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  • Writer's pictureChandler Clouser

Brighton Asylum - 2019 Review

Haunted Attraction Reviewed: Brighton Asylum


Location of Attraction: Passaic NJ

Date of Review: Saturday October 27th 2019

Total Number of Attractions Available: THREE + Escape Rooms

Overall Haunted Attraction Rating: 9/10

Entertainment and Food Rating: 8.5/10

Atmosphere Rating: 9/10

Overall Costume and Make Up Rating: 10/10

Overall Cast and Crew Rating: 9.5/10

Overall Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating: 9.5/10

Overall Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 9/10

Overall Feedback: Brighton Asylum was easily one of our squads most looked forward to reviews of our 2019 haunt tour! It’s a haunt that the majority of our squad has never visited before and those that had, last visited 2-3 years ago. Brighton Asylum certainly did a great job of catching our interest over the off season with the addition of a third attraction (The Bleeding Grounds) and completely revamping another attraction (PORT9L). So it’s safe to say our squad was eager and excited to visit Brighton Asylum when the time had come. Little did we know we’d be in for a special treat with our trip to Brighton Asylum.

Brighton Asylum is housed in a large warehouse located in Passaic, New Jersey. For most of our crew Brighton Asylum was easily a 3+ hour drive and it was well worth the trip! Patrons can either park directly onsite or ride a shuttle from a nearby parking lot. During busy times of the season we definitely recommend parking offsite at the shuttle location; much easier to get in and out then dealing with the parking shenanigans at the haunt itself. After our short shuttle ride to the haunt we made our way around the dark warehouse alleys and eventually stumbled upon Brighton Asylum. Being the last Saturday in October, this place was PACKED; a rather exhilarating jolt of energy was buzzing in the air. Immediately we noticed major differences in the midway area since our last visit in 2017. Several photo-op areas, side attractions and live entertainment rounded out the new additions to the midway area. Our squad absolutely loved the Zombified Scooby-Doo photo-op booth, how freaking neat! We were bummed that only one small food stand was onsite and are still puzzled how such a large scale haunt doesn’t have several food vendors, maybe they’ll change that in years to come. Overall, we were already impressed with what Brighton Asylum had to offer outside the attractions, which only made us even more eager to get inside the attractions!

Brighton Asylum has a wide variety of offerings that will satisfy all haunt goers wants and needs! Three main attractions, The Bleeding Grounds, PORT9L and Brighton Asylum, are surrounded by several side attractions, axe throwing, 5 minute escape rooms, virtual reality simulator and a horror memorabilia museum, to make for a full night of spooky fun adventures! Brighton Asylum also offers several 60 minute escape room experiences which are open year round as well! Ticket prices vary a good bit depending on which attractions you wish to complete. It’s worth noting that Brighton Asylum, like many other haunts, offers skip the line passes which we strongly recommend purchasing during busy times of the season! One thing is for sure, Brighton Asylum has a clear knack and passion for entertaining their guests!

To recap our experience we’re going to start backwards and first highlight our experiences in the side attractions offered at Brighton Asylum. Axe throwing is seemingly a simple but exhilarating experience that numerous haunts have begun offering throughout the 2019 season. Our squad gave it a whirl and YES, it’s most definitely as much fun as it looks and sounds! We also felt it was a good form of stress relief. Our squad also participated in the 5 minute escape rooms. We were surprised when we reached the cue line to find out that they had several escape room experiences for patrons to choose from. Most of the rooms were themed off of popular movies, which allowed guests to choose a room they could relate with. The rooms featured a rather basic gameplay and were pretty easy to navigate. If you’ve participated in escape rooms before, then the simple gameplay of these rooms should be a breeze. They are definitely suitable rooms for first time escape players, and will likely serve as a confidence builder if you escape in time! The set designs for the escape rooms were simple but effective, as they allowed guests to be immersed in the theme but not overload you with visually pleasing scenery to distract from the game. Also included with our tickets was the horror memorabilia museum. It was neat to see props and costumes from popular horror films. Definitely a unique side attraction, something we haven’t seen at a haunted attraction before.

Main attraction wise, first up for the night was PORT9L! It was within PORT9L where we would encounter two of our favorite scenes from our entire 2019 haunt tour! The first of these two scenes would be encountered just moments inside the doors. Patrons step into the “research and development” center where you'll be subjected to a series of tests to assess your “readiness” to enter the attractions! This pre-show experience is interactive, immersive and INTENSE! Stunning visual and audio effects were utilized to create a lifelike experience like no other. Not to mention you’ll be jostled around in your seat and receive an injection of who knows what right in the buttocks. If you pass the testing you’ll be granted access into PORT9L, Brighton’s very own forgotten subway/sewer system. Job well done to the build team for truly immersing us into what felt like a decrepit and forgotten passageway to Brighton Asylum. As we traversed through dark tunnels and eerie sewer systems we encountered all sorts of bizarre and relentless creatures. Our entire squad was in absolute awe when we encountered the subway car scene! The subway car itself truly looked as if it once traveled on the New Jersey subway. Between the video screens and the car itself jostling around, we truly felt as if we were on an out of control subway car! Scene after scene we were continually amazed with the detail and elegance the set designs possessed. Eventually our squad stumbled upon the front gates to the much anticipated Brighton Asylum.

As we spewed out of PORT9L’S dark and eerie passageways we stumbled upon Brighton Asylum, which looked equally as decrepit and eerie! A hospital nurse greeted us at the front gates and prepared us for what we were going to encounter. Just inside the front doors we immediately encountered some pretty incredible set work. The front hallway featured shattered windows, tree branches swaying in the wind and stunning visual and audio effects, creating a lifelike thunderstorm. From this moment forward we encountered nothing but top notch sets that had our heads on a swivel trying to visually take everything in. We could easily go through Brighton Asylum five times and still not be able to take in the elegance in each set. Another favorite scene amongst the squad was the padded room. As the scare actor haphazardly thrashed throughout the room, the room itself shifted from side to side, knocking us off balance and almost throwing us on our rear ends. Several unique scare tactics were utilized throughout Brighton Asylum and the other two attractions, we’ll talk about those further down in the review. One aspect that we loved about some of the sets in Brighton Asylum were how large scale they were. We recall one scene that featured several vehicles piled on top of one another, creating narrow passageways and overheads that guests had to walk through and under. There was definitely no shortage of detail, as these sets were carefully decorated from floor to ceiling!

The final of the three main attractions we completed was The Bleeding Grounds. This attraction was brand new for the 2018 season, so it was our squads first time experiencing The Bleeding Grounds. Guests will venture up a flight of stairs to the abandoned 2nd floor of the large warehouse. Right out of the gate we were immediately amazed with the construction of the numerous sets. Several sets featured sloped and slanted floors, which certainly disoriented our squad and made us much more vulnerable. Pop scares were strategically scattered throughout The Bleeding Grounds. The scare of the night for one of our members was encountered within The Bleeding Grounds. Two scare actors snagged one of our frightened members, plopped her in a wheelchair, and took off barreling down a dark hallway. Eventually they dumped her out and sent her off through the final few scenes all on her own. This poor soul experienced pure terror, all at the enjoyment of the rest of our squad as we laughed as this poor soul shivered in fear. To no surprise, more aesthetically pleasing and absolutely stunning sets were encountered all throughout The Bleeding Grounds.

Brighton Asylum utilized several unique scare tactics throughout all three of their attractions to deliver countless startles to our squad. Beware of the floors throughout the attractions, as some of them are rigged to suddenly drop out from underneath you while others are rigged to knock guests off balance as they sway/jolt around. Several scenes also possessed plexiglass flooring with scare actors underneath. Scares at Brighton Asylum will come from all directions, leaving you constantly guessing where the next startle may come from. Another unique feature were the numerous large actor driven props such as the sewer rat, dragon, saw blade, monster arm, large demonic creature and more! Nothing more frightening than tip toeing around a corner to then suddenly encounter one of these massive props up close and personal. The scare actors throughout are engaging and have an eerie essence. The strategic use of disorenting flooring and actor interaction from all directions certainly makes guests vulnerable and a much easier scare target! Job well done Brighton Asylum for providing scares to our entire crew.

Next we’d like to briefly hit on the scare actors at Brighton Asylum. This haunt features a passionate group of actors with a pure knack for scaring the crap out of guests. These folks utilize improv perfectly in order to create a personable experience. They definitely aren’t afraid to be up close and personal - so yes, your “bubble space” is going to be invaded. We thoroughly appreciated their amped up energy and relentless attack. To keep things short and simple, the Brighton Asylum scare actors were well trained and were easily some of the best encountered during our 2019 haunt tour! Not to mention, each scare actor possessed head to toe movie quality costuming and makeup!

Brighton Asylum has easily become one of our squads favorite haunted attractions that we’ve ever experienced. Yes we thoroughly enjoyed the movie quality sets and top notch scare acting, but what we loved the most was Brighton Asylums clear passion for entertaining their guests. This is a place haunt goers can visit year after year without worrying about it ever going stale! Rich (owner of Brighton Asylum) and his team are constantly updating and ensuring their attractions are top of the line. To take an empty warehouse and turn it into a visually stunning, thrilling and simply elegant adventure takes a lot of energy and passion! The sets are state of the art and Brighton Asylum as a whole provides an innovative experience. If you’re looking for a captivating, exhilarating and blood-curdling haunted attraction then look no further, Brighton Asylum is the haunt for you! Brighton Asylum has rightfully earned the title of being a must see haunted attraction in our books! So what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to Brighton Asylum, you won’t be disappointed! Don’t forget a change of underwear as they’ll leave you trembling in fear!

Individual Attraction Review:

Attraction Name: PORT9L

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: Brighton Asylum

Overall Attraction Rating: 10/10

Cast and Crew Rating: 10/10

Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating: 10/10

Attraction Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 9.5/10

Attraction Name: The Bleeding Grounds

Overall Attraction Rating: 9/10

Cast and Crew Rating: 9/10

Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating: 9/10

Attraction Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 9/10

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