How do I love Hellscream Haunts? Let me count the ways! Hellscream Haunts, or The Trilogy as it will come to be known by next season has moved once again and this location is a keeper!! For those that aren’t in the know, building a haunt from scratch is no small undertaking so having a permanent home is the ideal situation. Any haunter that has to tear down their haunt at the end of a season and build it again the following season is in for some brain damage. When you have to rebuild every year, in a different location each time well…that’s just asking for an aneurysm! That’s exactly what the disturbed minds behind Hellscream have done the past 3 seasons!! I give them kudos for that alone as it is no small feat. The haunt, now located in a three story, former medical building, is quite the production from start to finish and I thoroughly enjoyed myself!
I wondered how they were going to move customers in, up, down and around the three floors they occupy and quite honestly had predisposed visions of complete chaos and dysfunction. I was pleasantly proven wrong. Although the main entry and ticket counter can get a bit crowded on a busy night, don’t panic, things don’t stay that way and you’ll find yourself wishing they had once you get started on your journey. There’s safety in numbers you know.
I was greeted by the crazed Dr. Von Hellton himself and as he explained his dastardly deeds to me, telling me every detail of his disturbing experiments, I found myself nearly feeling sorry for him. He seemed so orphaned as he told me how he was forced from his homeland because of his experiments. So the guy has a penchant for taking innocent minds to the edge of hell and back, creating hideous beings along the way..…is that any reason to throw him out of his home country? I think not.
I started on the top floor where the good doctor had been performing some of his latest experiments, one of which came right at me in full fury. I’ve not seen anything quite like her until now and she straight freaked me out!! Here I am, taking in the beautifully done grime- distressed walls and ceilings, (The entire building is done very, very well this way) and suddenly there is this amazonian ballerina character tearing around the corner at me with a look of absolute malice in her vacant eyes. She said not one word, she didn’t need to. She was hell in a corset and red lipstick. Her movements were very bizarre and added to the fear quite nicely; part human, part animatronic and all evil. There was intent in every step she took. She was incredible and storms around in my nightmares to this day.
As I moved through the upper floor I rather enjoyed the way it was set up to go through a room or two, cross the hall, through another room or two, cross back. The space was well used.
All around this floor were experimental type settings: beds, medical equipment and lots of electronic equipment that looked like, if hooked up improperly, could easily fry ones sense of decency and good will toward their fellow man to a crisp. It also appeared that that very thing had happened one hundred times too many. One girl, in medical scrubs was furiously jumping from counter to counter to bed to table and back to counter, all while making some horrific noise that embedded itself under my skin and still squirms under it now. Between her and the amazon, I sleep very little these days.
Acting on every floor was very good and I only saw one or two that could have used a bit more dialogue than they had, but as it was early in the season, I know it takes time for some actors to get fully immersed in their characters.
One actress stopped me dead in my tracks on the way down to the dungeon. Here I was, all mesmerized by the fantastic scenery again and she lurches out of doorway right in front of me, again, moving really weird, the way I would envision a mannequin moving if it could, she was wearing a snug fitting white nurse’s uniform, covered in blood and her face…well, her face was missing. Wrapped completely in bloody gauze, she blocks my path with this freaky, doll like pose, cocks her head to the side and just stares at me. With no eyes. She stared me right into the ground. The ladies were on point that night! Bravo! (Where did they find these girls?? Craigslist ad: “HEY, Weird moving women, have we got a job for you!!”)
The dungeon and Von Hellton’s house were both delightfully filled with things from your worst nightmares, every nook and cranny held horror for the eyes. It’s like Disneyland for the deranged. There were some haunt standards along with some very nice illusions, (or was I hallucinating?) like the water effect in the dungeon. Fog and lighting combined to create what appeared to be water; every step I took displaced the fog and it looked like water rippling. It was nicely done as was the rest of the haunt from the top floor to the bottom. So much eye candy and creativity, I couldn’t possibly list it all. I wouldn’t want to; it would ruin the surprises in store for you.
This haunt is definitely moving in the right direction and I expect nothing but greatness from them as they grow into their new found home! Congratulations everyone!! You’ve all done a fantastic job!
Pros: The building they’re in, distressing of sets, acting
Cons: Some actors need to develop characters’ dialogue
Hellscream Haunts has moved its location this year and the venue it currently occupies is absolutely perfect for the kind of show they’re putting on. Prepare to head into the very depths of terror and psychosis themselves as you brave a deranged doctor’s experiments of doom and a horrific dungeon.
When we lined up to enter, a doctor with a comical, Colonel Klink-like accent told us his home country had thrown him out because they didn’t agree with his research. Apparently the American Medical Association is more lax, but the Republicans warned us this kind of thing would happen under Obamacare so I guess we have no one to blame but ourselves. Anyway, his research involves sending a person’s consciousness right to the threshold of hell itself to find its worst fears and then bringing that terrifying thing back here to Earth. I can’t think of why anyone would ever want to do this but since when do mad scientists need a reason to do anything? Doing whatever the hell you want is why people become mad scientists in the first place, right?
The haunt is also remarkable for some of the things that aren’t in it, like the way it avoided a lot of tired, over-used haunt tactics. They even avoided the chainsaw wielding maniac to end the experience that some places would have you believe is required by law, although now that I think about it we saw very few of those in Colorado Springs period, so maybe the sort of courageous creativity to break with the norm blows in from the south and gets lost somewhere around Monument Hill.
There are some cool effects here, and I like the level of innovation that went into making the place work. There are things happening that I’d seen before, but never in quite the way that they were done. For example, they put us in a maze at one point, made out of circus tent material, and the fact that the material was so heavy meant that you had to really work to push it out of your way to move on to the next room, adding to the level of disorientation, and there was a special effect in the polka dot room that really had me scratching my head to figure out how it was done.
The actors were very committed – some literally so – and I was prepared to accept that these people really were the crazies they said they were. Some people seem disturbed at best but no, these folks were crazy.
The negatives were few and far between but the ones that did stick out were fairly noticeable. All over the haunt we could see electrical wires plugged into sockets, and while this didn’t detract from anything in the upstairs segment that was based on the research clinic (Sorry, I forgot to mention before, there are three separate floors) it was really hard to buy into it when there’s a power cable plugged into the rocks in the basement section. The claustrophobia bag wasn’t totally inflated, making it more of an awkward-rubbing-in-weird-places-bag instead, and some of the rooms didn’t make sense for the floor that they were on.
Those are minor complaints, though. For a truly innovative experience, go check out Hellscream!
PROS: Innovation! Perfect length, awesome building
CONS: “behind the scenes” stuff could be hidden a bit better in places, a couple props weren’t working as expected, too easy to get separated from your group.
You better be ready to make a night of this haunt. This is a huge haunt. It uses three floors of the building. Great thing about it, it uses them well. Hellscream The Trilogy takes you through the deranged laboratory, home, and dungeon of a mad scientist. He has it all.
We saw all kinds of things throughout the three levels. In the lab medical equipment and strange creatures met us at every turn. There was a swamp, a meat locker, and a graveyard. There was even a prison. Weird, right? My favorite room is too hard to pick. They did a great job with the swamp. Using some fog machines and a laser, they made this cool running water effect in the air. As we moved the visible fog swirled around us as if we were walking through water. The meat locker was really good too. It smelled HORRIBLE. I thought I was really going to puke for this one. I actually really liked their circus ‘room’. It helped that it wasn’t really a room. They took the thick red and white striped plastic and made a maze out of it. We had to push through the fabric to move from cell to cell, which was cool. They even had a good scare in their dot room. There was a really neat monster in one of several ‘outdoor’ scenes. They had a ton of animatronics. Some were the typical ones, but some were new and awesome. The monster was one of those. They also used mirrors very well. They put them in the larger ‘outdoor’ scenes making them look even bigger. They even got a scare out of me. I was so caught up in looking at one of the sets that I was startled when I saw something in the corner of my eye. It turned out to just be my own reflection.
Then there are the actors. Such a large haunt had to be hard to fill, but they did it. Several of the rooms even had multiple actors. I’m sure the moving props helped, but they couldn’t match the energy and the interaction of the actors. They all did a good job. Some of them did a great job. They made the silent, creepy stare work really well, especially from a girl on stilts standing seven feet tall. The actors in the meat locker were great too. They cracked morbid jokes and slammed meat cleavers down. Then there was my favorite, a girl with hair stringy from blood. She leapt around the room, from the counter to the floor and back again, twisting and turning unnaturally. She did a great job. The clowns had a great thing going too. They kept taunting and teasing us as we wandered through the maze.
It’s a really good haunted house. It’s full of amazing sets and crazy good actors. The whole theme is insanity and everyone in there is crazy. Be they monsters, doctors, test subject or something indescribable, they’re absolutely insane.
Pros: Huge, good sets, cool effects
Cons: few empty rooms
Hellscream has not only made a location change with the already larger than life sized haunt, but they did it with a larger location, without spreading the haunt too thin. They also managed to get a location next to a church! And the church is ok with them being there. I laugh as I look directly across the street from the church in an empty lot sits a storage tailor with a larger than life Hellscream mural! I think it’s cool that they can find peace next door to a church. After all these owners’ builders and actors are great people and do nothing but help the community with their presence.
Now level one! Begins with a short visit with The Doctor. He explains to us how he was exiled for questionable practices and has defected and has opened up shop here in Colorado. We begin our journey up to the top floor. We use the stairwell that is distressed very nicely from top to bottom. At the top of the stairs the journey begins! First thing I see is an attractive young woman in a Victorian style corset. She was a good distance away from our entry but moved swiftly and very oddly. Its then I notice she is on stilts. I have seen lots of great stilt walkers in many haunts and parades. This young lady had a unique character with unique movements and how she works her scene is fantastic. I really enjoyed this level. It was confusing and disorienting! And the gore factor on this level was high!
The Butcher was nice enough to offer a leg of Sam to our group. This set was of the hook gory and the acting was top creeptastic. That’s not the only gory set on this level. There were a few other hospital style scenes with some really good makeups. The one nurse I think had the complete whiteout contact lenses and she was creepy as hell! The whole time we weaved in and out of these sets we actually cross the hallway and go through a room and then back to the other side.We would get a visit from our odd and creepy stilt actress. I really enjoyed her presence out in the chaos between sets.She actually helped us out once when weren’t sure where we were going. So much detail and lighting and supurb acting! Ok that’s level one.
We descend down to the Dungeon. This area has been taken over with the good doctor’s experiments. The sets have been partially taken over by monster vegetation. The lighting in certain areas in this haunt is movie set ready! Whether it’s a can light or an expensive led fixture these guys have a firm grip on fx lighting. Animations and acting are strong as level one! The one Monster on this level had a really cool set and a good actor to help with the scene. This guy is big and loud great use of animation.
Level 3 is The doctor’s private chambers level and our final tour in this hellish nightmare this doctor calls home! Another great level of sets. If I failed to mention the wall paint in this haunt is not plastic or vinyl it was hand painted with painstaking detail. The end to this level was really cool visually, laser effects and lighting were really cool. I think the last area was supposed to be foggy. So our exit was a little flat but very cool to look at anyway. The owners have some very special plans for this attraction. I cannot wait to see what this crew does with this haunt in the off season. A must see haunt this season!
Pros – Makeup/Sets/Acting/
Cons-Your feet may get tired
Waiting to enter this firey pit of hell, we listen to Dr. Vander Holden explain to us that this is his new hell factory and that there are three dreadful levels you have to go through. This is the trilogy of all hell houses! It was full of energy from the start and listening to the background noises lurking throughout the haunt, certainly put me in a mood of excitement and anticipation. Finally he asks if we’ve ready and says “alright, up the stairs.” Up we go into the first levels of Hellscream.
Trekking up the stairs, I observe some beautiful scenery of a great, run down and distressed looking walls. Awesome props were included on the walls, which made our beginning that much more fun to start. Reaching the top level, stretching and dancing down the hallway comes this 7-8 foot tall ballerina with very big eyes and creepy body gestures. She was very cool and I thought that it was a unique idea to make a stilt walker ballerina. Never seen one of those before and I thought she pulled it off great.
Continuing on we ran into some wicked sets and actors. There was a cafeteria with a butcher chopping up meat and a kitchen with an angry cook. I thought she had some wicked contacts and make up going on and her dialogue and acting was great. There were other kitchens with chicks bursting out of cabinets and others contorting and seizing on the counters. There were clowns everywhere and the rooms we had to go through played with your mind and had you searching for the right exits. There was one clown in particular who I thought was very funny and entertaining. She was hanging from objects and contorting in weird ways and was telling us to find the dot room. She had great dialogue and did awesome interacting with the group. There was so much more to look at and encounter before we walked down to the second level.
Down there was even nastier looking and had sounds bleeding around corners with huge terrifying sounds that made it seem like something big was waiting for our arrival. This level was filled with lots of detail and sets. The theme was a gargoyle type set up with lots of the night creatures roaming around and peaking off the walls. There were lots of smells coming from this level and man were they raunchy! Definitely made me want to exit the room quicker. There were lots of amazing props and animatronics throughout the haunt and each level had their own to fit the theme. Lots of loud, angry demon growls and screeches and the animatronics were very powerful in attack and scare. Lots of actors and animations popping out at you. Ending our second trip to the demon lair, there was an asylum type room with prisoners looked up and a little skit set up. It was pretty cool set wise, but I thought the actors could have used a little more energy in the cells. Maybe the doc drugged them out but they were missing just a little bit of that intensity. Just a little more energy from the actors and the room will have that full intense shock we’re looking for.
The last flight of stairs leads us to the demons living grounds. There were many living rooms, bedrooms, and bathrooms with creepy mannequins taking a shower. I thought that was a cool effect. There were lots of creepy props and some were hard to tell if they were real or not. There was this bunny who was definitely playing tricks with our minds. He wanted us to follow him and eventually he came out to surprise us. There was a huge graveyard scene with lots of stuff going on. The actors that were in there were decent but I do wish there were a tad bit more just because of the size of the room. Otherwise, this haunt was fantastic! It had so much to look at, 3 different levels to play in, tons of actors, and awesome details and effects. Hellscream haunts were awesome! They have great scenery, awesome actors, props, animatronics and more! Three floors of hell to submerge in that will definitely have you wanting more!
The main way in which this haunt stands out in my mind is length. This haunt uses 3 stories of a building, and is comparable in price to other haunts, so you definitely get your money’s worth there.
Before the haunt even begins, there’s great ambiance. The walls of the waiting area are painted creepily, there are actors prowling the lines, and cool creepy things to look at. Once inside the haunt, the set design is pretty impressive in general. I liked the use of fences on the first floor to send us in and out of rooms and the hallway. Lots of details were attended to – there were biology textbooks in the medical area, sound effects for a patient’s life monitor. Going down a staircase, there are smears of blood and handprints as if someone with a bloody hand was fleeing, just the right amount. There are smells where there should be smells, and they were really gross. Many of the corpses and props were really convincing. And the skeletons on the walls pointing the way to go were a nice touch. I could go on about more about the details being great, but you get the idea. The only reason why I didn’t give this haunt a 10 on set design was the dungeon of despair. It wasn’t so much a dungeon as a jungle area, which bothered me. I don’t recall getting any dungeon feel there, which was very much what I expected from the intro and name. However, the jungle was pretty cool, loved the river of green fog. The last room felt a bit flat though. Didn’t really lead up to a big scare at the end – you wind through the last jungle room and exit… that’s pretty much it. There’s an actor in the room but they just kind of stayed in their spot, didn’t chase us out or anything, so it felt a bit anticlimactic.
I really enjoyed the creativity of the House of Horrors level. Given that the theme is individual people’s worst fears, anything goes here, which led to things like the music room. Loved the sheet music all over, although it seemed like perhaps the room was meant to have an actor and didn’t, as there wasn’t anything terribly frightful about it. Did enjoy it regardless, because creativity.
The actors were really good. A girl on stilts followed us around on the first floor being delightfully creepy. She lurked silently, peering over doors and being awesome just by always being there. The actors’ lines were great. Doctor Von Hellton’s introduction was lovely and his accent amazing. The clown girl who invites you to play the dot game seemed genuinely excited about her game, and interacted with us well. None of the actors disappointed. They did, however, feel a bit sparse. We went for stretches without seeing anyone, but this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, since there were other things to look at, and it was likely due to the sheer length of the haunt.
Pros: Great value for money, awesome actors, abundant creativity
Cons: No dungeon, flat ending
Hellscream looks unassuming as you enter the ticketing area with minimal décor but opens up into a dense otherworld occupying a dizzying path through three floors dense with set design, props, corpses, lurching animatronics and quivering, vibrating bodies seemingly dead but pulsing with electricity. This haunt succeeded in both scaring and disorienting me – repeatedly unveiling a new OMG visage which slowed me to a near standstill, filled with dread.
Occasionally a beautiful corpse – the blood, the brains, the scalpel and forceps – would hold my gaze until a perfectly hidden actor would crumple me with a sudden attack. An effective use of hallway space gave a bit of a reference point on one floor, if only to recognize that this is where that awesomely TWISTED creature woman on stilts nimbly “crawls” across the floor although hovering at almost ceiling height. Overall the set design was dense with a lot of movement and animatronics. Although there was a lot of eye candy and occasionally gorgeous detail on bloody props the art direction suffered just a bit in my review due to what I felt was a lack of visual focus and continuity – although this is more difficult in this style of haunt with seemingly a bit of everything thrown in. I must admit that I did not absorb or retain the mad Doctor’s back story as he introduced us to the haunt before climbing the stairs to enter. Somehow the feeling of abandonment sticks with me, maybe because there were so many of “them” and so few of “us” inside this long, twisting, unrelenting nightmare.
Hellscream only has a few details to work on to rise to the top in my book. One of which would include improving individual scare sound effect playback systems. Several animated creatures had a voice that could have possibly turned my blood to sausage if I could have heard them with a necessary level of fidelity and rumble. And while the laser/fog effect was cool and their squeeze hall original, I’ve seen both effects done elsewhere with varying degrees of success through the years. This wonderful experience ended on a somewhat softer note with the intensity letting down a bit as it neared the end. As I opened the door and crossed back to the reality of the night outside, I was a bit confused and wondering “is this it, is it over?” even though the tour through this evil underworld seemed to stretch on endlessly. If Hellscream had ended with more finality and slammed the door harder as I left I would have been more satisfied. These and a couple visible electrical extension cords (one dangling into the guest pathway – probably a problem that was quickly fixed during the run of the night) are a couple of examples of how refinements to a few details could bump this haunt into the legendary status.
The actors were solid to amazing and occasionally but infrequently had me cowering. The occasional actor unleashing an inhuman scream, the pig person, the well timed startles were all noteworthy but the woman in the dots room had me hook, line and sinker – and then nailed me to the wall with fear and a scare that hit like a hammer. I had to be literally helped out of the room! Thank you Hellscream Team!
quantity of quality props and animatronics
Cons: intensity of ending
audio fidelity and volume on some gags
some attention to detail
|3021 N Hancock Ave
Colorado Springs, CO. 80907
|Friday – Sunday Sept. 13th-28thThursday – Sunday Oct. 4th-31stThursday & Sunday 6:30pm-10:30pmFriday & Saturday 6:30pm-11:00pm|