Haunted Mines 2014

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

Scare FactorActingSets/FXLengthOverall
Kris1010101010
Alex1010101010
Jason8810109
Peyton888108.5
Marlena109.510109.875
Kennedy889108.75
Regina9910109.5
Overall9.008.939.5710.009.38

Kris Kropelnicki

The Haunted Mines has done it again!! This haunt located in Colorado Springs has outdone themselves and the results are astounding! The entire haunt, inside and out, has received a face lift and the changes all flow together seamlessly to create an experience unlike anything I’ve seen before.

Located at the Western Museum of Mining and Industry, the haunt is built and run by an all volunteer charitable organization; they raise money for the museum and other charities as well. The crew does a fantastic job with every aspect of this haunt and the fun starts the minute you arrive.

This year there is a side attraction to entertain guests while waiting to go into the haunt called, “Cyclops Dome”. It is an inflatable dome/ride simulator that plays and animated film, “Frankenstein 3D – Awaken the Monster”. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I quickly found out as the movie started and I was brought face to face with a sleeping Frankenstein on his laboratory slab. The monster is awakened and he is not one bit happy about it! Frankenstein flies into a rage and begins chasing guests through what else? Old mine shafts! What a perfect complement to the Haunted Mines!

As Frank smashed his way through the mines I was taken on a fun, thrilling ride, rollercoaster style in my ore cart as I attempted to escape.

There is an additional fee for this experience but it is nominal and worth every penny! This is one cool experience and a great way to kick off the night!

Once I finished up at the Cyclops Dome I made my way over to the Haunted Mines entrance, ready to begin my descent into terror. In spite of it being pretty late, there was still a decent sized line. My advice: come early in the season and in the evening, these guys get packed the closer it gets to Halloween. They are worth any wait there may be!

The Haunted Mines is a very experiential haunt that is physically demanding, so please be prepared for all manner of physical activity. I was very challenged physically, (Broken ankle in walking boot), but also mentally with their challenging obstacles and extremely confining spaces. I really enjoyed the fact that I not only experienced some awesome jump scares but also the slow buildup scare which is my favorite. It’s nice to be allowed to let my mind wander, and then run away with itself. The slow pace in some areas coupled with dark, eerie sets made me wonder what might be there in the dark with me. When nothing jumped out at me initially, I began to wonder when it was going to happen. Each step raised my fear to uncomfortable levels and I began feeling a deep sense of dread that was creeping through my veins like ice water. When the actors did make their move, it was calculated and precise, very subtle and that was all it took because I had already scared myself quite a bit and the actors timing pushed me over the edge. I really loved the psychological aspects and the way they played upon common fears and phobias to get genuine scares.

While I did run into a couple of actors that didn’t have the intensity level of their peers, (It was late, crew was exhausted) they still did a good job in their scene. I had a brief chat with the ghostly girl in the library; she engaged me but wasn’t quite as creepy as I would have liked. Dim the lighting in here, lean down, whisper something sinister in the ears of patrons as they pass by and it will have them crying for their mothers.

Overall, acting was excellent and the majority of actors rose above and beyond the call of duty to deliver incredible, believable performances that sent chills down my spine. Actors’ timing was perfection and they seemed to be tuned into every person that came through, knowing exactly what to do to get the scare and when to do it. The timing was impeccable! Excellent job everyone!

Costuming and makeup were also done very well and were well suited to the scene the actors were in which added to the overall authenticity and scares.

Set design is incredible to say the least! The Haunted Mines are rich in details, including the ground I was walking on in the mines; it was rocky, uneven and challenging to navigate in the dark places, just as I would expect mine shafts to be. The mine shafts have been redone with new textures and surfaces everywhere that added so much realism I forgot where I was several times. Especially in the elevators! What a wild trip down into the mines! The old mine style lanterns hanging from the walls was a great touch, especially because the wiring looked like it may be on its way out and the fear of a fire starting in an old mine was very real in spite of the fact that I knew I was in a haunt and not a dangerous mine shaft. The little details are what fueled a full suspension of disbelief and that really sold it to me. There’s an old mining town with a saloon and the barkeep and waitress were diabolically hospitable which made me want to get out of there.

While you’re going through town you may just meet up with the local undertaker and get sized for and old toe pincher casket

There’s a lot to be seen within the walls of the haunt and if you don’t slow down a bit you will miss one of the most incredibly detailed haunts around.

Length is perfect! Not too short, not too long…just the right amount of length to be able to see and experience everything there is to see at this haunt.

I highly recommend this haunt as one of my top three haunts both in and out of Denver and the Front Range. It has everything a true enthusiast looks for in a haunt and it just keeps getting better and better as the years go on!! Don’t miss this one!!

Pros: Excellent Sets, acting and scare

Cons: It ends

Alex Gallegos

In the immortal words of Olyvia Newton-John, “Let’s get physical, physical. I wanna get physical.”

Before you click away thinking this is “one of those websites,” allow me to explain. Denver has spoiled most of us here at Spooky Colorado. We’re used to haunts that one can pretty much casually stroll through, with solid ground and easy pathways, often indoors. Occasionally a haunt is outdoors, leading to some uneven terrain and rocky paths, and at worst, we’re in a cornfield the day after it’s snowed, leading to muddy ground that you sink up to your shins in.

Haunted Mines must think that’s cute. Haunted mines must point and laugh at the average path through a Denver haunt. If you’re going in (and you most definitely should, don’t take this as a disparagement in any way), you’d better be prepared to get off your butt and move. This is a long haunt – my FitBit recorded 1100 steps between the time I arrived and the time that I left – and if you think you’re just in for a nice stroll, you’ve got another think coming. Before you get out of there, you’ll have climbed up a steeply inclined rock wall and back down the other side, squeezed you way through tiny narrow passages with your face up against the walls, climbed over fallen and collapsed support struts, and crawled on your hands and knees through what feels like 30 miles of chimney passages.

Now, in case you’re thinking that’s not the kind of thing you can do, I’m an out-of-shape computer nerd and one of our other team members has a screwed up ankle, and we both made it through alive, so you haven’t got any excuse.

In addition to being the most physically grueling haunt out there, though, the Haunted Mines is just plain good. There are effects in there that I’ve never seen the like of anywhere else, and from the moment you grab onto the handle inside the elevator that will drop you down into the mine, you actually feel as if you’ve descended down to the center of the earth. The mine looks appropriate and authentic, like it really could be a place where mining happened before it went absolutely bonkers (and considering the site is at the same location as the Mining Museum, it’d be a surprise if the whole thing wasn’t extremely accurate). The rock walls, the steps, the wiring and piping, all feel totally real, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that a lot of it actually is real.

You just can’t buy authenticity like this – literally can’t. Anyone trying to replicate an experience like this one from beginning to end with access to a Wal-Mart and 10,000 square feet of plywood painted black is doomed to fail. There’s a certain level of quality and detail that can only be achieved with real, quality materials, and this qualifies, by far and away.

There’s no end of cool stuff to see as you wander through the mine and then escape into the surrounding township, from saloons and houses to traveling gypsy bands, and the actors do a fantastic job selling their scenes, to the point that I’d really started to get drawn in by a few of them. And keep in mind, my suspension of disbelief is high. Really high. Steve-Urkel’s-Waistline-high. My suspension of disbelief is like a suspension bridge. Of disbelief. Don’t believe me? THAT’S HOW GOOD IT IS!

If you want to see all the wonderful things that Colorado Springs has to offer this season – and really, why wouldn’t you? – then you had better plan a trip down to the Haunted Mines before your Halloween season comes to a close for another year. And since you’re going anyway, check out the rest of the town – the whole place is like a slice of fried gold this year.

Pros: Best natural set design, really feels like I’m underground, most physically interactive haunt of the year hands-down.

Cons: You will be exhausted by the time you get out – plan to end your night of haunting here

Jason Peterson

This haunt steps up their game every season! The property is massive with gigantic trees and enormous pieces of old mining equipment all over the property. It’s real dark out tonight and the Mines are echoing with the screams and shrieks of patrons! Lots of time and effort went into the beautiful garden just outside of the entrance to the Mines. I love the horror movies playing on the big screen while awaiting our doom! It’s always nice to be entertained while waiting.

This haunted house is an adventure from the word go! Elevator rides down dark dirty mine shafts, rock climbing through very small spaces! This haunt is so original in its entire approach to haunting. Let’s talk high tech gadgets too! I noticed a small LCD screen mounted in several areas of this attraction. They had timers counting down to zero, and that would mean our group could now advance to the next area. I loved this idea and am interested to learn more about the system and how it works. I would like to add some advice to actors in these areas. Try and keep after your groups until that timer goes off. I sat and watched one count down, with an actor. Maybe even hide them a little better so the customer can’t see how much time remains. I do like the idea; I think it could help with traffic flow.

Acting this season was very good and the costumes and makeup were fantastic. The set detail is just amazing. You spend a good amount of time outside the mines as well. One of my favorite sets is a creepy man made forest. This set feels like a scene from middle Earth! The set changes outside a few times but the wooded portion is my favorite.

I like animation when used in a unique way. They definitely did just that! The monster crashing through the ceiling was no easy task. Beautiful use of a mechanical monster! The mine ride in the horizontal chamber is an amazing addition to this fun filled haunt. I still really enjoy the portion that you have to crawl. The actress in here gave me a good startle!

The Cyclops Dome was another small feature we checked out before going to the mines. Its a small air filled dome, The dome cranks out an amazing short film! we watched Frankenstein and it was very impressive. The seats move along with the screen and the sound is killer! This is an additional charge so bring a little extra cash!

Pros- Authentic setting,very Original

Cons-I live in Denver!

Peyton Lucero

The Haunted Mines is always an exciting time! Just walking up and seeing all the architectural structures of the old mining location makes me thrilled to see what’s in store for me on the other side. My eyes end up catching a new excitement that I’ve never seen before. It was called the Cyclone Dome and might I say, it was quite an exhilarating ride! You will definitely want to save some money for this crazy sideshow. The facade of the haunt was beautiful! It really took me into an old western, run down mine environment. As I stand and wait in the queue line, I’m entertained by the enormous movie screen facing my way while it was playing some awesome horror movies.

We enter a rickety looking wooden elevator that brings us down into the dark and eerie mine tunnels. Through these twists and turns of hallways, I experienced all kinds of obstacles that made me crawl, squeeze, and climb, just so I could get to my next destination. It wasn’t easy making it through these obstacles while actors were coming at me through the tight & dark corridors. The scares in here were not bad. Most actors had some good dialogue and did a good job at staying in character. There were many characters roaming throughout the haunt, lots of dead & beaten miners, silly clowns, tree dwellers and more! There was an awesome bar scene that I came across, gorgeously detailed to the max, and upon entering it, I was greeted by the owner of this bar and his mistress.  They both had some sinful looking grins going on and eventually offered me a drink, poison on the rocks. They were fun and witty and I felt they were very interactive with the group.

The sets and props in this haunt were used very well to their advantage. I did seem to notice a little too much blank wood paneling and some just plain black as well. It seemed a little broken up from the rest of the haunt, or more so rooms that were greatly detailed. But because there were rooms with gorgeous detail and set work, it helped make up and somewhat balance the rest of the haunt. To help with filling the empty spaces, a quick rough texture over the walls would help improve the blankness and would be that much more effective on surrounding me in the Mine environment. The effect that was added to this haunt, that I thought was an awesome touch, were these stop & go monitors above the doors. It would make us wait about 10 seconds before reading go and moving us forward. Good idea on trying to maintain an even flow,

This haunt has so much to offer for your daily dose of entertainment. Movies to watch while in line so it’s not so easy to get bored, small sideshow gag (more like a small ride) to enjoy with multiple friends, and the best of the best, the haunted house itself. Don’t wear anything nice because it might just get dirty after using your entire body to travel through the mines. The length is fantastic and keeps the mind going when encountering new obstacles. This haunt is very entertaining and can definitely have a creepy feel to it at first entry. It puts me in the mood and gives me that spark of energy on always wanting to come back! If I’d do it again & again, so should you!

Pros: set work, obstacles, more than one elevator

Cons: blank wall paneling, conga lines, seemed a little short on actors

Marlena Baker

Haunted Mines stepped up their game once again this year.They really mixed things up and the new additions are off the hook. There’s some amazing effects in this haunt used to great effect.

Haunted Mines lives up to its name 100%. They did a great job giving us a variety of scenes and scares but still staying in theme. There was a variety of mining tunnels, machinery, and the mining town. As I squeezed, climbed, and crawled through the tunnels I started to feel very closed in and claustrophobic. It’s chilling to feel as though I couldn’t run if something came after me. It kept me very immersed in the chilling atmosphere. That atmosphere is key to this haunt. They put a lot of work into making sure that I felt like I was really down in the mines, cut off from the world. They didn’t just have me walk into a room and pretend I was underground; they have a wicked elevator to take us down into the depths and disorient us along the way. The acting in the mine was well done, with the actors creeping me out or startling me as we cautiously made our way through, right where I didn’t want to be trapped with a homicidal miner. The only comment I have for the mines is the lights. I love the idea of using the colors to set some mood lighting, but I think the atmosphere would be improved if some of them were regular lights, flickering, threatening to go out at any minute. Beyond that the mines were perfect and one of my favorite things. Ever.

Then there’s the mining town. It is so cool that I could look through windows into buildings, letting me glimpse scenes, building up the anticipation. The depth that the town has is out of this world. There was everything I could want from a haunted town. The town was where we really got the big acting component. Where the mine had the quiet crazies, the town’s cheerful insane were happy to chat. The dialogue was fantastic. I love that they had solid characters because that gave them a lot of room to improve with us and they didn’t miss a beat. These actors also did a lot to help the flow of visitors. With all the awesome obstacles and great effects comes some inconsistency in how quickly groups move through the haunt. The actors did their best to separate out groups so we could all get the full experience.

Haunted Mines has to be one of the most interactive haunts I’ve been to. I love the obstacles and the elevators; they add so much immersion to the haunt. However, they wouldn’t have the effect that they do without the amazing tunnels and sets between them to keep the illusion alive. Add in the great acting and what we have is one very well rounded haunt.

Pros: Amazing atmosphere, Interactive obstacles, great acting
Cons: Group clumping

Kennedy Horstmeyer

Haunted Mines is a very different type of haunted house. It truly holds the theme of being in mines with obstacles, scenes and moving props.

The scare factor in this haunt is pretty good. Definitely got several jumps and the use of certain props had me a little scared for what was happening. To improve scare factor use actors, but I think making this haunt scary would ruin the theme. In this haunt you are put into several props to go to the next scene and I found myself most scared at these points because you don’t experience that type of transitions in haunted house normally.

Acting wasn’t bad by any means, they stayed in character, interacted and moved with you in several scenes. I would like to see a few of the actors get into character more even for the brief time you walk past them. One of my favorite actors was in an old western scene who asked a question to fit his role and interacted until a suitable answer was given. This interaction made the scene memorable and fed into the theme rather than we just being allowed to walk through. Another actor that truly stood out followed us through the large scene, blended in and made such strange noises that worked so well with his character.

Oh my, are the props and scenes unique and fun in this haunt. They all relate to the theme of a haunted mine in some way. I loved how in most areas there were actual spider webs it added to the dark, underground areas. All the props were very realistic with older wood, webs, dirt, the outdoors. Some of my favorite props were something that we got into, and moved like we were miners going to work down the shaft. The best part of the haunts was the obstacle course. You didn’t just walk through at times you were climbing, crawling, squeezing through areas.
The length of this was excellent. The theme itself gave a slower pace through the haunt and the obstacles made the haunt seem longer. I would not change the length in any way, making it longer would be stretching the theme and shortening it would take away from the haunt.

Overall the haunt was fun and unique. I loved the obstacles, and consistency throughout the haunt. Improvements could be made with the actors, and keeping groups more separate.

Also at the location of the Haunted Mines is a small attraction called Cyclops Dome. It is a blow up dome where you sit inside and are immersed into a scenario. We experienced it as an object that Frankenstein was after. The chairs you sit in moved around giving the feel that you were on a roller coaster, going down and dropping large amounts. This was such a fun attraction and is definitely family friendly.

Pros- authenticity, obstacles, consistent theme
Cons- scariness, some actors, separating groups a little more

Regina Kropelnicki

Haunted Mines is like nothing I have ever seen before and I loved it! The set and design was perfect! I had so much fun throughout it this entire thing. I loved the “elevator rides” you had to take throughout the haunt. They are far from your usual gentle elevator rides and will have you wanting to hold on for dear life…only there’s nothing to hold on to. Toward the beginning of the haunt ,you even have an old miner put you onto a metal “mine cart” and escort you through to the next part on it, so fun! I noticed through the haunt that when you get to certain areas there are signs telling you to wait for the green light before entering the next part and I thought this was so unique and such a good idea! This haunt is full of such fun obstacles. It made me feel like I was truly in a mine. From rock climbing, to having to squeeze in between walls that zig zagged, and getting on my hands and knees to crawl through a very narrow crawl space, it definitely made me feel claustrophobic, but was so fun at the same time. The acting in here was great! There were a few times where actors felt to be a little sparse, but  I think the feeling of being dropped in an old abandoned mine alone worked so good! I think I almost preferred the lack of actors as it kept me on edge throughout the haunt wondering if I was going to come across an old crazy miner. The atmosphere was great and I really began to get lost in it. I really enjoyed entering the old saloon in here. It was not scary, but it was so neat. I encountered a male and female actor in the saloon and you are greeted by the male like you are an old best friend he hadn’t seen in years, so welcoming. He asked us to pick our poison and he wasn’t kidding. You will not get your usual Jack and Coke in here, but you could definitely order a shot of cyanide if you’d like to. The girl in here didn’t say anything. I found it to be a bit creepy and thought maybe it’s because she was scared of the male who was trying to poison us all. He was very fun, witty, and quick on his toes the whole time we were in the saloon. Great job! This haunt is a great length. Long enough that it is worth your money, but it doesn’t drag on with a bunch of dead spots either. The flow of this haunt was a bit off as we kept catching up to the group in front of us and the group behind us stayed on our trail the entire time and didn’t back off. It definietely takes away from the scare factor and makes it hard on the actors when they have a conga line of people coming through or groups back to back and can’t set up for their next scare. Other than groups getting combined, I really truly loved this haunt! It is so unique! I cannot wait to come back next year and do it all again!

Pros-So unique, great atmosphere, obstacles

Cons-Flow of groups

ADDRESS:
225 North Gate Blvd
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80921
PRICE:
  • $18 Reg / $25 VIP
  • $13 Reg / $20 VIP Discount Days (Sept. 19, 20, 26, 27, Oct. 2, 3, 4, 9)
DATES/HOURS:
Sept 19, 20 – 8 PM t 10 PMSept 26, 27 – 8 PM until lines die downOct 2, 3, 4 – 7:30 PM until lines die downOct 9, 10, 11 – 7:15 PM until lines die down

Oct 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, Nov. 1 – 7 PM until lines die down

NOTES:

We’re 100% charitable

We are 100% volunteer and 100% non-profit. None of our staff is paid nor earns any income from what we do. We’re here to raise money to keep WMMI operating and to donate to local charities, while having fun doing it!

PREVIEW:
Well, story goes that this used to be one of the most productive and successful mines in the Rockies. It was owned by a man named Jeremiah McDygut, the ‘Richest Man of the West.’ Why, that man had more money than a blizzard has snow. There was only one problem: He was greedy. Men with that much gold usually are. He started getting paranoid, thinkin’ the miners were stealin from ‘im, smugglin gold out in their stockings, depreciatin’ the McDygut Mines’ value.So supposedly, he drew out plans for a new shaft, one that was supposed to lead to the Sanford vein — a large vein of nearly pure gold — but actually led to a large drift filled with explosive methane gas. Once they hit it, the entire place exploded, killing all the miners. To cover his tracks, he hired a rescue team to go down and try to find the missing workers. Once they were down inside, he collapsed the mine, killing everyone inside. All evil like.Yessir, he was in the clear — got a cartload of insurance money, too, which he put toward the reopenin’ of the mine — a solo effort, nat’rally. But then strange things started happ’nin. His house started makin strange noises, things started to change places for no reason…. Equipment kept failing, breakin’ down. The nearby shacks where the miners used to sleep caught on fire, then put themselves out. Yessir, it was one peculiar circumstance. But he persevered, even installing a “state of the art” 1300 foot Descender Hoist, the largest fastest man-bearing mining elevator of its time — (Y’all will see it shortly). He was ready for reopenin’.

It was the grand re-openin’ — just about 169 years ago, to this day. He was about to take the newspapermen down the 1300 feet to show them his amazing progress. He stepped onto the hoist, big grin on his face, when it all went wrong. Lights flickered, circuits started shorting out, and then, from the depths of the shaft, came a ghastly moan, the moan of a thousand dead men coming back for revenge. The doors to the lift slammed shut, trapping Jeremiah inside. The gears kicked into motion, slowly lowering him down. Terrified, McDygut hit the “Emergency Stop” button, but the hoist just started speeding up. He kept pressin it, but it dropped faster, and faster, and faster until…. Well, y’all can imagine what happens when a 2-ton elevator drops 1300 feet and then hits rock bottom.

The Colorado territory legislature decided to close the mine, due to it’s “hazardous” nature. But every thirteen years, they passed the deed down the McDygut line, as was law. This has happened thirteen times, it has, and it is now the property of Mr. Steve McDygut, proprietor of this establishment. He petitioned to re-open it for charity work; the state allowed it. So far, it’s been doin pretty well; the lift’s only broken down twice. But there’s still some question as to the population of the mines…. You may find that y’all aren’t the only ones down there.

Continue to the McDygut Journal

  • Drakmor

    Wow. After reading the reviews for this haunt I couldn’t believe that a haunt could be what was described. But I was wrong. Arriving shortly before sunset. My friend and I walked up on the wrong side, getting a accidental walk around of the haunt. Seeing the footprint I thought that it would be extremely short. The sets were amazing. I really felt that I was underground. The hellivator was extremely unique. I have never climbed, crawled, and squeezed through so many things in my life. The actors played their roles flawlessly, I especially liked the zombies and clowns with their extreme energy. The length was also a lot longer than I expected, with the tunnels that you crawl through seeming th run the entire haunt. I never scream at haunts, but I actually screamed twice, and the final scare had me cowering in the corner. When I finally made it through my hand was covering my mouth, still in shock and awe about how epic the journey was. I highly recommend traveling to Colorado springs not only for this haunt, but the other 3 haunts in Colorado springs. It truly is the promised land of haunts. Acting:8. Sets:10 Length:10 overall:10