The Dark Side of the Abbey – Unplugged 2014

Te Dark Side of the Abbey

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Kris | Alex | Marlena

Scare FactorActingSets/FXLengthOverall
Alex K55855.75

Kris Kropelnicki

Review coming soon!

Alex Gallegos

The Unplugged experience was a lot of fun to go through, and pretty unsettling, but I was hoping for something a bit more personal out of it. According to the website, you’ll be alone, blindfolded, brought up four floors to a room where a monk once hung himself, and left to find your own way out. We all talk a lot about how hard we are to scare, but once I read the description I had to wonder if that was really the case. How scare-proof was I, really, if I didn’t have friendly allies with me? This seemed like a chance to really confront some fears in a personal and intimate way that no other haunt can allow you, and I was tingling with anticipation.

In reality, I ended up going with the entire review team in one big group. And it’s a good thing I did because I’d probably have fallen and died if it weren’t for the cooperative effort. It took all of us giving verbal directions to each other to get through, because what you find at the top is a maze. No… not a maze. An obstacle course. In the pitch black dark. You cannot see your hand in front of your face. I closed my eyes part way through the experience and didn’t bother to open them again, because it didn’t make a lick of difference. There wasn’t a single thing I could even begin to see up there. Sets and effects are hard to judge here because we never saw any, but everything we experienced was tactile instead – the buzz of a shock wall, the twang of a bungee cord as you slip through the rat’s nest of cables, the gross nastiness of a wall covered in who knows what. I’d actually be interested to see the place with the lights on some time just to know if the impression of it I built out in my head is anything like the actual room.

The acting is pretty limited, but that’s the nature of the experience – you’re meant to feel isolated rather than besieged, and the acting was subtle and creepy – fingers brushed against your cheek in the dark, whispers in your ears, that sort of thing. It’s weird and invasive, and the fact that you can’t see it coming like you can in most haunts makes the little bit that they have go a long way.

My biggest complaint is the length. I was just getting into the thing and then all of a sudden it was over, seemingly with no transition in between, no ramping down or exciting climax, just… done. Here’s the door, off you pop. I may be wrong, but my perception is that we spent more time walking up the four flights to get to the starting point, with pillow cases over our heads and a helpful guide telling us where stairs were, than we actually spent inside navigating the maze and finding the way out. And finally, I know it’s a picky thing to say, but it was hot under that pillowcase, and I would have appreciated actually being a blindfold as described instead.

So, overall, what are my thoughts? Ultimately, it gets my recommendation as something you should do, because there’s a lot here to enjoy, and it fills a unique niche in the standard October festivities, it’s just that the whole thing feels somehow shallower than was advertised. Still, I’d say it’s worth a go, and the enthusiasm and drive are there to expand to something really fantastic in future seasons.

Pros: Totally unique experience, relied on team members fully, exploits basic primal fears

Cons: Felt like it was over just as I was getting into it, more setup than there is execution, not really what’s advertised on the site

Justeen Walters – Alumni Guest Critic

Review coming soon!

Alex K – Alumni Returning Critic

I am going to keep this brief. I was expecting a whole lot more out of the the unplugged experience at Dark Side of the Abbey. We heard it was going to be an adventure of sorts, wandering through a pitch black abbey, trying to find our way out from the fourth floor. While it was pitch black inside, there just was not a whole lot to it.

We were lead upstairs wearing pillow cases over our heads,  (the one I had I could actually see through) and being lead along by holding a rope. It just took away from the possibility of fear. After reaching the fourth floor, we felt our way around slowly in the dark only to be constantly “haunted” by ghosts. It was really obvious the the only actor or two up there had night vision goggles on because of the glowing red lights.

Even after all was said and done, we were out of there within just a few minutes. It would have been nice to be able to explore a lot more or even have the option of getting lost up there. I am not saying that the unplugged was a bad idea. It has massive potential but I feel like the execution this time around was not so good. With more planning, I think this could turn into an amazing attraction.

Pros: Unique idea, lots of potential

Cons: Too short, lack of acting, not scary

Marlena Baker

The Dark Side of the Abbey Unplugged is a bit different. Instead of lots of interesting sets and actors it’s just dark. It’s pitch black the whole way through. What happens is, they put a pillowcase on your head, lead you up to the fourth floor, and then leave you there to find your way out. We went in as a group, so there was much yelling as we tried to find each other and our way out.

As far as sets go, there wasn’t much to see. We could feel quite a bit, though, especially when we ran into things. There were obstacles all through the experience. We had to climb through a web of ropes, crawl through a short tunnel, and we got in each other’s way a lot. Then there were little details that they added to the wall. One wall was slimy, which was really gross when I first came across it. There’s even a shock wall for a little surprise. I think more of those wall textures would have been nice. It throws in a little startle each time we come across a new one.

There was one or two actors with us. They helped guide us when we got too stuck and they did their best to creep us out. They would whisper around us and touch us with props, sometimes startling us but mostly just creeping us out. It’s hard to say what an actor’s role should be here, but considering how long the actor had to stay with us as we stumbled about, he should have more lines to pull from. He used very similar lines on all of us, and the same one several times on just me. He needs some more lines to work from. Something hinting about what else could be in the dark with us would be a good one.

My biggest complaint has to be length. The experience was fun, but it ended far too soon. I really hope they stick with this idea and grow it. There’s so much potential here. It needs to be refined and expanded, but they have the start of something really great. Keep up the good work.


Pros: neat concept, wall textures, obstacles

Cons: too short, needs more dialogue

2951 U.S. 50
Canon, City, CO
  • $12
  • $20 Combo ticket includes The Dark Side of the Abbey
 Every Friday and Saturday starting October 10, including Halloween  7 PM – 11 PM
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Dark side of the Abbey UNPLUGGED, isn’t like your normal haunted house. Its one that will mess with your mind. This haunted house is on the fourth floor same place that a monk hung himself!. You are guided into the Abbey blinded folded and walked from the first floor to the second floor and across the third floor up to the fourth floor. Then you will be brought to a set of doors! That is the time when your guide will take off your blindfold and you enter through the door as it closes behind you! Just then it all hits you, and you realize that you are standing in pitch black and you have to get off the 4th floor on your own. All your senses will be tested and lets just say it will be a shocking good time!!