13th Door 2014

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Kris | Alex | Jason | Peyton | Marlena | Kennedy | Regina

Scare FactorActingSets/FXLengthOverall

Kris Kropelnicki

The 13th Door is a haunt that brings the majority of my favorite elements together in one delightful package and serves it up with generous portions of creativity, scares and fun. While the theme and overall layout have remained unchanged for some time now, it works because the familiarity of the sets is somehow like coming home, but this isn’t the Cleaver residence; the Barrington’s lurk within these walls and they are less than hospitable. New elements that have been added enhance the dangers that are around every corner.

Depending on your personal preference, you may or may not appreciate all this haunt has to offer. I personally found it quite unnerving due to the one element I enjoy the most: The dark. These haunters are masters of the dark and while some haunt goers may feel it is too dark for them, I find the level of darkness here to be nearly perfect. The sets go from dim to dark to nearly pitch black in an instant and trying to navigate through the halls and rooms can be quite a challenge with eyes that aren’t yet adjusted. For me this added realism to the haunt, and realism and authenticity turn the volume up on the scares for me. For those who want to see every little detail, the darkness may not be your cup of tea, but for those of us who love the dark and the terror of the unknown, inching around ghostly silhouettes will get your heart pounding and send your mind reeling!

Scares from the darkness was just one of many components that came together to create scares that were intense and truly frightening. So many ingenious places to hide for actors, so many eerie rooms that had not only the details, but the ambiance as well to really drive the scares home and drive a person into madness.

Acting was extremely well done by the majority of actors and those that weren’t quite up to par still did a good job. The actors that had truly become their characters really nailed their performances and had me second guessing whether this was a live production or something far more sinister. The most terrifying actor for me is the woman in the top hat at the door. Her ice cold stare and malevolent silence absolutely terrifies me. Year after year, I find myself at her mercy, (there is none) and quaking in my boots. I’ve never heard her make a sound; she doesn’t need to. She radiates evil like a thick gagging cloud of putrid death. I LOVE HER!!! Beyond her, there were many memorable performances by the elevator operator, the crazed lunatic in the kitchen, the desperate victim in the bedroom, (Her timing is impeccable as is her performance!) and Mr. Barrington and his evil cohort. There are many more that did an incredible job of bringing the hotel of death to life; I can’t possibly list them all. Dialogue was spot on and actors engaged me for extended periods of time which was a wonderful treat because it’s so rare. Fantastic job everyone!!!

Sets and effects were very well done and the attention to detail is evident everywhere you look, even in the dark scenes; it’s not just a dark room, it’s a dark room filled with ordinary things that take on an ominous presence when the lights go out.

I especially liked the eclectic mix of props, combining old school animatronics with new technology and illusions. I encountered things that really got my attention like hands reaching for me out of nowhere, moving pictures and walls, well timed strobes, a disturbing laundry room, severely uneven floors and furniture that appeared to be possessed. Everything was topped off nicely with some great background noises that were so subtle, I had to stop and listen for a minute because I wasn’t sure if I was really hearing the whispers of the dead and the sobs of the helpless, or if my mind was running away with itself. My mind is just fine. I really was hearing these subtle, yet powerful sounds. I remember thinking that I really didn’t want to run across the woman who wept softly in defeat. I truly didn’t want to see the terror of her accepted fate in her eyes. Whether these sounds came from live actors or were merely an audio loop matters not. Their placement and timing evoked fear and emotion from me in a very unexpected way and it really worked for me.

The length was perfection and I felt neither rushed nor bored with the amount of time I was going through. It felt, appropriately so, as though I was really wandering through an old hotel, investigating rooms and hallways along the way. Just when I thought I must be nearing the end, I found myself with several more rooms to explore. It was just enough without being too much. Nice job!

This is a well balanced haunt that really has something for everyone and therefore works well for most age groups with the exception of young children. It may be too much for the younger set.

Get out this season to see this haunt and satisfy your craving for dark, eerie places that are paired with great acting, sets, sounds and smells to bring it all together!!

Pros: Acting; Sets; Sounds

Cons: A couple of dead spots; A few actors lacked energy; hard to hear instructions and back story over chainsaws


Alex Gallegos

Whosoever dares to enter the Barrington hotel had better be prepared to fight for their life, because much like that one hotel in the 31st state that RIAA copyrights prevent me from calling out by name, you can never leave… at least not unless you find the mythical 13th Door. The story goes that John Barrington, a Denver millionaire, threw a Halloween party (actually an All Hallows Eve party, because it was 1912 and people talked like that). His nephew Andrew had racked up a boatload of gambling debts – previously, not at the party, though that would be an accomplishment – and his collectors were getting very aggressive. When Andrew asked his uncle for help, Mr. Barrington refused him, and Andrew went insane.

Since Dr. Phil wouldn’t be a force to be reckoned with for decades yet to come, Andrew returned to the hotel later, boarded up the exits, and burned it, killing all of the guests. Andrew was never found. If you enter the hotel, you can expect to be plagued by the spirits of the guests who were burned alive and, perhaps, the ghost of Andrew Barrington himself.

The atmosphere behind this haunt is particularly engaging, and I always like a good story to go with my spooking, so the 13th Door is always a treat. Very little has changed from previous years but the things that have been shaken up a bit are very well done. The actors in the haunt had a great intensity this year, but several of them had scenes that were new and interesting as well. Not only did the guests want to know why they had been so brutally murdered, but several of them swore vengeance on Andrew as well, and it was nice to see disgruntled spirits who were mad at someone other than me for a change, because usually everyone’s furious with me when I didn’t have anything to do with the circumstances leading up to their demise.

One actor had a standout performance, jumping maniacally around the room, from the bed to the dresser, rummaging through drawers and begging us to confirm that we were real, and not more figments of his disturbed imagination. A stellar performance to be sure.

The whole experience is very detailed, attacking your senses in several different ways as you make your way through the haunt, with auditory and olfactory assaults serving to bridge the area between scenes as well as to reinforce the haunted nature of the hotel.

The whole hotel makes sense and feels like it could be a real place, and I really appreciated the way the narrative aspects tied their way through the entire thing from beginning to end. Have your credit card ready – Andrew Barrington is waiting for you, and he’s got bills to pay before you check out – permanently.

Pros: Great narrative, great actor interaction, believable set design

Cons: Some actors needed a little more intensity, some scares are timed poorly

Jason Peterson

Review coming soon!

Peyton Lucero

Entering this haunt, we are quickly thrown into an elevator that sends us to the guest rooms. We are told by the escort that we have to find the 13th door and throughout out journey, we must avoid running into Andrew, who is known to be a crazy killer. Traveling through this haunt, I encounter many gorgeous sets along with quite a few actors to fill them and get their scare on. Some actors almost seemed tired and like they had run out of dialogue to say. It seemed like it was mostly from the hallways. Actors would start off strong and then kind of die down and just stare while my group passes. To help with maintaining the role and keeping the customers entertained, try doing sounds, different grunts, gurgles, snarls, zombie hacks, etc… really allow the character to become a part of the set. This should allow the actors to become more interactive with the group.

The sets in here were pretty awesome. They all stayed cohesive with the theme of the haunt and made me feel like I was really in a hotel. A few of the actors really stood out as well, trying to sell us the pitch about Andrew and to stay away from him as he was really hungry for human flesh. The guy in the newsroom was one of the many that told us about Andrew. We were in there for about two minutes and the whole time, the actor did not break character and he managed to keep us entertained the whole way out! Great job on performance!

I loved how they used actual wood pallets and paneling to give the effect of live tree bark and to put me in the mood that I was not just in a haunted house anymore. I can definitely tell when heart & dedication is put into a haunt. It gives the haunt that much more of a realistic feel when I go through it.

This is a great haunt to go to if you’re looking for a fun, family night out. It can be family friendly depending on how old the children are. It’s not too scary, but scary enough to maybe give your children nightmares. The scenery alone takes me into a horror movie, and with the actors and sounds added, it amps up this haunts intensity and scares that much more! It is worth spending the money here because you see not one haunt, but two! That’s right, 2 haunts in one location, to make sure you’re entertained throughout the night! Don’t forget to dress warm and layer up because the queue line is outside and it wouldn’t be fun going through this haunt with a frozen body.

Pros: Acting & dialouge, set work, props

Cons: Few dark spots, actors dying down

Marlena Baker

13th Door is a haunt with a narrative and I love their commitment to it. The immersion in this haunt is just fantastic. They don’t throw in any odd rooms to play on phobias. Every room fits in the theme, just with all the right creepy touches. It’s in that odd place where the space is familiar, something we see all the time, but corrupted.

The haunt takes place in a hotel, and they don’t deviate from that theme at all. It’s wonderfully immersive! It all starts where it should, at the receptionist’s desk. The actress there sent us into a great elevator. It was rocky and disorienting, just as a creepy old elevator should be. From there on out they really kept the illusion that we had entered this cursed hotel. The hallways were spot on, with doors for all the guest rooms. We wandered through the kitchen, the laundry room, and even the boiler room. All the sets were well put together with lots of details. My favorite had to be the bathroom all bloody with a victim strung up inside.

The actors were pretty good. The little girl we had to share our elevator ride with was fantastic. She was creepy and had her part down pat. With each blink of the strobe she’d move, appearing somewhere different each time. She rocked it! Once we got further into the haunt though, it was somewhat hit or miss. Not all the actors were at full energy it seemed, and they weren’t prepared to ad lib if their script didn’t cover the time we were in the room or hallway. A few tried but some just fell silent. All they need is to give the actors some additional lines in case they need them. Some of the actors were killing it, however. When we got to me Andrew, the hotel’s owner, he was great. Full of energy and anger. He was really unhinged. I also really loved the girl on the bed. Her timing was perfect and her intensity was epic.

13th door is really good. The acting needs a little polish, but that’s it. They are doing a lot right. They have all my favorite things, a good theme and a consistent atmosphere. It’s a scary good time.

Pros: commitment to their theme, detailed sets, tells a story

Cons: inconsistent acting

Kennedy Horstmeyer

Definitely a more expansive and scary haunt. There is so much action with strobes, moving walls, realistic props and actors. The theme of a hotel is very consistent throughout the entire haunt, and the effects played on the theme in various ways.

I wasn’t overly scared by actors jumping out at me, or being chased by chainsaws, it was the environment and strobe lights. To me strobes and sparse actors is scary because you expect something to happen and scare yourself in anticipation. The actors did get several jumps out of me, some better than others. The intensity of actors helped build the scare. In one scene the actor is very persistent and intense which built up the coming rooms.

The acting for the most part was really good. There will be diversity, but it was mainly equal. The actors in dedicated rooms were definitely stronger than those not in a specific room. There was great interaction, it just needs to continue longer with more improvising. Intensity of actors changed between scenes depending on what the scene required. Some were quieter and eerie sets, others were more dependent on the space the actor could fill with their character. Overall the actors could work on expanding their dialogue whether given or improvised, and intensity even in smaller areas to give a presence.

The best part about this haunt was how realistic the scenes were. Many of the props such as wood pallets were true wood pallets not a fake painting or a different material. Authenticity of the sets truly builds a haunt. In one of the last areas the use of strobes, contrasting materials and pathway to walk combined to make a very strong ending. The three used together caused slight disorientation while allowing enough light and time for a scare to occur. The biggest downfall to the sets was being able to see behind the scenes in several areas. This is not something everyone will catch but it is a bit of a letdown to lose focus on the haunt because of action behind the scenes.

13th door had a really good length. I tried to keep track and find the “13th door” which had its pros and cons. I was able to guess what the next room was, but that also made it seem shorter. The haunt did very good at not rushing my group through rooms, adjusting speed where needed. Once again that last room did an excellent job slowing me down by using strobes and a more difficult path to walk.

Overall there were the stronger and weaker points like any other haunted attraction. Several actors stood out with their intensity and improvisation while some of the more technical aspects of sets distracted me from the haunt. The consistency of the theme definitely was a strength. In the future I would recommend adding some camouflage to hide the behind the scenes areas, working on improvisation and strength throughout actors.

Pros- Acting, strobes, consistency of theme

Cons- Seeing behind the scenes, strength of actors in smaller areas

Regina Kropelnicki

The 13th Door located in Aurora, is one of two haunts at this location and you can elect to see just one or get the combo ticket to see both haunts which is a great option.

The 13th Door starts in the lobby of the hotel where my group was greeted and put into the elevator. The elevator ride is pretty fun. Once I stepped out of the elevator, I was told the tale of the hotel and it’s hauntings; I also learned about Andrew Barrington. I was wished good luck and sent off to try to find the 13th door. Throughout this entire haunt, there are some amazing sets and props, so be sure to slow down and look at it all. I could go back again and would probably see a lot that I missed originally. They did a fantastic job! They stuck to a hotel theme throughout the whole thing which was great and the rooms flowed so well.

There were a lot of disorienting parts throughout the haunt and I loved them all! From slanted floors to vortex tunnels, they really messed me up. Throughout this haunt, I was the one in front of my group. When going to exit a room to go down the hall to the next, I would stop because it seemed too dark to see where I was going and then a prop or dim light of some sort would come on enough that I could see. I thought the timing was excellent on this and I had never really seen anything like it, so I really enjoyed it.

I do wish that there were more actors and better interaction. There were several dead spots where an actor really could have helped and a lot of places where I was expecting an actor. The actors I did encounter were good, but some of them ran out of things to say if I stayed and chatted a bit too long. Some of their timing was a bit off too. I heard the characters going on about Andrew through the haunt and I could tell that they were scared of him; they were warning me that I should be too. I did end up finding the 13th door and found myself in a fenced maze of strobe lights. I do not want to spoil this part, but it is very disorienting and you should be very cautious and do not run while in here! While I was here, a girl ended up on the floor because she was running. Be cautious, follow rules and don’t run, in any haunt.  Overall, I really enjoyed this haunt. I think more actors would definitely help, but the set and props alone are worth going to see. They really did an amazing job on this set.

Pros- Amazing set, disorienting, hotel theme/backstory

Cons-Needs more actors with better interaction and timing

3184 S. Parker Road (I-225 & Parker Rd.)
Aurora, CO.
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October 3rd – November 2ndSunday-Thursday  7pm-10pmFriday & Saturday  7pm-Midnight
On a very cold October night, John Barrington a wealthy Denver Millionaire was throwing his annual All Hallows Eve party in the Barrington Hotel’s Penthouse suite.Andrew Barrington, John’s nephew, had a terrible gambling problem. Specifically, he was a terrible gambler. He owed lots of money to a lot of shady people. Many of them had grown tired of Andrew’s empty promises and were demanding that he make good on his debts or there would be severe consequences. Andrew went to his uncle’s hotel, desperately seeking his Uncle’s help. His Uncle, more Scrooge than benefactor, refused his pleadings and had Andrew thrown out.  Andrew was driven insane by his uncle’s response.Later that evening he returned to the hotel while the party was still in full swing and blocked all the exits to the ballroom and started a fire. Rescuers and bystanders at the scene were tortured by the screams of those trapped behind the locked doors. Only once the fire was put out, was the full horror of the tragedy known. Burned bodies were found throughout the entire hotel with no sign of the killer. Only one person survived the tragedy to tell the story, and that was because he found the only unblocked door……the 13th Door.It is said you can still hear the screams of those burning alive as Andrew Barrington haunts the hotel seeking revenge on anyone who steps inside…If you want to survive you must FIND THE 13TH DOOR!