Oh boy—LOVED it! If it’s an oxymoron to say this is the season’s “feel-good” commercial haunt, then so be it. Performed by primarily middle- and high-school kids the night we toured, this—obviously–is a community of folks coming together to have a good time trying to scare the bejeeezus out of folks like me. This is well-done throughout.
Good actors and character development: Purgatory, as a hotel, where you “check-IN,”–but “check-OUT?” Maybe?. . . . maybe NOT. The cast is huge, and the sets are big. There are great sound effects and a very coordinated cast effort to come together as an ensemble to “hand guests off” from one set to another. Nicely done—noticed, and appreciated. I wasn’t startle-scared so much as thoughtfully played with—which I appreciate.
There was something attractive about the haunt—like I was checking into some destination, somewhere, where I WANTED to be—like I was beginning a vacation somewhere. . . like I was gonna be posting pic’s on facebook, or tweeting’ or some-such B.S. . . “Hey—Wish YOU were HERE!” Is that FREAKY, or what? What’s up with THAT?
I am a SUCKER for an Irish accent (reference Haunted Mines review), and the road-crew, hard-hatted, black-faced character at the entry had one. Don’t know why he was dressed as a Slow/Stop flagger-dude , (with relation to the story) but I didn’t care. Before pulling the entry door open for us, he asked, softly: “Any of you want to call your Mother? Any of you need to make amends to one another?” I can’t type in an Irish brogue, but trust me—it’s effective.
Pros: Commitment of cast. Great cohesive story. Big sets—room to wander.
Cons: Mall location. Nothing else.
I’ve never been a huge fan of mall haunts, but this haunt defies all stigmas behind a mall haunt! The creators of this haunt take the space they had to work with, thought outside the box, and it worked spectacularly! They had quite a bit of space with huge rooms, and instead of making small hallways, they used the big rooms and filled them with things that fit their theme. This works because there are so many angles actors can use to approach you, and that’s exactly what they did. When haunt creators use small spaces, the customer approaches the actor because there is but one way to move forward. Big rooms filled with fog create an uneasy feeling because you can be completely surrounded or by yourself at any given point. And I must say, Longmont Purgatory is not lacking in the acting department in quality or quantity. Each actor played a specific character in purgatory and everything was executed flawlessly!
The theme of purgatory is a huge part of the haunt. They start the haunt off beautifully with a key stamp on your hand to get you into purgatory, then you sign in, and walk through different areas of purgatory. Awesome storyline. And each room was filled with props and acting that fit into this theme. Overall, scare factor could have been slightly more intense, and a tad longer. A few adjustments would have given this haunt perfect tens all the way around.
Pros: Great use of space, acting, and theme.
Cons: Could be a tad longer.
This gem of a haunted house is located inside a mall. We talk to the owner about the theme for a bit, and we begin our journey with an Irish gentleman. He warns us of the danger that lies ahead but hesitantly allows us to enter. This haunt is loaded with actors. I count at least 50 and let me tell you, these actors were really good as well as their costumes. The sets are huge and immersive scenes filled with actors that all play their parts very well. I must say that this is the most unique and original approach to scenic design I’ve seen in the haunt industry in quite some time. At times I felt like I was in a twisted Broadway musical.
My favorite scene, we enter an area filled with dancers in a masquerade setting. As we make our way through this amazing scene, we are teased, taunted, and startled from all sides. We then enter another room where a woman covered in blood was screaming on a table. A few more young women are screaming at the actor on the table, then turn and scream at us. Complete madness, they won’t allow us to pass or go forward. Suddenly they ask us to turn around and go back. I won’t say what happens next, but let’s just say creeptacular! This scene is choreographed with class and originality as were most of the sets in this haunt.
The different styles and approach that this haunt uses are evident throughout. Occasionally you were reminded of the mall setting, where the sets were very big. A few could use a little extra polish and detail, however, even with a few rooms lacking detail, this haunt is unique and filled with memorable scenes. It’s a must see on my list from now on.
Pros: unique experience, tons of actors, cool choreography
Cons: could be darker in some areas, ending was good but could use polish
Haunt Season for a reviewer is an exercise in repetition. Haunted houses tend to follow a same basic pattern, incorporating all the same elements over and over again, and I can’t really blame them for doing that because they have people lining up in droves to get scared by the same old things over and over again year after year. There are certain set pieces that the American human mind just associates with terror because of a series of horrific images played out in horror movies across time, like old dilapidated bathrooms, prisons, mental hospitals, etc. Because of this, it’s not too hard to create a frightening experience that will appeal to a good portion of your audience without having to know about deep-rooted psychological terror.
It’s not bad to capitalize on this low hanging fruit year after year; that’s where the expression “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” came from. But the upshot of all this is that if you start to see a lot of haunted houses, you get to a point where everything coalesces together into one big blur of mediocrity. “Oh, look, it’s the creepy bedroom scene with a poor innocent girl chained to it screaming about how someone’s going to come kill her. Wow, a guy in an electric chair, I’ll bet that starts convulsing and smoking as soon as we walk in front of it. Oh, look, the demented dinner scene where skeletal corpses sit around a table covered in cobwebs and blood while the scullery maid asks if we’d like to stay for a bite. And what’s that I hear in the background? The dulcet tones of a chainsaw wielding madman? Oh happy day.” It’s not that these are bad things, it’s just that they reach a point they lose all their scare value and they’re just another room to pass through on your way to the next room (which you have probably also seen before).
All that is to say that when you encounter a haunt that really DOES do something different, you sit up and take notice, and this haunt had things I’d never seen done before. The first thing you’ll notice when you enter a room is the sheer scale of it all. Longmont Purgatory’s creators realized that scary and cramped aren’t always synonymous and made big rooms. Huge rooms. Rooms with scale and character that could actually be believed to be what they were presented as. The restaurant had space for plenty of chairs and tables, the kitchen could actually be walked around in, the saloon had a bar and places to sit, and the hotel lobby was probably the best recreation of an actual lobby I’ve ever seen anywhere. When you’re dropped into a big space filled with details and nobody in your face screaming at you to get out, it’s like an invitation to have a look around at take it all in, and that’s what I did. You can actually miss details in here if you don’t take the time to glance around; I even found a Time Magazine from the mid 1970s in the lobby by reception, and other reviewers found a lot of cool things as well.
The actors did a great job, and I won’t spoil any of the surprises from inside because of how great they were. If there were any criticism I could level at the haunt it would be that it’s not so much scary as it is unsettling, and that it seems somewhat short, but that’s only because it’s so well done that you feel like you want a lot more of it. It could go on this way for an hour and a half and I’d be thrilled, honestly.
Pros: Set design the likes of which I have never seen, Actors engaged in scenes instead of scream startles, creative blocking
Cons: Not especially terrifying, felt like it was over sooner than I’d like
Longmont Purgatory was a great experience. They’re doing some really cool things that you don’t normally see at haunted houses. It’s more than just effects. It’s the layout and the way the actors behave. It works really well.
I was blown away from the very start. After the introduction and rules, we were led into a reception room. Not a scene, it was a room. The receptionist had us sign our names and we were led into Purgatory. As with any good afterlife, it starts with a bar. Again, it was a full room. There was the bartender, several tables of ‘residents’ and a piano. That was a nice touch, too. The next room, the dining room, was the same. Here’s another cool thing they did. They led us into the kitchens and there wasn’t a way out. The cook screamed at us to get out of her kitchen as we looked around, wondering where. Finally, we went back to the dining room and the actors there had repositioned themselves for a different experience this time through the room. Those full rooms were all over the haunt, and they were filled well. They made the space feel like more than just scenes. It felt like a building that’s in use. All that space let the actors do more, too.
I liked the actors in Purgatory. They were all in their roles. They improvised really well, maintaining their characters. There was a very tall clown that was a lot of fun to talk to as we tried to find the way out of her room. The actors had more room to move in the full rooms, which let them creep us out by following us as we explored or got lost. They never let us be the whole time we were in there. In some rooms we even got swarmed. Far from being understaffed, there were a few rooms with up to 10 people in them.
Longmont Purgatory is creative and done very well. The hotel theme is classic, and they do it well. Seeing rooms put together as if they were in use was a great touch. I liked the feel that I was in a real space. It let me get immersed in the experience.
Pros: Open spaces, Great actors, Good sets
Cons: Got lost
The Longmont Purgatory located in the Twin peaks Mall is probably the best mall haunt I have seen to date. As I walked into the mall this haunt didn’t seem like much, but I was wrong. There is a little miniature headstone sales stand out front and not much else. But all that changes as soon as you enter the purgatory!
As soon as you enter this attraction you are over run by different actors throughout the haunt. I didn’t get the exact count but there was over fifty actors contained, they did an outstanding job, were as good as any other haunt I’ve seen and they were mostly middle school aged kids! Watch out for this crew, if they stick together and continue having great choreography, they will rise to the top. Everyone was in the correct spot, never broke character, and had lots of intensity. The style of acting in the purgatory was different from any I’ve seen and had its own original twist. Every room is full as possible with actors, they have a pack mentality and swarm you like flies on a dead body, totally amazing!
The scenes within the purgatory were bigger than any I’ve seen and very original. When you enter the different rooms they are all huge, I’ve never seen a haunt do big rooms like this and use them well. Usually when a haunt uses bigger sets they are empty and un-fufilling not here, great job! One of my favorite scenes here is a ballroom type scene. As soon as you enter there are at least fifteen people dancing around and they almost consume you. Each person is wearing a creepy mask and acts as if you are not there; I really liked this scene it made me feel like I walked into Hotel California. Another scene I really enjoyed was the honeymoon suite. When I entered the women inside said “hey handsome, love is to die for”, and acted normally. As I progressed her demeanor turned and she freaked out screaming for me to leave. This scene was sexy, creepy, and fun all wrapped in one and very enjoyable.
Altogether the Longmont Purgatory is an amazing haunt with lots of original ideas that work very well. This group has done a great job with set design and keeping things unique to their haunt. The acting is amazing and you can tell that this group has passion and is shooting for number one. There is a lot of heart and great ideas put into this place, I recommend this haunt highly to all horror enthusiasts.
Cons: Needs more scenes or length
Entering this building, I’m tamped with a key and told that that’s my ticket to enter. As I wait, I gaze upon the awesome façade in front of me and a door that bleeds screams, shouts, and bangs through the cracks. It gets me very excited and pumped to see what all I will come across. Making my way outside, I’m greeted by a construction worker with a cool accent and he gives us the rules upon entering the haunt. We then enter a glass room, with a cool door waiting to be opened, and show him our keys so he can let us in. as we walk in the first room, a receptionist is waiting for us, and here we have to sign the book of souls, that claims our souls now belong to Longmont Purgatory.
The bar scene was one of my favorite rooms in this haunt. Walking in, right away the room came to life from all the people playing poker, running the bar, dancing on the floor, or playing the piano. The bar and the bartender were awesome and everything really put me in a different mood and environment. I wanted to start dancing once I heard that marvelous piano being played by a creepy weird man. It was such a lively, entertaining room and really put a smile on my face. The honeymoon suite was totally awesome! Never seen a room like this before and my, what a honeymoon suite it was. The bed and floor were covered in flower petals, there were champagne bottles, and the bride and groom were side by side lying on the bed, not knowing she already killed her husband. She had some great dialogue and was very believable. I really loved the clown room in this one! Best clown room I’ve seen yet! When I walked in, the look and sound gave me that feeling like I was in some kind of loony circus tent. The props and sets in there were awesome, along with the clowns who were full of energy and insanity. I loved the rotating carousel with the objects hanging above. That was really thought out and was very well executed. Great job!
There were many fantastic sets, props, and facades that were very original and put me in awe! This haunt was very impressive and brought the intensity to give it a realistic feel. All the actors were full of energy and knew how to work with their dialogue within the set. I felt like each one was in the right spot and was destined to make the scene come to life. That shows real enthusiasm, imagination and a desire to succeed, and that’s what makes a haunted house successful at being scary. I did feel like the actor at the end could have brought a little more intensity to the room. He didn’t really do much to try and scare the group. The room he’s in has a lot of scare spots, but seems a little too open. Having to shove your way through or around objects is always a good distraction for a good scare, along with props of corpses, dead animals, things like that. That makes it harder for the customer to tell which ones are real. This haunt was full of unique originality from top to bottom. It was such a delightful, fun, and spooktacular environment to venture into, that I was ready for round two. Coming back for another round of awesome originality is a definite must go for me. Keep up the good work guys and looking forward for next year’s turn out!
Pros: very original, haunt was full of energy, awesome acting
Cons: ending lacked a little energy, lots of masks being used but worked, wish it was longer
1250 S. Hover RdLongmont, CO 80501
Open Every Friday & Saturday In October7PM – Midight
As the Twin Peaks Mall started re-development of the mall, they unearthed a haunting history of our city and some of its more colorful citizens. As they broke ground, constructions crews discovered some sort of Time Capsule. Despite desperate warnings from local historians, the container was opened. Work has now ceased due to work crews reporting inexplicable events. Some say the time capsule was sacred and opening it released a magical phenomenon that opened some sort of portal into another time. Others think the capsule was cursed and when it was opened a dark demonic spirit was released.A paranormal team of investigators toured the site and they think it is a bit of both. An opening between past and present, heaven and hell, a sort of un-escapable Purgatory! During the month of October, you will have a chance to tour the construction site to see what you think…