Ghoul’s Gulch 2012

Scare FactorActingSets/FXLengthOverall

Ryan Acker

Ghouls Gulch is one of two haunts in one location. Each haunt is owned by different owners and therefore very different. Choose this one. Being in a strip mall and going through the neighboring haunt led me to believe that it was not going to be more than black walls and constant screaming. My expectations were very mistaken!

The first room was equipped with moving walls and a good actor introducing himself and welcoming us in. From there, the theme was inconsistent but each scene was done well. Walking in a pitch black airbag and emerging into another strobe filled one really throws you senses off. Also, a good actor can be a bad scenes’ salvation as was the case with a prison/maze. The haunt did end quite abruptly as we walked out and thought we were in a behind the scenes area. A better conclusion would’ve amped up the overall feeling of the haunt.

I recall watching a haunt show on Travel Channel where one haunt had a live alligator and then proceeded to have a prop one scare you and thought it would’ve been amazing to see something done like that in Colorado. It was here! However it was snakes, not alligators. Three live snakes were clearly placed in front of you and as I proceeded I jumped every time I saw a rubber one on the ground. Also, one of the best props I’ve seen that I actually liked was in this scene.

This haunt had a little bit of everything and I loved it. Moving floors, crackling strobes, good acting, etc. The direction they are headed is a good path to be on. It was a little short and some rooms lacked detail, but I enjoyed it much more than I anticipated. I can’t wait to see what they come up with in future years.

Pros: Snakes, Acting, Sensory effects.

Cons: Lack of detail, short, no consistent theme.

Bill Bevis

Nice. Great props. Great character development. Mom cradling newborn just after delivery (there were complications). Disturbing. Dissected man—still alive with only head and arms intact. Great effect. Airbags and strobe lights. Strange gas-mask-wearing-pig-monkey-man a little too agile for my taste climbing the walls around me–and HOW did I get trapped in the same room with him, with NO WAY OUT!?!?!?!? There are great big snakes, man-eaters, safely behind glass—or ARE THEY?!?!?! Did one ESCAPE?!?!?!?! AHHHHHHHH!!! The actors are first-rate, and I felt their grief and pain. The length is good, and there were no memorable down-spots or blanks. The ending could’ve been a bit stronger though, and sort of petered out after a great ride. GO.

Pros: Props. Actors. Dementia.

Cons: Kinda obvious converted strip-mall retail space. Ending could be stronger. That it ended.

Jason Peterson

This ghoulish set of insanity is set alongside the Mindseizure haunt, yet completely different in its approach. From start to finish, this haunt paid particular attention to detail to sets from custom painted walls to some beautiful props and costuming. Everything you could think of was built to entertain fear, in this well put together haunt. The sets definitely made you feel transformed into another world and the actors were convincing throughout the scenes.

Live snakes are used to grab your attention, and bam, you get a snake in the face! If 10-12 foot snakes freak you out, you might want to turn your butt around and run! Does the movie Anaconda freak you out? Cause the beast in this swamp is even bigger and uglier! The swamp set was sweet. They had a taxidermy or trophy room, if you will, that you were introduced to by the taxidermist, who also lets you know the dos and don’ts in the Gulch. While taking a look around in these very impressive sets, a number of beasts are adorned throughout the haunt. Take a look in the display case. Looks to me like they don’t just hunt furry critters around these parts. One of my favorite sets in this haunt was a steam punk infused medical lab. The walls and sets in this room really looked amazing. The character in the room was pretty good as well as his costuming and makeup. I would like to see him with a little more dialogue and intensity, but I liked him regardless. I also loved all of the moving floors, ramps and bridges. Great effect and filter between sets.

If gore is your thing, they have plenty to offer. Not too much, but just enough to turn your stomach. Stand outs for me here, is a young woman birthing a monstrosity or how about a good old fashioned execution! The sets and halls, between all, had amazing detail and stone architecture throughout with skull archways and skull adorned walls. The custom painted panels were painted so well, in some areas, I had to touch them or get a much closer look to really appreciate what I was looking at. Add some great props with good acting and some really creative cool costumes. Let’s not forget the strobing dynamite. Strobes I have not seen yet and they killed it! Very cool effect.

The only thing that I think this haunt could do to make my experience better is to maybe darken up a few spots. Also the ending was a little watered down, compared to what the rest of the haunt was leading out to. I like the idea, just not at the end. Acting will improve with every night that goes by. Look out for this crew! They have motivation to be the #1 haunt and I’m convinced they will fight hard for that position and maintain it. Great job Ghouls Gulch!

Pros- sets, props, theme

Cons- actors could use stronger dialogue; ending could be a little stronger

Alex Gallegos

A gulch is a deep, narrow ravine with a stream running through it. Ghoul’s Gulch does not actually take place in a gulch, either real or imagined. Instead it’s a lot closer to a house. I just wanted to get that out of the way before I said anything else because I know someone out there will want to know. “Sure it might be scary and well designed and feature some really cool stuff,” that someone will say, “but is there a gulch?” The answer for all the pedants is “no”. The longer answer is, “No, but you should go anyway.”

The creators of Ghoul’s Gulch seem to have the right idea for putting together a haunted house. For those who remain blissfully unaware allow me to force feed you the bitter fruit of knowledge: haunted houses are expensive to run properly. Hydraulics, props, rent, and fire safety code adherence are just a few of the common problems we hear about as a review team all the time as we journey around the front range looking at different haunt venues. This isn’t a cheap game, and it requires months of planning and building to do and execute properly. Oh that’s not to say that you can’t bang something together out of plywood and black paint and hire a couple high schoolers to stand around inside it screaming “get out” – because you can. Enjoy your one-star rating. We’ll be going through a haunt we actually like.

The designers at Ghoul’s Gulch seem to understand this balance, and so rather than blow all their money on one or two big props and then let people go through an utterly unsatisfying haunt punctuated by two moments of awe inspiring goodness, they were forced to get creative. And creativity is a good thing. I’ll take Ghoul’s Gulch’s living, breathing head in a box played by an actual actor, or their disembodied head attached only to a skeleton or their acrobatic actors who actually know how to act over a repeat performance consisting of bloody bathrooms with pseudo-threatening messages written in blood any day of the week.

There are a few really well done effects but I won’t spoil them in any great detail to spoil the surprises, but suffice to say you can see the efforts to stretch a dollar pay off in almost every room. You almost can’t help but think the designers stood in a room, looked at the raw materials they could get their hands on right away and thought, “What would McGyver do?” This is a strategy I wholly approve of.

My only disappointments were that there wasn’t more of the haunt, because it was so fantastic. The rest of the things are nitpicks, like being able to see a Logitech speaker with its blue LED cheerily glowing away in one of the rooms and the inclusion of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” playing on TV in a creepy nursery that did nothing but bring back happy memories for me. Ultimately you should go check this haunt out just to see what kinds of things can be done in a haunt without the only solution being to throw more money at the problem.

PROS: Massive Doom Snake, Acrobatic actors, and special effects I had to Google to figure out how they were done.

CONS: Could see ‘behind the scenes’ in a few unintended places. Charlie Brown breaks the mood (as Charlie Brown is wont to do). Does not actually take place in a gulch, even though gulches are cool.

Marlena Baker

The props and setting in Ghoul’s Gulch are the stars. Be prepared for some of the coolest sets you’ll ever see. There are only a few great ones, but they are fantastic. The rest of the haunt couldn’t stand on them alone, though.

When I saw the live snakes, I was thrilled. They’re safely behind glass, but it still added a nice touch to the jungle scene. The sets that are great are really great. There are a few ‘live’ bodies and body parts that blew my mind. Floors will shift under your feet. The blood has a realistic shine. The effects are top notch. I only wish there had been more of them. The other weak point was the theme. There wasn’t really one. Nothing tied the haunt together. From room to room the setting changed so dramatically, it was hard to forget I was in a haunted house.

The acting was good. They worked well in their scenes. All of them fit well and none of them were so bad it distracted me from the haunt. It was a little sparse, though. None of them really stood out to me. There were no characters that wowed me.

It was a good haunt. I loved the effects they used, and how they used them. They weren’t just cool, but they were really creepy. They worked hard to make us question what we saw by making them blend into their scenes seamlessly. The acting supported the haunt, but didn’t elevate it. Ghoul’s Gulch needs some work, but it was a good experience.

Pros: Great effects, well put together scenes, decent acting

Cons: No theme, needs more actors, areas between effects weak

Corey Dunham

Ghouls Gulch in Colorado Springs is an amazing haunt with lots of props, great acting, and major intensity! For instance, as soon as you pull up to the haunt there are two fifteen foot monsters running around scaring everyone who crosses their path. Once inside you are greeted by an amazing taxidermy set but watch out you may just become part of it!

This was one of the few haunts that actually scared me! They had live snakes in a tank and when I got caught looking at them I took one to the face. I love the distraction method and the scare, totally cool. They also have a huge snake as big as a Volkswagon which added to it!

This haunt also had a darker side which I really enjoyed. As you walk into the butcher scene you can see the demented chef cutting up a live victim for his next feast. This was an unbelievable effect and you really should see it. If that’s not enough for you wait until you make your way to the bedroom and find a woman birthing a bloody, demonic two headed baby. That was one of the most disturbing, disgusting scenes I have seen in a haunt and I loved it!! The sight of that crawled under my skin and really did the trick to creep me out.

All in all, this is a great haunt with lots of energy and intensity that will go places. They have great props, actors, and amazing effects. From the moment I walked in until I left I had a good time.

Pros: Good use of live snakes to get better scare, good set design

Cons: Needs more length, and more actor intensity

Peyton Lucero

My time at Ghouls Gulch was quite exhilarating! It was nice to be inside for my wait, avoiding the cold. During my time in line, I’d have to say there wasn’t much going on, granted; it was the first weekend, so I understand. When I entered the first room, I was greeted and given rules by an actor with a top hat and bone prosthetic face piece, which was pretty cool, and given the invite to enter the world of Ghouls Gulch. Here is where I entered a strange world full of creatures, mutilation, death, chaos, and destruction!

Entering the room, I realized it was a hunter’s game room. Heads of deer, moose, and even werewolves were scattered everywhere on the walls. Continuing my journey, I came across some amazing sets, props, and animatronics! Definitely got in a scare or two for me. Throughout the haunt, every wall and corner was decorated and detailed to its max. There was so much detail that it was hard to get a glance at it all. There were quite a few sets that did stand out to me and that I really got to enjoy. One room I really like was the meat/ torture room. There was a lot of meat and a lot of blood, which was awesome. I loved how there was a guy on the table whose body had been mutilated to bits and was still alive. Fantastic prop and actor. They are definitely a good team! Another room I went through that I thought was incredible was the jungle room with a giant snake head animatronic. The set was gorgeous! I loved all the vines, trees, and wild life that were around. It really made me feel like I was in a foreign jungle and that giant snake! Man, once I turned that corner and saw that gigantic, sharp toothed wet looking mouth, I just about had a heart attack! Loved the props and perfect settings. Great job! One of the last sets I found awesome was the hospital with the woman who had a two headed baby. When I entered that room, I felt kind of disgusted and wished I had brought hand sanitizer with me. Being in hospitals always creeps me out. The actress with the baby was awesome and very believable. Seeing the blood and sadness in her eyes and tone made me feel sorry for her. She definitely nailed the part. I just hope it didn’t hurt too badly.

My experience at the Ghouls Gulch had my mind blown! I was in awe all the way through the haunt, with amazing sets, props, animatronics, and actors. Actors were fantastic! I heard loud noises, screams, bangs, and more throughout the haunt. I knew there, that the actors & actresses were bringing it. Everything was great from beginning to end. There were a couple of things that could use some tweaking. First, are the actors/actresses. They’re intense, loud, in your face, and stay in character all the way through. The only thing is their dialogue. They’re in these amazing sets, but their characters are giving me typical lines like “get out!”, “play with me”, lines that are not really scary or make me cringe. You have awesome sets and characters. Don’t be afraid to let that character take control. Become a part of the scene and let the character roll with the flow. We got the intensity; now let’s get the disgust and dirtiness that comes with the character. Last is the ending. You have these amazing sets and props and your ending only had some bungee cord like rope that was colored and blank walls. Maybe to make it a more intense feeling ending, add some strobe lights that really mess with people’s eyes and some mind twirling music! You could also add some texture to the bands like flesh, meat, wet like feelings, things like that to add more intensity. All in all, I really had the pleasure of entering your haunt and cannot wait until I get the chance to come again. Great work guys!

Pros: actors, sets, intensity

Cons: dialogue, wish it was longer, some make-up

Ghoul’s Gulch
3910 Palmer Park Blvd.Colorado Springs, CO. 80909

  • $15.00
  • $20 VIP
Fri. – Sat.  Sept. 21 – Oct. 277-11PM

October 7-31st – 7pm – 10pm

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