Laurel's House of Horror - 2022 Review
Haunted Attraction Reviewed: Laurel’s House of Horror
Location of Attraction: Laurel Maryland
Date of Review: 10/1/2022
Total Number of Attractions Available: 1
Overall Haunted Attraction Rating: 8.5/10
Entertainment & Food Rating: 8/10
Atmosphere Rating: 9/10
Overall Costume & Makeup Rating: 9/10
Overall Cast & Crew Rating: 8.5/10
Overall Set Design & Special Effects Rating: 8.75/10
Overall Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 8/10
Overall Feedback: Laurel’s House of Horror is back with a vengeance for their 8th year of providing fear! Primed and ready to provide a frightfully fun experience, Laurel’s House of Horror did not disappoint! These folks have been an annual stop for our squad since our inception back in 2016, and for good reason. Their old school style haunt experience never fails to entertain and frighten the brave guests who are willing to test their fate at the old abandoned theater!
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 ample nearby 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 nerve-racking atmosphere!
Prior to arriving onsite your attention is drawn to the orbs of light swirling in the dark sky, acting as your guide to Laurel’s House of Horror. 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 (open year round). 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. For those looking to make a full night's worth of spooky fun, consider purchasing the RIP Pass which includes both the haunt & an escape room of your choosing! We had the pleasure of chatting with Charlie, owner of Laurel’s House of Horror, prior to our experience & we can’t thank her enough for her hospitality! On the evening we attended they had a massive crowd on hand and Charlie kindly snuck us right in the front of the line. Now that we’re in prime spooky season, Fast Passes will likely be the way to go if you want to avoid a lengthy wait! Once you’ve snagged your tickets you’ll be funneled into the outdoor queue line.
Quite a few roaming spooks were making their rounds, engaging with guests and hyping them up for the experience that lies ahead. One fellow was gliding across the ground, sending sparks flying across the pavement. Michael Myers was stalking his victims, providing countless sneak attack startles! A ghostly fellow with a large live snake certainly made for a horrifying engagement for those with Ophidiophobia (phobia of snakes).
As you enter into the building doors you’ll congregate in a lobby type area. Several horror film character outfits are on showcase for your enjoyment. This initial room serves as a way to review the rules of the attraction and certainly helps to intimidate the guests, as intense audio & visual effects are utilized to amp you up for the experience that lies ahead. A second but short queue line wraps around the original concession stand from the movie theaters operating days. A demented magician was on-hand, entertaining guests in this queue line as you await your turn. The walls were distressed & possessed yellowed peeling wallpaper, giving off a decrepit & authentic vibe. Movie posters & several more life-size horror movie mannequins were scattered about, helping to create an authentic movie theater atmosphere! Small groups of 4-6 patrons were being admitted into the attraction at a steady clip, but with enough spacing to prevent a conga-line through the haunt. 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 a nearly 20 minute nerve-racking and spine chilling old school style haunt experience! You won’t encounter many animatronics or witness much cutting-edge 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 Carlisle Hotel, which featured countless elegantly crafted scenes, all which followed the theming to perfection. The opening facade for the Carlisle Hotel was visually stunning & easily 2 stories high! A group favorite scene wise was the brand new “Cats Casino”, which is dedicated to the late, great co-owner and creator Rich Blankenship. The fellow encountered in Cats Casino provided a startling yet comical engagement, certainly making for a memorable scene & encounter! 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! Kudos to the soul cleverly lurking beneath the church pews who provided a rather frightening engagement. 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 crashing onto the theater seats was a very impressive sight of destruction and mayhem. The spooks working within this room 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. Be sure to avoid offending Laurel, as she’s cut-throat and will send you fleeing the theater. Lastly we tumbled into the circus theater of disorientation, which featured vibrantly colored paintings, exaggerated props, a creepy but upbeat clown-esque soundtrack, and several demented clowns, one of which was contorting her body while on an elevated platform. As usual, a chainsaw wielding maniac rounds 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. You’ll be funneled towards the new photo-op area, where you can snag a free group photo with your personal phone. A ghostly host was manning the photo-op area & was happy to join in on our group photo. The merchandise stand was notably improved for the 2022 season, featuring several shirt & hoodie options, beanies, mugs/glasses, & several other trinkets! As we were perusing the merch stand, Michael Myers sneakily provided a fellow patron a spine-tingling startle that sent this gentleman flying across the room! We also had the pleasure of chatting with a few fellow FRS fans/followers, always a pleasure to chat with fellow spooky lovers!
At the conclusion of our experience we were delighted to chat with Charlie (owner) & Antonio (scenic designer & make-up guru)! These folks are incredibly passionate about providing a spooky fun experience for their guests and have lots of great ideas swirling for seasons to come. Special kudos to the cast for their efforts with providing an energizing and engaging experience; they certainly provided quite a few hair-raising startles! This may have been the most engaged & interactive cast we’ve encountered over the years at Laurel’s House of Horror; as they possessed excellent skits & dialogue, helping to further immerse us into the experience. Special shout-out to the costuming & makeup artists, as we’ve seen Laurel’s House of Horror grow by leaps & bounds in this area the past few years! We also once again have to compliment the attention to detail that goes into each & every scene, you can’t help but notice how much heart & soul they pour into their scenic creations!
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! Enjoy your show at Laurel’s House of Horror but know it’s sure to cause long-lasting nightmarish dreams!