Haunted Mansion 2011

Scare FactorActingSets/FXLengthOverall
Kris8910109.25
Ryan661097.75
Steve8910109.25
Kathie8910109.25
Alex G81010109.5
Justeen991099.25
Alex K75887
Marlena451086.75
Overall7.257.759.759.258.5

Kris Kropelnicki

A ScooDisKnottsUniversal is not some exotic cocktail, but it can leave you a bit light headed at times. No, this is a finely measured blend of the very best of the original Scooby Doo, Disney, Knotts Berry Farm and Universal Studios that has been mixed with a heaping amount of creativity and pure artistic talent to create an incredible production that needs to be experienced. . I say experience because that is truly what this is, an experience. One that everyone should have.

This haunt is full of fantastic old school haunt props and set design that is beyond magical. Leave your gory, high tech sets at the door please. This is classic and a rare beauty that deserves our full respect and admiration. If you are so young that you never witnessed an amazing, old school haunt, consider yourself fortunate that you have the opportunity now to see true poetry in motion.

Here the maniacal mingles with whimsical in a well choreographed dance that moves guests from frightening to funny with incredible ease. Just when I thought I couldn’t be more on edge, something funny happens and I find myself laughing. Be careful where you let your guard down though. Actors capitalize on these moments and really get you!

Entering the haunt I was in a parlor of an old haunted mansion that was coated in cobwebs and had a skeletal bird in a cage in the corner that was quite lively. Quaking chandeliers fused with great lighting and props to make this an eerily fun start to the journey.  

This haunt is a long time favorite of mine because it is so unique, you just won’t find anything else like it in town. Moving through the scenes I am taken to places that are familiar and also to the unknown. The fact that this haunt doesn’t stick to theme is fine with me because the scenes somehow all work together to create some of the best eye candy this town has to offer.

There are tombs, Mayan ruins, an old west scene, dragons, spiders and dancing skeletons. There is so much diversity within the walls of this haunt that there is something for everyone’s taste. This haunt is not overly scary which is fine with me. I enjoy having the luxury of being able to walk through and really have the time to appreciate the sets, the design and the layout without being constantly urged on quickly.

There are so many incredible details here that there are no adequate words to describe everything that can be seen here. If you love old school haunts that are overflowing with creativity, scares and humor, then put this haunt on the top of your list!!

Pros: Sets, holographic images, skeletons
Cons: Could be a bit scarier in places

Ryan Acker

Stepping into Haunted Mansion is like stepping into a classic Disneyland attraction. The scare factor isn’t high but you feel as if you are enjoying every minute of it as you absorb all the detail found within the haunt. The animatronics in here are spectacular. Some are a little slow, but I loved all of them. When you’re finished with the haunt, you’re spit out into the Reinke Brothers so you can go and buy some of the greatest Halloween props!

The name of this haunt is Haunted Mansion. However, the only room that resembles a actual mansion is the first room where you are greeted and allowed to explore the mansions internal secrets. As you wait in this room, be sure to look around and absorb all the minor details, especially when the Black Light turns on and the room is changed into a dungeon. Each room is filled with unique qualities not found in any other haunt. Examples are old western, a dragon filled cave, pitch black room with bats, a laser filled hallway, and a few projected faces. As stated above, you walk through and you immediately feel as if you entered a Disney attraction.

The actors in this haunt were about average. We came through late at night as they were getting ready to close up shop so I’m nearly positive we would have gotten a better show if we would had arrived earlier. In some rooms, we encountered production crew who ran through the scene to let the actors know we are coming through. However, a girl in the titled asylum was amazing in that she looked at you with the most hated stare and walked away furious you that you had arrived in her space.

I can’t really write much about this haunt because I don’t want to give anything away. This haunt has so much going that you really have to take your time walking through and take in all the incredible details. I had such a great time walking through and I’m sure everybody else would as well!

Pros: The props, sets, and everything else.
Cons: a few tired actors.

Steven Acker

This haunt by the Reinke brothers wasn’t all that scary but boy was it the most entertaining haunt!! It’s a old school haunt with a lot of animatronics, all of which were Fantastic, some actors mixed in and the BEST sets and props. There were a few dead spots and other places that I felt could have used some actors but we were there just before closing so we contributed this to the very late hour. The details and gags in this haunt were totally off the wall…everything from a little skeleton bird in a bird cage to going through a funeral room and hearing sobbing, with no one there!

This haunt is called Haunted Mansion but there isn’t one particular theme, but they throw a little bit of everything at you. You get two tunnels thrown at you, one spinning vortex tunnel that is impossible to go through standing straight up with your eyes open and a very nice laser dot tunnel. Both very cool…besides skeleton birds you also get skeleton spiders and a bat room. You get a dragon that comes at you as well as some other creepy ghoulish critters that come at you in the most unsuspecting places. You even get a Vegas baby telling bad dead man jokes…hilarious!

My favorite spot in the entire haunt though were the skeletons dancing to Oingo Boingo’s "Dead Man’s Party"! We stayed for a while in this room, doing a little dancing ourselves and checking out the skeletons trying to figure out how they worked. Talking to one of the creators afterward we learned that it took them four years to perfect this gag. Again, not scary but BOY was it entertaining…I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!

It’s not the scariest, not enough actors, not the most ghoulish, and definitely not bloody, but PLEASE DO NOT miss this haunt!!! I guarantee you that you will not be disappointed! And at $13.00/ticket it’s probably the cheapest haunt in town. Great Job, guys!

Pros: Dancing skeletons, spinning vortex tunnel, Vegas baby
Cons: dead spots, could use more frights

Kathie Holt

This haunt is filled with all kinds of fun little twists and a ton of animatronics that are always a crowd pleaser. You will experience a little bit of everything in here that makes for a good haunt.

If you are looking for blood and gore you will not find that here but there are many different rooms in here and I would have never imagined seeing so much going on in such a small area but it had great length and more that you will be able to take in on one visit. This haunt will truly keep you entertained and when you come out you can tour the store and see some equally awesome stuff that could keep you there for hours.

When you enter the small room for instructions you will have time to check out all of the awesome props in this room and then a giant surprise will bit you farewell. Then you wind up in a room that looks like a storeroom and for a minute you think you may have gone the wrong way already but this room is filled with boxes that come to life.

The bathroom has a very bizarre man bride who will follow you for quite some time and he won’t say a word but if you look back he is right behind you and this kind of gave me the creeps. There is a hallway full of black sheets that you need to navigate through and it gets a little confusing and somehow I got separated from my group and had to follow the sound of their voices to find them and my way out. The Aztec room is very cool too with lots of artifacts that make it very realistic as well as the drawings on the cave walls.

The vortex room will have you spinning the moment you step inside. I felt like I was about to fall over and most likely would have it there was not a catwalk with rails. I loved this room and wanted to go back through that again. The asylum has titled floors that will make you a bit off balance as well with great attention to detail and the actors don’t say much because well they are crazy.

Oh yes as I mentioned there is a scene from Alice in Wonderland with a bit of a twist. The Cheshire cat will keep you nice and entertained while his little friend has time to get a good startle out of you and the room full of flying bats is a great effect too. You will run into Beetlejuice in this haunt and he will try to help you find your way but I don’t know that you should trust him. There is a giant spider skeleton in here that looks so realistic that it gave me and another critic the jeebies and I just wanted to quickly get out of this hall full of creepy crawlies.

There are a few really cool holographic faces in here as well that will tell really bad jokes and others that will sing for you. I didn’t want to leave because they are just so ghostly looking and I was pleased to see that they had a really good entertainment factor. I even found myself laughing at the bad jokes. There is a room full of aliens and another room full of clowns. All of the actors were amazing and it did not seem overbearing with them popping out of every room which was nice so you could appreciate all of the creativity that has been placed in some of the rooms.

Pros: As I said there is just too much to see in one visit, and the actors are doing a great job of either scaring your or just plain giving you the creeps. The animatronics are stellar and I loved loved loved the dancing skeletons.
Cons: Some of the animatronics where really cool but they moved a little too slow to really deliver the shock factor but they were cool to see all the same and I do not believe they left out anything.

Alex Gallegos

The haunted mansion is located in the heart of downtown Littleton, and it’s probably got the most unique style of any of the haunts that we’ve reviewed all season. Most of the area haunts go for something deep and dark and gritty, trying to scare you (or at least put you off your dinner) with blood, gore, guts, and entrails everywhere, but the haunted mansion doesn’t go for any of these themes. The best way I can come up with to describe this haunt is a mythical, almost fantasy version of a haunted house, harkening back to the good old days where animatronics could be used in an enjoyable way without people crying foul about how it was unrealistic and not scary enough. Walt Disney would be proud of this haunt, I think.

The experience starts in an old mansion with a decayed corpse covered in cobwebs reading a book and sipping at wine (or he might be, except he’s dead), with a prerecorded announcement playing. Once that room transforms into its even creepier self (via black light revealing the extra creepiness) you’re off on a wild ride through rooms resembling caves, forests, crypts, forests, Mayan temples, and even a room decorated to look like an alien spacecraft with animatronic facehuggers ready to leap out at you. This scored big points for me. I like aliens. Throughout all of this, boxes will try to fall on your head, statues will speak, and walls will mysteriously shift and swirl around you.

The actors were few and far between, letting the sets and the animatronics do most of the work, but those that were there did a great job. I’ve said it before, but actors that know both when to leap at you and when to just let you pass by are great at their jobs.

I’ve also got to mention the vortex, which is my favorite room and one I would go through multiple times with glee. Stars and galaxies swirl around you as you pass through, and you can hear the sound of the spinning room two scenes away. The noise and the visuals conspire to create an amazingly powerful experience and I really felt like the room was spinning. Intellectually you know the platform isn’t moving but on some level your feet and your inner ear are trying to convince you that the grate you’re standing on must at least be rocking back and forth, right? Maybe? I love it when my brain gets fooled like that. If I could find a haunt that was just two miles of vortex tunnel I would be all over that.

The biggest criticism I could potentially level at the Mansion is that it’s not scary enough but I don’t think that’s what they were going for to begin with. This is a haunt you could take your kids to and not have them traumatized for the remainder of their adult lives. It’s a fun, entertaining romp that leaves you wanting more and enjoying what you got to see, rather than running screaming for the hills (which are actually conveniently close).

Pros: The vortex, creepy room with red eyed bats, scary bride corpse misleading us through the maze of sheets
Cons: Not utterly terrifying, so if you’re looking for a wet-your-pants haunt this isn’t for you.

Justeen Walters

Alex Kratz

I will admit that I am in love the Reinke Brothers store. It has been in Littleton where I grew up for so many years and I have enjoyed going to their store year after year. The shop has some of the most amazing props, costumes and just everything you could need for Halloween. The actual haunted house, Haunted Mansion, for me wasn’t as good as others I’ve seen, but it’s still a lot of fun.

I have to start by saying, don’t let the name of the haunt deceive you. There is only one room in the entire place that has to do with mansions! It’s with that I can say that there is absolutely no cohesion or theme going on throughout. I recall being in a horrible clown room thing and within a minute or two, I am inside of a spaceship scene from the movie Aliens. Being a big proponent of theme and story, I had to knock a few marks off. On the bright side though, all of the rooms in Haunted Mansion are just amazing to look at. All of the little nuances add up to make everything look great. The opening room, which was a mansion type foyer, actually felt like a crappy old house. It reminded me of an old school campy type of scare, like Scooby Doo. That feeling is fairly persistent throughout because the Reinke Brothers heavily rely on pneumatic props. I really don’t have anything against using pneumatics in a haunted house but hearing the pistons and air rush can ruin some of the scares. Some of the animatronics also just moved too slowly to have a good effect. There were so many things in Haunted Mansion that I had never seen before. The use of projectors on props and behind windows to create freaky looking faces was great. I looked up and saw a floating ghostly skull that was telling really bad Halloween jokes. Haunted Mansion uses so many props and sets I honestly can’t remember all of them. It is something needs to be seen for itself.

The acting and costumes were pretty hum-drum against the great sets. There really isn’t much to say about the acting in Haunted Mansion. The actors had appropriate costumes for the setting they were in, but all they did was hide in the corners for the scare.

Like I said, I love the Reinke Brothers. They do amazing work, have an amazing shop and they are local. Haunted Mansion isn’t the scariest haunted house on the planet, but it is a lot of fun to go see. If you don’t believe me, dancing skeletons! Enough said.

Pros: Unbelievable props and sets, more than just scares
Cons: No theme, not too scary, ho-hum acting

Marlena Baker

Haunted Mansion is all about the effects. The theme is barely there, with a focus on giving the greatest variety of scenes. There are a lot of different settings and themes covered in this haunt. They’re all very well covered too. Each setting is very thought out and done completely. There’s no sparse rooms.

The settings are actually crowded. There’s a ton to see in every room. Props, wall decorations, and a ton of effects. From projectors to anamatroncis to a room that messes with your balance and your perception of space, this haunt had it all. Every horror theme you can think of, and then some, were represented. It was a blast seeing it all, but aside from some mind bending effects, it wasn’t all that scary to me.

The acting didn’t help. Actors were sparse and didn’t actually add much to the experience. They used the clutter well, popping out at us, and they got a few startles as we were distracted by the stuff. The timing needed some work, though. There were a few great actors, but really only a few.

Haunted Mansion is full of all the classics and then some. It has a room for everyone, addressing every phobia, fear, and horror film. Unfortunately that meant none of them got to give their full effect. I just found each area was too short to really draw me in, and I didn’t have time to look at all the little details, which were some of the really great things in the haunt. The scare factor might not have been so great for me, but it’s well worth it to see all the cool effects.

Pros: props, effects, length
Cons: acting, no theme