Ghouls Gulch 2014

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

Scare FactorActingSets/FXLengthOverall

Kris Kropelnicki

WOW!!! That’s it, that’s my review. WOOOOOOOOOOW!!!! Do I need to say more? I do? Okay, I don’t know how I could ever do this haunt justice with merely the written word, but I’ll try. This is one amazing haunt in Colorado Springs that has a little bit of everything that meshes together to create one incredible thrill ride that doesn’t stop, even after you have come out.

The scare factor is well earned here with a theatrical mix of amazing actors and incredible sets that are combined to create sheer perfection. Scares were fast and furious and I got hit with one after another after another. There was hardly time to catch my breath in between scares and the end result was dizzying and mind boggling. The creativity flows like water here and there are things going on that haven’t been seen in a haunt here before and the presentation took me on a journey into terror I’d never been on before. If you enjoy being scared, this is a great place to get your scare on and get it on GOOD!!

Acting here is second to none with some very intense performances that led me to believe that some of the actors I encountered truly were deranged and this was not an act I was witnessing. I caught myself inching closer to my fellow critics in an effort to preserve my sanity and safety. There’s safety in numbers, right? I didn’t feel very safe in spite of being with my group. The acting is completely off the chain and every single actor did an outstanding job in the role they were in. Very well done everyone!

The set design here is AHHHHHHHMAZING!!!! From the moment I stepped inside and felt the floor and the real world begin to slip away I was in awe over the details that went into this haunt. Nothing was left untouched and just when I thought I had found an empty spot or an area that lacked details and activity I found out quickly I was dead wrong. There is something happening in every nook and cranny here and the overall effect is stunning!! This is truly a work of art that begs and screams to be seen. Giant snakes, water effects, moving floors, plants that truly are man eaters and furniture that is not as innocuous as it appears at first glance are a few tiny details of this haunt. Don’t do yourself the great injustice of rushing through or covering your eyes. If you do, you’ll miss out on sets that rival a Hollywood production and have to be seen and experienced to be believed. I can’t possibly list them all and I wouldn’t want to for fear of giving it all away. Get down to the Springs to see what I mean.

The length is absolutely perfect for what lurks inside and each room or walkway takes another twist so that just when you think it’s over, it’s not. The pace is well timed and it allows visitors to walk at a speed that allows every detail and performance to be taken in and savored, not rushed.

There is so much going on here that a review simply can’t do it justice, you really have to see it for yourself. When you go, make sure to stop by their sister haunt, Sanitarium 3D, the Von Critter Experience and the All Girl Paranormal Society for even more creepy fun! This is one stop fun all in one great location!! DON’T MISS THIS!!

Pros: Acting; Sets; Costuming

Cons: It ends…sadly it ends.

Alex Gallegos

According to the statistics page on our site, a good chunk of our readership comes from the Denver metro area, and that’s not a particularly surprising statistic when you think about it. Most of the haunts we list are in Denver, with only 4 down in Colorado Springs, meaning a mere 20% of the haunts represented on are from down south. So there’s a good chance, if you’re reading this, that you’re in Denver. You’re looking at reviews, planning where to go on a Friday night to get scared, twiddling the strings on your Rockies hoodie between your fingers as you read.

That’s probably not what you’re wearing right now but if made even one person look over their shoulder in fear, then I’ve done my job. Either way, you might be thinking if you want to go to the Springs or not. Would it be worth it? It’s like two hours away by car… that’s something like $500 worth of gas, right? Should I do it, or just hang here?

…WELL WHAT THE HELL KIND OF QUESTION IS THAT?! Do you think I’d have scored the haunt perfect 10s if you shouldn’t go? If you’ve read my other reviews from the Springs, you’ll know that there’s nothing that we saw down there this year that isn’t awesome, so you could easily do the same as the critics team and make a road trip out of it, seeing several things while you’re there.

But enough generalization… what is it about this haunt that’s so spectacular? Since “Everything” isn’t a viable answer, or at least not one that I can squeeze 500 words out of, I’ll have to settle for a few highlights.

Ghoul’s Gulch takes their guests through a variety of different, creepy scenes, and all of them are very well executed. There wasn’t any place where I felt like the scare was tacked on or phoned in. Everything from beginning to end is on point, perfectly timed, and just waiting for you to come through so it can scare the pants off you. This place runs like a well-oiled machine, and the actors hit every mark, every time, something that a lot of haunts don’t get right.

The actors did a good job of engaging us as we went through and holding our attention and interest all the way through their scenes. All too often other places, it’s easy to dismiss an actor after their initial startle. Not so here – the actors commanded attention.

I’ve seen good setwork a lot of places around town – several haunts have Hollywood-level set design, so usually it’s only something to write about if it’s not done well, but I have to make special mention of the outdoor areas. Most haunts do a really poor job of creating outdoor areas. Usually the only way that it gets done at all is to actually put the thing outside. It’s hard to make someone believe you could really be in a graveyard or a forest when they can see drop ceiling and see what are clearly unlit Christmas trees. This haunt solved all those problems by putting their outdoor scenes in the largest rooms and using layering to both separate people from the outer perimeter of the building and to create a sense of scale, that there was more to the area above and beyond what you could readily see. Short of putting some LED stars and a huge artificial moon in the room, I can’t think of a way to improve on this effect – and hell, they may have already had one and I was just too engrossed in the cool stuff around me to notice it.

Alright, that’s enough. Do it. Get in your car, drive down, and go see this haunt already!

Pros: Best outdoor feel from an indoor haunt I’ve ever seen, interesting and engaging acting scenes, props that have to be seen to be believed

Cons: It ended.

Jason Peterson

This attraction is set in a strip mall. Nestled in the corner. Very large signs with search lights and some very big monster costumes posing as statues out front. We are greeted by a very energetic stilt walker clown and a very cool monster in a silicone mask. we have two haunts under one roof in this building. We also have the Sanitarium 3D haunt on the other side of this massive building space. The Gulch is up first for my group.This haunted house has the coolest first room! It spins you to the exit door of the scene and into an amazingly detailed haunt.

The sets are so detailed and I cant get enough of that giant snake and the entire reptile area. Look closely at everything in this attraction because there is some very fine detail pretty much everywhere.No dead spots to be found! Actors had great spots to pop out for startles.

Moving floors are always fun and they stuck them in a pitch black hall! Tons of air bursts and animations firing; that always keeps you on your toes. Acting was pretty intense this season and the makeups were pretty good. Loved the Fortune Teller she was very creepy. The Actor dressed as a static prop had his timing and delivery down to a science. So many actors in this haunt with hard hitting startle scares.

I enjoyed the ending this season, it was more intense then last season. This ranks on my top list of haunts you must see! Very passionate group or artists involved in this attraction,and I look forward to next season.

Pros-Detail! Animations

Cons-Its in the Springs

Peyton Lucero

As I enter through the skull pile passage way, I am set forth upon a rotating floor with a dark, catacomb feel surrounding my body. As I’m rotating, a dark voice rises to explain the rules. After, a secret door opens and spits us out into the tombs.

We enter this underground lair filled with stones and architectural structures with what feels like would be creatures of the night lurking around us. The entire setting and theme of the haunt flowed very smoothly, which made me feel like I was in for quite a joy ride. There was certainly way too much going on in order for us to focus on everything! The actors in these amazing sets were loaded with energy, constantly trying to get in my face and pushing there way in to destroy my comfort zone. Even though I did see quite a few actors with little to no make up on, the acting itself was very intense and directed right at me. Some actors just kept going with their dialogue and wouldn’t give up until we were completely out of the room. Now that’s what I call dedication!

It tends to be a little distracting and hard sometimes to become frightened when the actor who is scaring me looks like an innocent, lost human instead of a blood thirsty, insane killer or creature. A lot of the actors though, did their best at being scary and intimidating when it came down to it. Masks are not really my thing, but they do tend to help out when there’s no time to add make up. If there happens to be time , even a quick cotton and latex build up to add quick cut wounds would be helpful and more effective with the scare.

The detail that’s put in this haunt is incredible! The props and animatronics they used to fill the rooms flowed with the haunt and balanced out the sets perfectly. There were no blank walls to be found! In fact, some of the rooms were so detailed they felt like they would never end. Just to give a little visual, one of the things I experienced was a room with plants, flowers (not the good kind), and vines all over and even some that were mutating. Really took me into their world. That room was awesome! The little boy who played the son in the living room was believable and the make up and costume looked great. Awesome imagery and gorgeous set work.

Ghouls Gulch is a fantastic haunt that is filled with amazing sets, animatronics, and props! It’s a good length and the scares in here just might startle you. Oh, might I add that there’s another haunt right across the hall. That’s right, but you’ll just have to find out yourself what it is. Watch out for the looney bin clown that hops around squeaking her toy and the creature who runs through the halls with his face all torn to pieces, while he’s snarling with his razor sharp teeth! Also, be on the lookout for reptiles wandering through the areas of the que line, and don’t forget to visit the awesome Dr. Von Kitcsh with his interesting background stories of his creatures!

Pros- sets, acting, entertainment

Cons- no make up, some dialouge, some costumes

Marlena Baker

Ghoul’s Gulch takes some of the classic haunted house themes, swamps and cannibals, and does them really well. Even facade at the entrance to the haunt is classic, but better. The entrance looks like real stone, with several skulls moving above the door. The animation really added to the creep factor. That same vibe followed me through the whole haunt.

The sets were hands down my favorite part. There was a good variety of sets, but they maintained the same level of detail and the same atmosphere throughout. In the swamp parts they did a great job of using the foliage to cover the walls, hiding any indication that we were even indoors. By layering the props it made the space seem like it went beyond what we were seeing. The used the plants to hide away the animatronics too, having them pop out of what seemed like just another dark corner. One of my favorite elements was the water effects. Out in the swamp I was sprayed with water several times, which fit the scene really well. As we entered the cannibal’s house, it really felt like we were moving from outside to inside. Subtle details like walking from cement to the rugs in the house helped the illusion a lot. Inside the house I found there were a few props that seemed out of place. I think they could have been used to greater effect elsewhere. Something that I rarely talk about in haunts in the transitions. In so many haunts there’s just a sheet of plastic or black fabric separating one room from another. I loved how Ghoul’s Gulch used the transitions as props. Bloody plastic and draping barbed wire kept the tone consistent between rooms.

The creative building didn’t stop there. They built in some fantastic hiding spots for their actors. The swamp men seemed to come out of nowhere. They were sneaky and subtle, full of terrifying noises. Inside the house a lot of the actors were residents of the house, not trying to hide from us. They just dished out the crazy, which made it all the more shocking when some jump scares came out of nowhere. I won’t tell you what or where, but some of the furniture came to life, quite literally. It scared me half to death! When they weren’t wearing masks the makeup on the actors wasn’t as polished as it could have been. It was very noticeable and didn’t seem real to me sometimes. All it needs is some refining so it’s a bit more subtle. Still, the acting itself didn’t suffer one bit. The actors were sometime loud, sometimes quiet, but they all had a good intensity to them. The very first actress we encountered was completely silent, but the way she stared at us creeped me out.

Overall, I liked Ghoul’s Gulch. There are a few things that I feel could use refining, but I’m seriously nit picking. The haunt was eerie, well fleshed out, and well staffed. I enjoyed it immensely. If you’re looking for a more classic haunt theme done really well, this is the haunt for you. There are lots of good scares to be had.

Pros: detailed sets, acting, good animatronics

Cons: makeup needs refinement

Kennedy Horstmeyer

Ghouls Gulch has detail, intensity and animatronics like crazy. There is never a dull moment just a break in the high intensity to allow thinking time. Throughout the haunt there are many new ideas that are unexpected. The whole way through it is an up and down off intensity to overwhelm then settle and build for the next high intensity piece.

The scares in this haunt were never a pee your pants go screaming but constant and strong. The props even created a scare for some. If you are like me and afraid of snakes then several scenes with strong animatronics will surely get you. The intensity of the actors some in plain sight others coming out from excellent hiding spots gives great startles.

The actors were amazing. They were intense where needed and more subtle at times to fit their scenes. In several rooms you do not realize there is an actor because of their costuming and placement. One of the actors who sticks out most is in plain view but their costuming conceals them until they make a quick stare and go back to their spot. After they scare you it is very hard to believe they come from where they do. Improvisation of the actors was really good, you could interact with them for more than a line and they still be in character. Some actors were stronger at improvising and building the scene for you. One of my favorites was a swamp man who come from nowhere as another prop startled you, they did not say anything, but they followed you through the scene.

What can I say about the sets? The detail, the movement, the animatronics, the authenticity is wonderful. There are various materials, props and scenes that just take time to look at and absorb. Some of the best parts are the authentic flooring, movement of floors and authentic looking blood. Each of these authentic element matched the theme adding a realistic and believable component. The animatronic props, whether snakes or claws were so real and large they gave a startle in a way. The haunt also did a good job using computer like screens to build a story.

The length of Ghouls Gulch was very good. If anything it could be a tiny bit longer just because you want to see all the detail. Each scene allowed you to slow and let your eyes wander through the room absorbing the materials, the actors, the sounds and smells. If the haunt was shorter I believe it would be difficult to give the true scares and take away from the work in sets.

This haunt could improve by masking the ceilings better. I know fire code makes it nearly impossible, but even soft lighting would draw attention away from the ceiling and back into the haunt. Other improvements is some actors getting more comfortable in their role and longer improvisation which takes time and practice.

Pros- actor intensity, animatronics, authenticity

Cons- ceiling is uncovered, comfortable in role

Regina Kropelnicki

Down in Colorado Springs, is Ghouls Gulch which is one of two haunts at this location alongside Sanitarium 3-D. I would HIGHLY recommend seeing both while you are here as it is totally worth your money! When going into the building, you will find plenty of entertainment before even going into the actual haunt. From a very fun clown on stilts to people walking around with snakes around their neck, there’s some fun for everyone.

Before getting into the actual haunt, you are put into a “spinning room” where you can feel your excitement and suspense building. You may even find a creepy friend in there. Upon entering the first room, I was immediately amazed at the set, wow! This amazement remained throughout the entire haunt. You can see how much work was put into every set, they are nearly perfect! Every room you enter is done so well, you actually begin to feel as if you are in a true haunted/deranged place. I loved looking at all of the skeletons and coffins throughout the haunt. One of my favorite rooms was the foliage room that had a very interesting hand reaching for you. The intensity and the scares seemed to be like a roller coaster ride. You’d go through a few rooms where the intensity did not let up at all, making you feel overwhelmed and scared and then it would die down for a few rooms. This worked perfect for me! It can’t be that intense in every room you enter or you become too used it and desensitized.

The actors all did such an amazing job with this and had great timing. I felt myself in fear and suspense throughout the haunt. You can’t trust anyone in here, not even the furniture! I’ve seen and had to walk through a hall of hanging heads before, but this one was excellent! Really grossed and creeped me out.

The length is perfect, it is long enough that you definitely get your moneys worth, but it does not begin to drag on too long. Overall, I really loved this haunt and would highly recommend it! It is worth the drive from the Denver metro area. I would be sure to visit both haunts while here and take a look at the other entertainment they have to offer if you are into reptiles, spiders, and scorpions! They also have some old antique mortuary supplies to check out, so neat!

Pros- Amazing set, great actors, good props

Cons- A bit of a drive from Denver

3910 Palmer Park Blvd.
Colorado Springs, CO
  • $15
  • $20 VIP
  • $26 Combo ticket for Ghouls Gulch & Sanitarium 3D
  • $35 VIP Combo ticket for Ghouls Gulch & Sanitarium 3D
September 26th-27th  7-10pmOctober 3, 4, 5, 9, 12th & November 1st. 7-10pmOctober 16, 19, 23, 26, 28, 29 & 30th  7-11pmOctober 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25 & 31st  6-Midnight
Ghouls Gulch
Ghouls Gulch is an amazing haunted house filled with surprises that include award winning actors, animatronics and special effects. In 2013 the All Girl Paranormal Society did a paranormal investigation and determined that the building that Ghouls Gulch is located in is actually haunted! Come meet the All Girl Paranormal Society (As seen on TV “My Ghost Story Caught On Camera” and in the upcoming reality show “Paranormal Encounters”) and examine the extraordinary video and photos of their Ghouls Gulch Haunted House Paranormal investigation.

  • Kris

    HAPPY HALLOWEEN Ghouls Gulch & Sanitarium 3D crew!! I wanted to share comments about your haunt and crew that were submitted by a reader to us last night. This woman came through last night with her daughter and had a great time because of your amazing staff!! Great job everyone!!!

    From Lynne:

    I want to tell what a great time i had there tonight , and thank you
    for all the help you gave my daughter and i getting in and around both
    haunted houses. Before we came there tonight we called ahead to see if
    there would be handicapped access. Not only did we get a live person to
    talk to when calling, we were told we would get any necessary help we
    needed to get a wheelchair through. Non of others we called personally
    answered the phone nor did they provide handicap access. We were guided
    through personally and also given a discount to take both tours.. all
    and all was helpful and very enjoyable. So i highly recommend your
    haunted houses to all and those with special needs. Thank you and all
    your cast for our time.

    Lynne sent us this second message today:

    I recommend that anyone who wants a good time even if they are
    disabled in wheelchair as I am go to the two haunted houses on Palmer
    Park and Academy, Ghouls Gulch & Sanitarium 3D. Everyone there was so helpful and nice. They went out
    of their way to give my daughter and myself access. We had a great time.
    We found that they were the only ones who even had or was willing to
    give us wheelchair access. So this year no one has miss out on a great
    time. Thanks to everyone who helped us.

    WAY TO GO Ghouls Gulch & Sanitarium 3D!!!!! THAT is how it’s done!!!