Nightmares at Dark Side Of The Abbey 2017

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Marlena | Austin | Ryan

Scare FactorActingSets/FXLengthOverall

Marlena Baker

Dark side of the Abbey is a neat haunt that’s built in the basement of an old abbey. It’s a unique setting, and they used it well.

The sets were interesting. I have to start out with the spider webs. They were super unique and they looked amazing. It had to have been fishing line or something actually strung together to look like webs. I can’t imagine how much work that took. There were a lot of them too. Details like that made this haunt. The doll room has Barbie doll limbs on string lights. Who came up with that? It’s so creepy, and the details really come together to make some unnerving spaces. Then they had cool effects like the hellivator and the box, and it was so disorienting I didn’t know up from down.

Speaking of disoriented, Unplugged was a real treat this year. They have put so much more in there, not that I could see it. We had to wind our way through narrow hallways, duck through low doors, and push our way through bungee cords, all in pitch blackness. There are a few exceptions, but I won’t spoil them for you. It was so fun, and they managed some great scares. The best and worst part was having to walk back along the third floor alone. That building is terrifying.

The actors brought a lot to both haunts. In Nightmares they all had good roles and good lines. It was great interacting with all of them. I particularly loved the girl who was telling us morbid jokes. There was a lot of intensity in the haunt, actors even knocking down chairs. It was great to see such consistent acting through such a large haunt. Even though we couldn’t see them, the actors in Unplugged were just as good. They got us so bad at one point with a scream in the darkness. A lot of the time they were providing creepy whispers for us instead, including hints when we were just too helpless. It was a good balance that left me feeling totally lost without getting frustrated. Knowing that I was at the mercy of whatever was up there with me added a lot to the atmosphere, too.

Dark Side of the Abbey, both Nightmares and Unplugged were tons of good scares. The atmosphere there can’t be beat, and they’ve built great haunts in it. The Nightmare theme wasn’t the most cohesive, would be my only nitpick. Every room was great, but for a variable theme like that some sort of thematic tie running between them would have been that much better. It’s a minor complaint for sure. These haunts are fantastic and I definitely recommend.


Austin Metzler

Hidden just off the main road in Canon City lies a truly unique and terrifying haunt. Just driving up to the Abbey is terrifying in itself; little do unsuspecting victims know the terror that awaits inside. The Dark side of the Abbey consists of two different haunted attractions: Unplugged and Nightmares, each filled with their own unique scares and setting. Experiencing both will bring a night of screams and delight.

When it comes to frights, both Unplugged and Nightmares pack quite a wallop. Unplugged is a never-ending void filled with some very unique and intense scare tactics. Being completely in the dark, ones mind can play tricks on you, I even scared myself a few times.  Not only are the scares from the talent but also from your surroundings.  There were many times that I was scared by some creative uses of everyday household items, even the wall scared me a few times.  No matter where you go in the haunt it feels like you will never find your way out.  Hopefully not claustrophobic, you’re in for a box full of surprises. The makeup throughout the haunt is also very detailed.

Being set in an abbey, one would think that this place would be free of minions, but this creepy place is chock full of them. When surrounded by complete darkness acting can have some challenges, but the talent in Unplugged are ready to terrify.  There is no safe space in this haunt, and the actors use a wide variety of scare tactics, you will have to experience yourself. The characters dwelling within Nightmares are varied and intense. Every corner you turn there is a creature of the night waiting to haunt your dreams. From the moment you are greeted at the door by a very creepy prospector, the scares from the actors begin their assault.  Interactions throughout the haunt are on point, there are no actors saying boo or growling in the Abbey, every character you come across puts their whole heart and mind into their performances. Some of the most memorable actors…well I don’t want to ruin the experience for you, they must be experienced in person. The length of both the haunts is perfect, not too long or too short. I highly recommend visiting The Dark Side of the Abbey. Canon City as a whole has some of the most creative and terrifying haunts in the state, creativity must be in the water.

Pros: great and unique location unlike anything in the state, great scares and unique props like the box, great blackout haunt

Cons: ending of Nightmares fell a little flat


Ryan Acker

Nightmares at Dark Side of the Abbey is located in Holy Cross Abbey in Canon City, CO. Their main haunt is constructed in the basement of this massive building, and Abbey Unplugged is located on the third and fourth floors. We began with their haunt, Nightmares at Dark Side of the Abbey. The queue line is accessible from a slide and a brief wait underground that could’ve easily been used a crypt sometime back in the day. Ominous lighting and a angry door keeper set the perfect mood for a haunted house. As we ventured inside, we were greeted by silence, the most uncommon and underrated scare tactic in the haunt business. Anxiety builds as we walk past each bed, only to be greeting by a little girl who asked us to check for monsters under her bed, not satisfied until we crawled all the way under. This haunt was filled with unique room transitions, down to crawling in a box with strangers and being smashed around for longer than anticipated. At one point you are stopped, unable to proceed through a door but hearing the screams and rattling that is occurring on the other side, leaving much to the imagination and making us uneasy to enter once the door opened. This haunt was filled with great large room designs, even one of the most realistic spider sanctuaries I’ve seen, making me heftily walk through that room. However, black walls ran rampant, something you can’t escape in the haunt business but are able to find tricks for.

The actors throughout this haunt seemed to be on the younger side and fully committed to the roles they’re playing. One girl laid still as a rock on the floor and has us walk over her, while the other was begging for her survival. Shock sounds provided a great scare and when the girl moved, even better. Some actors did a wonderful job at crowd management, keeping us occupied until we were ready to move forward. Many actors, some with unexpectedly loud vocal chords, let out a scream and nothing more.

The second portion of Dark Side of the Abbey is Unplugged, a completely lights out experience and probably the most fun I have ever had inside a haunted house. This haunt specifically would be 10’s across the board. You are required to put a pillow case over your head and begin the journey up to the fourth floor, where you take off the pillow case and begin your journey into darkness. You make your way through the pitch black environment without even a glow stick, and encounter a variety of obstacles along way. Actors specifically spaced out their scares, rather it was a quick shock with a burst of light or an ear piercing scream. I can proudly say I screamed at least three times with them. Once you find your way out of the darkness and you think it’s over, you make your way back up front through the desolate third floor of the abbey. Nothing had to be touched, just being inside this creepy corridor had our anxiety racing and power walking to the door. I would make the drive just to go through Unplugged one more time.
Dark Side of the Abbey is a great haunt run by many dedicated adults and children alike. I’d love to see Dark Side excel in their haunt with a few touches to complete the experience. While their sets were amazing, some portions were just quick painted walls and empty space. I can’t wait to see how they are able to expand on their Unplugged experience, but I hope to see new and exciting ideas next year!

Pros: Large and well detailed set designs, handful of wonderful actors, Unplugged experience

Cons: Some dead space and a lot of plywood walls.

2951 U.S. Highway 50

Canon City, CO.

  • $15 General Admission One Haunt
  • $25 General Admission Both Haunts
October 6th – 28th & 31st

Fridays, Saturdays  7pm – 11pm

October 31st   7 – 10pm

The Dark Side Of The Abbey
Do you dare to take on The Dark Side of the Abbey?!

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