Big Top Freaks 2016


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Marlena | Austin

Scare FactorActingSets/FXLengthOverall

Marlena Baker

Big Top Freaks is part of Fright Fest and a circus themed haunt, as the name suggests. That isn’t normally my kind of thing, but they did some things I really liked in this one.

The sets were good, generally well themed. They had balloons, stuffed animals, and a hall of mirrors. There was a giant jack in the box and easily the creepiest clown prop I’ve ever seen. It had a china doll style face and I ended up hanging back a bit to try and take it all it. It was amazing. They used strobes and fog really well, too. There was an area with neon spider webbing and a strobe and that was the most disoriented I’ve been this season. The fog rooms were also unnerving, with actors stalking us through the fog. Then there were some scenes that were darker, but also seemed to fit the haunt. One area was completely covered in flesh and they scared me good in there.

In several of the rooms they had actors dressed to blend in with the sets, and that worked really well. They got some great scares on us. The rest of the actors were somewhat hit or miss. They had some very intense actors and some that just didn’t hit the mark.

Overall it felt sparse to me. There were a number of room ms that were just dark walls with a few props, not actual scenes. It really took me out of the illusion every time. It would be great to see the haunt fleshed out more. Also we were sent through with a large group of about eight people. It made it so that a lot of the scares missed most of the group. It’s a fun haunt but it needs some work.

Austin Metzler

Hidden within the water park of Elitch Gardens lay a clown filled haunt. While waiting in the creepy closed water park, listening to creepy music, you stare at the façade with the creepy clown face at the entrance wondering what horrors await inside. Hopefully you do not suffer from claurophobia, the fear of clowns.

Walking through this haunted house it is hard to believe that this is the water park bathrooms during the rest of the season. Scares are perfectly timed and you can never tell what is coming. Clowns and circuses normally do not frighten me, but for some reason this haunt really gets under your skin. The sights and sounds are incredibly disturbing. This is a fun house of horrors that you can never escape, this haunted house is extremely disturbing.

The creepy characters throughout this experience have some amazing costumes and makeup. The timing of the scares is impeccable, they allow the suspense to build and know when to pounce. Some of the most memorable actors that I came upon were the clown in the balloon room, walking through beware of the walls, also the clowns in the strobe room did a great job of creeping up on you, you will never see them coming.

The sets within this haunt are very detailed, while not a 3D haunt some sets will have you rethinking what is real and what is not. I love that this haunt uses parts of old theme park rides, it really adds to the realism that you are walking through a creepy carnival. It’s also great to see the vortex return, it is really disorienting. There are some very unique props within this crazy circus and it is hard to tell what is real and what is not. The use of strobe lights throughout this haunt are perfectly timed, but the final room will leave you completely disoriented. I also loved how the actors interacted with the sets and props, it really made this experience fun, in a spooky way. The length of this haunt was a little short but it is amazing how well the space is used. I highly recommend paying Elitch Gardens Fright Fest a visit this Halloween season, and while you’re there step right up to experience the Big Top Freaks.

Pros: Great use of space, well designed sets, great acting

Cons: some blank or black hallways, some areas had no actors

2000 Elitch Circle

Denver, CO. 80204

September 30th – October 30th  (Weekends only)

Fridays 6-10pm

Saturdays 5-10pm

Sundays 5-9pm

Elitch Gardens Fright Fest


What’s Left When The Circus Leaves Town

Navigate through this improved creepy carnival graveyard where its inhabitants are the lowest form of entertainment… side show clowns. Explore at your own risk, just please do it quietly so as not to attract the attention of these flesh hungry clowns.