Haunted Mines 2013

Scare FactorActingSets/FXLengthOverall
Kris10910109.75
Alex1010101010
Marlena89988.5
Crystal698108.25
Jason9910109.5
Peyton8910109.25
Eric10910109.75
Overall8.719.149.579.719.29

Kris Kropelnicki

Review coming soon!

Alex Gallegos

The Haunted Mines is a popular haunt attraction year after year, and that became abundantly obvious to us when we showed up and they had so many people in line that they were prepared to close to new sales and turn us away. It’s extremely early in the season, and pulling a crowd like this so soon is indicative of some very, very nice things. I was happy to discover once I got inside that my expectations were not unfounded.

There’s a level of authenticity and excitement in the mines that you don’t really find a lot of other places, and that detail is reflected throughout the whole place, whether you’re deep in the mine shafts or in the nearby saloon or coffin shop. In fact the plethora of locations you’ll visit before your time is up at the saloon is almost ridiculously large. Most haunts are content to show you the haunted house itself. By comparison, Haunted Mines shows you the local economy, the cemetery, the courthouse, the main agricultural centers, the trade routes, most of the ocean and just a little bit of the neighboring continent. You’ll find just about everything imaginable for an old mining town here, and it all works together to make a cohesive and believable experience.

Just a few of the things you’ll encounter here: an old mining transit system running on an overhead rail, a crawl through the smelting furnaces, elevators that drop you down a huge distance in too short a time, and creepy crawlies of all varieties. There’s almost nothing appropriate to the setting that’s not represented in some way, and the things that don’t belong in a mine shaft – a circus, a dentist, a butcher’s shop, soldiers, monsters from space, etc. – are noticeably absent. The problem with a lot of places is their inability to say “No” to anything regardless of whether it fits in or not, but you can tell that someone looked at everything that was going into the haunt and made a conscious decision as to whether it fit the theme, and spaced them out accordingly.

As you all know I love an actor who can keep pace with my frantic ramblings and in this case, that was Terri, the relatively un-evil guide who popped up at one point to explain that she was searching for her soul in the nth level of hell, which was where we were all doomed to end up. “Have a nice night! Your souls are going to rot here for eternity!” she said cheerfully as she vanished around a corridor, and the chipper friendliness was more off-putting than any of the snarling rambles anyone else has presented us with all year because it was just so certain.

The best thing about Haunted Mines is that they know about believability and the suspension of disbelief, and they’ve balanced the two out against one another. They’ve opted for an over the top Halloween-o-rama in some places that makes you feel like you’re in an Evil Dead sort of movie, and a quietly detailed understatement in sections like the mine shafts that could have you believing that you’re really miles under the earth in a tunnel that, at one point, someone did some actual work in. And really, that’s all I want out of my haunt experiences, to actually experience something; to feel as if I’ve really been there rather than just going through the motions as I pass through a facade. Haunted Mines accomplishes this in heaps and you should definitely go if you have the means.

PROS: A highly believable experience from beginning to end, great acting, wonderful atmosphere both inside the attraction and out.

CONS: Might be a little too long for some guests, especially since much of the haunt is outside in a cold month, groups tend to bottleneck and catch up to each other in the maze section.

Marlena Baker

Haunted Mines has so much great stuff. I’m about to rant and rave about some of that, however, there was an issue. There were several areas of the haunt where the flow between groups was heavily disrupted. They have two intro areas now, so that when we were done with our intro we walked out right into another group. We had to hang back a bit to let them move forward and give some space between us for the actors. In the maze we had the same issue. Then again in several of the special rooms they’d put two groups in together which put us in one big group when we went to move on. If there were too many between the groups, they’d split up a group to fill the room. I found it very frustrating. If they just adjust the flow a bit, it could be a much better experience.

The sets are very realistic. Everything from the cave walls to the buildings looks real. They did a great job with this huge set. Key for me is the cohesion. They stay on theme the whole way through. Even the very start, making us take a rickety elevator down into the depths, was key to the immersion. They had a lot of moving rooms. We took a cart ride part of the way and floors dropped out from under us. Some of the unusual sections were self-propelled, though. There’s a pretty long crawling section. You can go around it if you really need to, so don’t worry if you’ve got bad knees like me. I loved the tree ‘maze’. The bare branches reaching up above us had a very creepy feel and they had an actor moving around on a platform above us, giving scares all the way through.

The actors were just as good if not better than the set. For example, the character in the intro room was funny in a psychotic way. There were a lot of characters like that. The actors were great at saying things that made us laugh and then feel like terrible people for laughing. There was a very pushy coffin sales lady. She was a lot of fun; for all that she was reusing coffins. Another stand out character was a ‘tour guide’ we had through part of the haunt. She had a great back and forth with us, telling us how she was alive, but trapped in hell. It was a great exchange. The actors all had nicely defined characters and high intensity.

The issues from the flow of people did hurt my experience, but all it did was bring an amazing experience down to a great experience. It was by no means bad. Haunted Mines has a lot going on, and it’s almost all good. I loved the way they moved us through the space in lots of different ways. It added a lot of variety to the experience. I also loved how those areas allowed for an actor to be at the start and the end, like they had just materialized. Haunted Mines is a wonderfully creepy haunt worth seeing.

Pros: amazing sets, great actors, creative movement

Cons: flow issues

Jason Peterson

Haunted Mines was sold out and let me say it was an amazing crowd with a nasty chill in the air. Rob Zombie is projected on a wall for the crowded line to rock their time away before entering the Haunted Mines! The set begins when you pull into this event. All the retired mining equipment and buildings are equally cool to see during the day but at night with October 31st drawing near it takes on an eerie feeling, like the one we used to get as kids when we crossed our trick or treat boundaries. Dark late and far from home!

The haunt starts out with one of a few insane mine shaft rides! This is a very small very violent ride! I loved every loud jolting claustrophobic moment of it! I failed to mention how entertaining and fun our conductor was. Along with his wit and costuming he really sets the tone for this adventure, and the tone is fun!

This haunt is ginormous with set after set. There were indoor and outdoor settings with few undecorated walls. Even in these black walled areas our group was assaulted from the dark corners. I think what I loved the most was the mine walls that looked and felt authentic.  Some were stone areas held with rickety looking beams, others carved rock tunnels and wooden walkways. The water features are a nice touch to these areas as well. This haunt has wood work at its finest. Facades of mining town filled the outside portions of this haunt. And the hustle and bustle of the dead fills these streets so beware.

Another favorite feature in this haunt is the section that you have to crawl. It just puts you in that uncomfortable zone that I like when I’m haunting. Oh and if elevator rides weren’t enough, this year we boarded a caged vessel that carried us across to next scene not up and down. The acting and makeup was pretty good in most areas with very original costuming. The Beast in the meat grinding room was really cool looking but he didn’t bring the nasty. If this guy goes nuts this scene is epic, but I love the scene anyway. The moving gears and spinning corpse feed my gore hunger.

Pros-Sets/ Interactive props/ Length

Cons-Dress warm, long lines

Peyton Lucero

Unloading the cars and walking to the ticket booth, I was surrounded by old historical mine buildings and architectural structures. These were some amazing pieces and the cooler part was, they are all real and are actually a part of the mining museum that’s operated during the day. The queue line was this huge cattle like run, western theme facade and it was setup fantastically. Making our way through I look at all the detail and effort that was put on just the outside and queue line itself. So I’m definitely getting pumped to see what they have in store for us. We’re waiting outside this small looking building. Inside we enter and there is a guy who is standing in our way. He stops us to tell us the rules. He was hoppy and energized and his dialogue flowed very nicely with his gig. Then we entered an old, rickety elevator and began the descent down into the Haunted Mines.

Watching the lights pass through the cracks and crevices of the shaky elevator, we scramble to find our footing and hold on for dear life because this was a ride that almost needed safety belts to strap you down. It was a great start to the haunt and the elevator was very believable. Through the rest of the journey, we encounter lots of dead miners trapped and haunting the dark mines and tunnels. Also clowns, hillbillies, crazy tree huggers, and more were spread throughout the haunt. There were tons of sets to look at, from skulls and bones embedded in the walls, with different textures on each look, to spider room and all kinds of hidden doors that like to launch people outside taverns with small ponds. Bridges lead to pathways and tree house like tree structures that had built in perches for actors to roam upon. There was a ton of eye candy to look at and most of the characters within the set were on time with their dialogue and/or scare.  I liked how each actor had their own make up and costume. It flowed very nicely throughout the scene. It was fantastic to see and feel beneath our feet, the paths changing from stairs to bridges, and tunnels. They had me twisting, turning, crawling, and tripping all over! These guys really know how to mess with your balance and knock you off your feet! That reminds me, after I got off the elevator, my body and equilibrium were definitely off balance. I was walking weird for at least a good five minutes of the haunt. That was fun and painful at some points. Ha ha.

This haunt has sets, props, animatronics, and more built through out! I thought everything was fantastic, but there were a few minor setbacks. The length of the haunt was perfect, no too long and definitely not too short,  but I thought the flow could have went a little smoother.  My group kept catching up to others and when we would stop to give a little break in between, another group would catch up to us. It was a little difficult to let the actors set up again and for us to get the show we’re supposed to see, but in the end the actors kept up no problem (for the most part), and we managed just fine. Although, there was one spot of the haunt, after the saloon scene I believe, that we ended up making a wrong turn somehow and getting turned around and confused. Maybe a bigger blockage of some kind to lead the groups in the right path would help fix that problem. There was also the maze that I felt lacked a bit of detail and energy. It kind of seemed out of place, coming from a lot of sets and detail, to black wall paneling, a couple lights, and few actors. Maybe to add more entertainment, confusion, and chaos, eventually you could make the maze look like the mining tunnels you have throughout the haunt to get that detail and confusion. You could definitely add more actors because it’s a big room. Maybe some bigger, more intimidating dudes to add to the mix would get the chaos and entertainment going. That would be pretty intense! Other than that, this haunt was a blast! The sets, detail, facades, pathways, tunnels, and more were built and operated to perfection. This haunt had you using your entire body to the max and used every opportunity to get in your comfort zone. You definitely want to come with your big girl pants on for this haunt because you will be getting down and dirty from start to finish!

Pros- set design / detail, interaction throughout, props / animatronics

Cons- some dialogue, certain dry areas, flow of the haunt

Crystal Gallagher

There were plenty of things I loved about this haunt, so I’ll start by mentioning the two big things I didn’t, one of which ruined several parts of this otherwise awesome haunt. When we arrived about an hour before closing, they had already stopped letting people into their parking lot because they were insanely busy and had a huge line. Given this, I was really excited to see what the fuss was all about, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. However, their solution to dealing with the huge lines was to let people into the haunt far too close to one another. We were constantly catching up to the people in front of us, who had caught up to the people in front of them, and people were on our heels. There were several times where we all had to stop and wait, several groups clumped together in a huge line of people. This completely ruined the immersion and meant that actors could not reset between groups at these parts. This significantly hurt the scare factor of my experience with this haunt. The other issue is that my group got lost. There’s a part with a saloon where you’re supposed to take a hard right, which my group completely missed. So we headed the wrong way for a bit and were eventually redirected by a very irritated actor. I imagine he was irritated because he had to break character and he was tired of telling people the same thing he was telling us. We did see a couple of other groups who were also heading the wrong way. However, I don’t really feel like we deserved attitude for what amounts to a gap in the pathway design of an otherwise phenomenally designed haunt. We did manage to get back on track, but we also skipped part of the haunt, arriving outside about five minutes ahead of our other group which entered at the same time and never seeing a part one of the other critics was talking about. Also, I’m sure groups going the wrong way and getting their timing off didn’t help with the flow issues. If they make the path a bit clearer where we got lost and don’t push so many people inside at once, I would be happy to change my scores to 10 on everything, because everything else worked impeccably.

Now that that’s out of the way! The rest of the set design was wonderful. The theme was followed throughout, the details on the walls and sets were wonderful. Every aspect of the environment was attended to, including the ceiling and the ground beneath our feet. Rickety looking wooden ramps went up and down, the ground was uneven, the texture changed with the scene. The entrance elevator was wonderful. I emerged from it shaky and off balance for the first few rooms. That coupled with the uneven ground worked really well together.

The actors were also great, other than the redirector who was annoyed. My favorite was probably a lovely lady who I was convinced was a prop despite looking far too realistic to be a prop. She was completely motionless, standing prominently in a scene. I approached, watching her, analyzing every detail and watching for any hint of movement. Just as I decided aloud that she must be a prop, she turned to look at me and started cackling maniacally. Loved her, loved her, loved her! There was a rather long crawl section, and just as I was debating whether or not a startle scare there would be a safety hazard or not, someone lifted a panel in front of me to giggle at me. It wasn’t the sort of thing to make me jump, but it was rather enjoyable. I also really enjoyed that I heard a chainsaw guy in the maze but didn’t actually see him. This for me was a lot better than him actually chasing us.

Overall, this is a great haunt. It’s worth seeing for sure, but definitely go at the beginning of the night when they’re less busy.

Pros: Stuck with theme well, beautifully designed sets, wonderful actors

Cons: Unclear path at one point, flow of people was bad

Eric Guetterman

At one point I said aloud to my friend as we walked through the excellent Haunted Mines “I love to touch this haunted house”.  That’s the amazing level of detail that these skilled haunt craftsmen have spent years transforming into an accurate, beautiful, sometimes movie quality otherworld creation of their twisted vision.  The feel of tree bark snags at you as you pass through the thick bramble, the multiple mine shafts feel carved from solid sandstone, the ancient weathered shacks were worn smooth by repeated storms yet looked aching to shed a splinter or rusted nail into your flesh.  At one memorable section of the mine the walls of the path were covered entirely in rusty pipes and another offered just the feel of the unyieldingly hard black walls of the broken labyrinth containing some creature with a very loud weapon.  The horrifying monster roaming the labyrinth with a flesh ripping weapon was only visible to us for a split second as it chased a different group to a most certain death in the opposite direction.

Another example of their craftsmanship as well as engineering skills are the multiple mechanical devices that transport groups of people at several places throughout the mine – rickety, twisting, jolting, dropping, lurching and terrifying devices that add a production value that’s worth the price of entry alone.  With bridges crossing marshes, and moving machinery gears this place was another world, not a set.

Be warned though if you think you may have difficulty advancing through the obstacles encountered in this Haunted Mine.  One section requires crawling which went on longer than it should have, the crawl shaft’s roof was too low, forcing us all to get down onto all fours – inching our way along, noses closely following jean pockets.  As we crept along like a multi-legged human millipede winding its way down a hole in the rocks, I fairly expected the offensive scent of flatulence to be added to make the experience even more unpleasant.  And finally, even though the crawlway floor was padded – the padding ended abruptly before I could stand exposing me for a second to the pain of actually crawling on rocks.  This haunt can be a challenge, the harshly sloped ramps and fallen, rotting logs partially blocking pathways all add a difficulty to the experience.  I of course personally loved every harsh inch of it but a fair warning for those that prefer a different experience.

The actors were a mix with a few unequaled crazies but for my taste in haunts too few of them popped out hard enough to have me repeatedly on my knees.  They did put me to my knees often enough though to have me out of breath as I exited though so only a preference, not a complaint.  Other than a few things listed below that I would call more room for improvement than cons this Haunted Mine provided my kind of Halloween thrill.

Pros:    Production value

Lighting Design with naturally broken shafts of light

Length

Cons:

audio quality sometimes off – example, cave in sound effect hurt without convincing

make up/costuming

more head on scares

ADDRESS:
225 Old North Gate Rd.
Colorado Springs, CO. 80921
PRICE:
  • Early season – $10.00 regular admission  $15.00 VIP – Prices good Sept. 20, 21, 27, 28 & Oct. 3rd-5th
  • Normal nights – $13.00 regular admission  $20.00 VIP – Prices good October 10, 17, 23, 24, 30, 31
  • Busy nights – $18.00 regular admission  $25.00 VIP – Prices good Oct. 11, 12, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27
DATES/HOURS:
October 10th 7:15pm-10pm     Wednesday, Thursday & Sundays 7pm-10pmFriday & Saturday 7pm-MidnightSee pricing for specific dates
NOTES:
Haunted MinesIf you’re headed to the Haunted Mines in Colorado Springs, please make note of the I-25 highway expansion project as this will affect how you access the haunt from the highway:North Gate Boulevard Project Temporarily Changes Travel PatternsAccess to Haunted Mines Attraction Changes During ConstructionA 19-day temporary travel pattern change at the Interstate 25-North Gate Boulevard interchange will close the section of North Gate Boulevard between the ramps on the east and west sides of the interstate (see attached illustration) and will allow the contractor expanding I-25 to rebuild the interchange faster than previously planned.The construction will impact east-west traffic on North Gate Boulevard under the interstate and will alter how some people access the popular Haunted Mines attraction at the southeast corner of North Gate Boulevard and I-25. The travel pattern change is scheduled to take place 7 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 22 through 11 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 10.Haunted Mines traffic should use the following routes Sept. 27-28 and Oct. 3-5:

Southbound traffic on I-25 should exit at Baptist Road (Exit 158), drive east to Struthers Road, and drive south on Struthers Road to the Haunted Mines entrance.
The onramp to northbound I-25 from westbound North Gate Boulevard will remain open during construction.
Northbound I-25 traffic will be able to use Exit 156A to eastbound North Gate Boulevard to the Haunted Mines entrance.
To reach southbound I-25 from the Haunted Mines, traffic will drive eastbound on North Gate Boulevard to Voyager Parkway; Voyager Parkway south to Interquest Parkway; Interquest Parkway west to I-25.

North Gate Boulevard is scheduled to reopen Oct. 10 in time for that night’s Air Force Academy football game with San Diego State and Haunted Mines traffic.

The temporary change to travel patterns at the interchange will enable the contractor to accelerate construction of two roundabouts and complete most of the work necessary to reopen the interchange with minimal impacts to travelers. When construction is complete, the two existing loop ramps to eastbound and westbound North Gate Boulevard will be permanently removed. A third loop ramp from eastbound North Gate Boulevard to northbound I-25 also will be permanently removed.

All work is subject to weather and road conditions.

PREVIEW:
We want to be the best Halloween haunted attraction in Colorado. We produce a thrilling and exciting event unlike any other, for adults of all ages and their older children (ages 13 & up). We use historical-based scenes and situations from the American West and America’s mining legacy as our backdrop, but with a new twist every year to keep you screaming!