Asylum, The Morgue, Containment and The Mayflower) in order. The Pennhurst Asylum attraction truly kicks off the night on a screamtastic note! Guests should expect to feel truly immersed in the Asylum feel. As you venture through Pennhurst Asylum you’ll encounter a variety of scenes; living quarters, bath/shower room, padded room, attic, jail cells, doctor rooms and much more! Be cautious as you venture through Pennhurst Asylum as the patients and staff are relentless in their attack; you may very well end up becoming a part of the asylum!

Next up guests venture down to the basement of the Pennhurst Asylum for The Morgue. This attraction was brand new for the 2018 season! The Morgue is just as it sounds; a downright horrifying and disgusting Morgue. Expect to witness the embalming process to the ice cold freezers to the incinerator and MUCH more. Guests are made to feel as if they themselves are a corpse on a gurney being pushed through a real life Morgue! A continuous thrill can be felt throughout this attraction as guests continually fear what lurks around each and every corner!

If guests make it out of the Morgue alive and in one piece they’ll venture over to Containment. This attraction was brand new for the 2017 season and received some pretty major upgrades for the 2018 season as well. We’ve enjoyed watching this attraction evolve! Containment takes place in the underground transport tunnels below the Pennhurst campus; YIKES, what a spooky setting for an attraction! Guests should expect to encounter mutant creatures, dark and quiet tunnels, and an overall EERIE experience! Containment really messed with our minds and gave us the heebie jeebies! The final scene in Containment is horrifying enough to send some of the bravest haunt goers running out the exit doors!

The final attraction at Pennhurst Asylum is The Mayflower After Dark. This attraction is essentially a self guided ghost tour in the old Mayflower Building. Typically the 1st and 2nd floors of the building are open for guests to venture through. On the 1st floor there is a mini museum with various items they discovered from back when the property was functioning as a State School and Hospital. Even more amazing is the fact that they have a staff member in the museum who actually worked at Pennhurst State School and Hospital before it closed in the late 1980’s. It was awesome to chat with this individual and learn more about the property’s history. Have no fear, in this attraction there are no scare actors or props/animatronics. Due to a tornado warning in the area the evening we attended our squad was lucky enough to receive access to the basement of The Mayflower building. The basement was downright creepy but was truly incredible to see.

Across the board at Pennhurst Asylum guests will witness some of the best set design compared to other haunts in the area. The set design is movie quality and truly makes for a believable experience. The amount of detail from top to bottom was simply jaw dropping. Something we didn’t really realize until this season was the lack of animatronics utilized at Pennhurst Asylum. Between the detailed scenes and spooktacular scare actors, you’d never even notice the lack of animatronics. It’s refreshing to see a large scale haunt be successful without leaning heavily on animatronics to bring the show to life. Beware of the corpses on the gurneys, it’s hard to decipher which ones are fake and which ones are alive! One of our favorite scenes of the night had to be the freezer in The Morgue! The detail in this scene is INSANE. The freezer doors and gurneys appear to be frozen over, feet dangle over the edge of 30+ gurneys and fog trickling out of air vents give off the true freezer effect! We also can’t forget to mention the strobe tunnel and the deadly quiet cave passages in Containment. Kudos to the build team for being innovative and creating such lifelike attractions!

Lastly we want to talk and rave about Pennhurst Asylum’s scare acting team! We’re not sure where they found these folks but damn are they SPOOKTACULAR! Each and every scare actor we encountered was energized and ready to deliver a fright. The scare actors do a perfect job providing a mix of interactive skits and jump/pop scares. Be warned, these scare actors WILL get up close and personal and yes, WILL touch you! Their improv skills are pure and flow naturally. They tweak their skits to make it personal to the person/group they are entertaining. It’s clear that Pennhurst Asylum values the importance of having top notch and highly trained scare actors. They truly bring the show to life and are the backbone of the haunts success and ability to provide a top notch experience! Well done Pennhurst Asylum scare actors, truly a job well done!

Each and every season Pennhurst Asylum continues to amaze us. They put forth a SCREAMTASTIC experience from the moment you hit the parking lot to the moment you get back in your car at the end of the evening. We as a group felt the experience possessed a perfect mix of entertainment and scares. At one moment we were laughing and the next screaming and running in fear. Pennhurst Asylum will surely please pretty much all haunt goers. If you’re within a few hours of Pennhurst Asylum and looking for a SPOOKY FUN experience then we STRONGLY urge you to pay Pennhurst Asylum a visit. You won’t be disappointed! Just make sure to leave the spirits of Pennhurst Asylum at the campus when leaving for the night. Happy Hauntings Folks!

Individual Attraction Review:

Attraction Name: Pennhurst Asylum

Overall Attraction Rating: 9.5/10

Cast and Crew Rating: 9.5/10

Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating: 9.5/10

Attraction Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 9/10

Attraction Name: The Morgue

Overall Attraction Rating: 9/10

Cast and Crew Rating: 9/10

Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating: 9/10

Attraction Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 8/10

Attraction Name: Containment

Overall Attraction Rating: 8.5/10

Cast and Crew Rating: 8.5/10

Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating: 9/10

Attraction Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 8/10

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