Dark Hour pulls out all the stops this fall


Photo by Kaydin Robertson

Props and sets create an eerie experience for those who walk into Dark Hour.

Kaydin Robertson, Arts & Entertainment

    What is normally a traditional haunted house experience throughout the year is being hyped to the max for Halloween this year by including sensory elements, extravagant costumes, mazes and more interactive situations to their year-long haunted attraction.


    The Dark Hour experience begins before people even step foot in the building with actors guarding the entrances, attempting to chase people away. Guests enter the haunted house as a group, or if a group is too small, it will combine with another group to ensure that no one goes through it alone. Standing in the midst of a herd of people does not do any good, as the actors jump out at unpredictable times and seem to target everyone equally.


   Dark Hour is always packed with visitors ready to pay a minimum amount of $35 for a heart attack, meaning lines at Dark Hour can be extremely long, especially on weekend nights or holidays like Halloween. To accommodate for this, there are various forms of entertainment while guests wait in line. The pre-show includes actors portraying Rick and Morty from Adult Swim’s hit animated series, Rick and Morty.


   Coven is the theme of Dark Hour this month, which seems a bit cliche, but the crew created an amazing set. The amount of time and effort put into the incredibly disturbing set is evident and quite impressive. It’s a shame that not many people are able to effectively keep their eyes open throughout the duration of the haunted house. Not only is the set visually engaging, it is also an eerie sensory experience. Snow, fake blood, blasts of foul smells and spine-tingling screams are just some of the features elements included throughout this haunted attraction.


    The unsettling scenes portrayed by all too realistic props, dolls and dummies force spectators to question their sanity as witches, zombies, monsters, pirates, vampires or evil doctors pop out of unsuspecting dark nooks and crannies.


Actors do their best to creep people out by getting a little too close for comfort and screaming, cackling or following groups for uncanny amounts of time. This was effective in inducing fear, but there were times when the guests began to expect people to jump out at them, losing its full terrifying effect.


Although the set was well-created and thought out, the only evident plot was found in the pre-show video clips shown while standing in line. The actor portraying Rick told a vague story about a witch that wants to hurt people, but that was absolutely it. Once visitors actually entered the haunted house, no plot was further developed. Actors’ costumes, though quite extravagant, were not related to the theme of the house. It is almost as if the crew and writers at Dark Hour went a little overboard with special effects and the set, that they forgot to tell a story or stick with a theme.


Despite the inevitable predictability of jump scares and the lack of plot, the Dark Hour experience is something that everyone should experience. The cast and crew’s effort in putting on a show is obvious. Each visit to Dark Hour is different as they change the theme quite frequently throughout the year. Dark Hour is definitely worth the visit.  



The Dark Hour haunted house attraction is decorated with a skeleton horse accompanied by an eerie woodland setting.