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  • Writer's pictureChandler Clouser

Laurel's House of Horror - 2021 Review

Haunted Attraction Reviewed: Laurel’s House of Horror

Location of Attraction: Laurel Maryland

Date of Review: 10/16/2021

Total Number of Attractions Available: 1 + Escape Rooms

Overall Haunted Attraction Rating: 8/10

Entertainment & Food Rating: 8.5/10

Atmosphere Rating: 9/10

Overall Costume & Makeup Rating: 8.5/10

Overall Cast & Crew Rating: 8/10

Overall Set Design & Special Effects Rating: 8/10

Overall Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 7.5/10

Overall Feedback: Laurel’s House of Horror returns in 2021 for their 7th season of operation. Unfortunately these folks were never able to open their doors during the 2020 season due to the covid-19 pandemic. Fortunately they have returned in 2021, and have done so with a vengeance, primed and ready to provide a frightfully fun experience! These folks have been an annual stop for our squad since our start back in 2016, and for good reason! As they provide an old school style haunt experience that never fails to entertain and frighten the haunt goers brave enough to enter. Laurel’s House of Horror also offers several escape room options (some of which are open year round) along with ghost hunt experiences!

Laurel’s House of Horror is housed within a rather unique location, an old abandoned movie theater with documented paranormal activity - spooky! The location itself is located in a dark and somewhat desolate portion of the Laurel Centre Mall. The location within the strip mall certainly has its pros and cons, pros being plentiful parking, shops and restaurants - plenty of options haunt patrons can bundle with their haunt experience. But on the downside, the commotion of the shopping center certainly doesn’t allow for a spooky build up on your walk/drive to the haunt. Fortunately enough, once inside the abandoned movie theater you’re fully immersed into a dark and unnerving atmosphere! Laurel‘s House of Horror started their show off a little early the night we visited. If you were in line before the doors opened at 7pm you got to witness them releasing the “monsters”. A monster parade of sorts which ended up hyping up the already giant line of haunt goers. Plus the scare actors got a taste of the screams they’d eventually get out of their audience.

As guests park their cars and head towards the haunt you’ll begin hearing screams of the guests and music pumping out from the nearby DJ stand. Once in front of the old abandoned theater guests are immediately immersed into the old school movie theater vibe. The old movie theater build board advertises the haunt walkthrough and escape rooms. Guests can snag their tickets online ahead of their visit or at the old ticket booth. General admission tickets run for $30 with the option to upgrade to speed passes, which shorten your wait to enter the attraction, for an additional $15. On the evening we attended they had a massive crowd on hand, so speed passes were certainly the way to go! Once you’ve snagged your tickets you’ll be funneled into the outdoor queue line. A few roaming spooks were making their rounds, engaging with guests and hyping them up for the experience that lies ahead. A food vendor crafting up scrumptious offerings along with a well stocked merchandise shop were located on the backside of the attraction for patrons to enjoy! After a brief wait in the speed pass queue line we were welcomed into Laurel’s House of Horror. The initial room you enter is utilized to review the rules of the attraction, and then guests are admitted into a second queue area. This second queue line wraps around the original concession stand from the movie theaters operating days. Movie posters line the decrepit appearing walls along with several life-size horror movie mannequins! Small groups of 4-6 patrons were being admitted into the attraction at a steady clip. After another brief wait it was eventually our turn to venture through Laurel’s House of Horror!

At Laurel’s House of Horror you should expect nearly a 20 minute, unnerving, and spine chilling old school style haunt experience! You won’t encounter many animatronics or witness high-tech special effects on your journey. Instead, you’ll encounter hand-crafted, detailed, and immersive scenes with well placed and energetic characters to provide pop scares and exhilarating engagements. Our journey began by traversing through the all new dollhouse area, which possessed a rather creepy atmosphere. Continuing forth we encountered some of the classic scenes at Laurel’s House of Horror, including a bloody butcher shop, a messy and quite disgusting kitchen, a bone-chilling body freezer, a beautifully crafted town, fog-filled cemetery, a possessed church, and a rural Louisiana-esque bayou, among several others! A section of insane asylum style scenes featured bloodied hospital decor along with several sinister characters who provided spine-tingling startles! The main theater room is always visually stunning, as it’s eerily decorated and a creepy movie plays on the original big screen. The massive chandelier crashed onto the theater seats was a very impressive sight of destruction and mayhem. The spook working within this room hands down provided one of the most memorable character encounters of the evening. We’d then eventually encounter the drama queen herself, Laurel, who was found backstage in her dressing room frantically preparing for the show. Lastly we tumbled into the amped up circus theater, which featured brightly colored paintings, exaggerated props, a creepy clown-esque soundtrack, and plenty of demented clowns who provided no shortage of entertainment and startles! As usual, several chainsaw wielding maniacs round out the experience sending patrons running through the exit of Laurel’s House of Horror.

As you exit Laurel’s House of Horror you end up on the backside of the attraction. Here you’ll find a Laurel’s House of Horror backdrop perfect for commemorative pictures, along with their merchandise stand and the food vendor. Special kudos to Jason Vorhees who made a guest appearance in our FRS group picture! His slasher counterpart, Michael Myers, was encountered lurking within the attraction itself this season. At the conclusion of our experience we had the pleasure of speaking with Rich and Charlie, the lovely owners of Laurel’s House of Horror. These folks are incredibly passionate about providing a spooky fun experience for their guests and were very clearly ecstatic to be back in action this fall. Special kudos to the cast for their efforts with providing an energizing and engaging experience; they certainly provided quite a few hair-raising startles! We can’t forget to compliment the costuming and makeup on some of the spooks, as it was very detailed, realistic, and helped to further immerse us into the experience! Laurel’s House of Horror continues to perfectly execute an old school style haunt experience, one that’s sure to please all varieties of haunt enthusiasts. We suggest grabbing a group of fellow spooky lovers and paying a visit to Laurel’s House of Horror before it’s too late - they still have 10 operating nights remaining this season, including two blackout events on 10/21 & 10/28! Enjoy your show at Laurel’s House of Horror - just know it may induce long-lasting nightmarish dreams!

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