Big Top Freaks 2017


Jump to Review:

Marlena | Austin | Ryan

Scare FactorActingSets/FXLengthOverall

Marlena Baker

Big Top Freaks was a disappointment, even more so when I saw it next to Eliches’ other haunts. Clowns have never been a particular source of fear for me. Since this haunt seemed to be counting on that, rather than building up the scares well, it fell flat.

The sets were sparse, many having only one prop or effect. One was rows of hanging plastic pipe we had to push our way through, but with nothing else in there I didn’t really get the point. It didn’t seem to match theme or all that scary. They did stay on theme for the most part, with a hall of mirrors and such, but the sets didn’t have much impact. I did like the balloons, but that was because of how the actors used them.

The actors would take the balloons and rub them, making that god awful screeching noise. It was great for unnerving us, and when they popped them I jumped. Overall, they had good intensity, but there weren’t near enough of them. I barely saw any throughout the haunt. Many sparse rooms could have been saved by an actor.

The whole experience just wasn’t exciting. The things that this haunt is doing well are just aren’t enough. There were too many dead spots and blank rooms. Now, part of the issue is probably that I was at the end of a large group. They sent us through with two other groups, and since we were at the end I definitely saw effects and actors resetting more often than I got scares. We did not have the option to go through alone. Sending so many through without accounting for the groups size is a big problem to me, as it leaves some customers unable to experience the haunt at all.

Austin Metzler

Nothing is more fun than visiting a theme park during Halloween.  Screams and the smell of funnel cakes fill the air. Its just like going to the carnival, but Elitch Gardens has something more sinister in mind, Big Top Freaks.

Big Top Freaks has some good startles. Some come from unexpected places and props while others come from actors. The whole time you walk through this experience there are unique props to look at, allowing the actors to deliver a great scare.  While traversing through your journey creepy music echoes through the halls.  This haunt is not a simple walk through the park, or circus in this case.

Big top freaks has some very unique sets and props.  There are some often used props in other haunts that are shockingly different here.  It is always a joy for me when a haunt uses a vortex tunnel, they are just so much fun to walk through.  There are some creative rooms in here, some that I have not seen in a haunt before.  The actors also use unique props to deliver the scares.  I also liked some of the animatronics scattered throughout the haunt.  The fog and lighting effects are great too, with fog so thick you can barely see.

What is a circus without clowns? Well, it seems that there is no shortage at Big Top Freaks.  Every corner you turn there is a creepy clown waiting to pounce.  The actors in this haunt use the space well.  Some just creep around while others are pouncing on you.  The talent also does a great job of using props for scares. After experiencing this haunt I can understand why so many people have a fear of clowns.  The makeup and costumes are great too, there is a lot of attention to detail.  This haunt is a little on the short side, but is a great haunt for first timers or as a warm up haunt before No Vacancy.

Pros: great use of balloons, great fog and lighting

Cons: groups are a little too large, some un-themed spaces

Ryan Acker

Big Top Freaks is the third and final Haunted Attraction at Elitch Gardens. Third children are always the ones who get the hand me downs, which is what I feel the case was for this haunt.

We were joined together with two other groups before entering the haunt and my group was the last in line. During my journey inside this big top, the majority of what I experienced was a plethora of clowns of all shapes and sizes running around laughing in fog and lights. This haunt is set up in the bath area of the water park and never really gave me that circus vibe. Honestly, I never really picked up on any vibe. Many props didn’t make sense and some we didn’t even get to see, as the animatronic was triggered for the girls 4 people ahead of us, and was already reset by the time we approached. From what we did see, the prop that stood out was a large egg head type doll that sat simply in the corner. I was ready for it to pounce! So creepy.
In all honesty, the simplicity is the saving grace for this haunt. It is quite unnerving having clowns laughing and honking their honkers at us in a room filled with fog, sheets, and lasers. The lighting and dim atmosphere made the chainsaw man’s silhouette appear demonic and monstrous as he fired up his weapon. If you’re afraid of clowns, this haunt would definitely scare you. But if you’re looking for terror, go to Seance or No Vacancy.

Pros: Lighting, Disorienting effect

Cons: Too large of groups, minimal acting, lots of empty space

2000 Elitch Circle

Denver, CO. 80204

September 29th – October 29th  (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.


Fright By Night haunted attractions are recommended for ages 12 and older.