Local haunted house review



A favorite past time during the Halloween season is to visit the many haunted houses that the Quad Cities has to offer.

Hanna Seago, Reporter

Haunted housing is a Halloween tradition that has steadily grown more popular, with the frightening attractions either matching or surpassing horror movies in popularity. The Quad Cities and surrounding communities host a number of haunted attractions, including haunted houses, corn mazes and hayrides.

Terror at Skellington Manor is one of the haunted attractions located in the Quad Cities. This haunted house spans over multiple stories and features over 60 actors and animatronics that help to spook visitors.

The Rock Island attraction Skellington Manor stands out compared to other haunted houses in the area due to the fact that the attraction is consistently scary, with no breaks to take a breather or compose yourself. Even before you enter the building, actors are outside to make sure you get a premature taste of the frights that are in store in the actual haunt. Upon entering the building, you have to walk through a room that contains various animatronics that will jump or scream, which helps to entertain adrenaline-seeking participants as they wait for the main attraction of going through the whole house. Actors also walk through the lines as people wait, giving even more entertainment as you wait.

Skellington has astounding special effects, utilizing television screens, lights and projectors to make the haunt as realistic as safely possible. Decorations and props are semi-realistic, and the actor’s makeup is well-applied and realistic.

The spacing between groups was also well-planned. Running into another group was a rarity, which added to the fear of isolation and loneliness that some people that visit the haunt seem to fear.

If there’s one thing that Skellington Manor deserves praise for, it’s the layout of the entire haunt. The path that participants take to make their way through the attraction allows for the actors to have many areas to hide so that they are able to surprise people as they walk through. The utilization of scaring people as they walked around corners was common, and draperies and decorations allowed for actors to hide out of sight.

Despite the realistic layout, Skellington Manor has a few flaws. The attraction manages to scare participants, but their methods of scaring are rather common and lack creativity. The usage of dolls and clowns only really cater to common and cliche fears. The attraction would be much more thrilling and scary if they were to add a bit more creativity to the design.

Overall, Skellington is one of the better haunts in the Quad Cities, but is could still use some work in terms of creativity.

Shock House is another prominent haunted attraction that is based in Rock Island. This haunted house stands out due to its 3D section that participants get to experience. The 3D portion lasts about five minutes, and participants are given 3D glasses to allow for them to experience the attraction to its fullest potential. Actors and props are colored in neon paint, which when paired with the glasses provide an exciting, almost nauseating experience.

The lighting and special effects at Shock House were also amazing. The lighting in the waiting area made the room seem smaller than it actually was, which could cater to claustrophobic guests looking to face their fears. The lights in the actual haunt are also made to flicker on and off, which gives actors a chance to sneak up on you in the dark and appear in an almost magical sense once the lights flicker back on.

Besides the 3D portion of the haunt, the fact that it seems to address other fears besides supernatural beings and murderous creatures makes it especially exciting. The attraction starts with participants having to clammer through inflated fabric panels that were almost suffocating in a sense. The 3D portion also contains a spinning tunnel, which combined with the glasses makes it appear as if the patrons are going to fall off of the bridge that they must walk on.

If Shock House could work on anything, it’s the group spacing and entertainment while waiting. Oftentimes, I’d run into groups in front of me even if I went through at a moderate pace, and I’d have to be stopped by actors so they could fix the spacing. The wait was also fairly dull, with the only decoration in the waiting area being a facade of the haunted house and some green lights to provide visibility. A few actors were wandering through the line, but due to the hour wait, their presence slowly became dull and familiar.

Overall, Shock House is an exciting and unique haunted house that will provide patrons with a unique experience, but could benefit from a more interactive waiting area.

House of 1000 Screams is the only Haunted House based in Davenport. This attraction bases its haunt around horror elements that are portrayed in pop culture, such as slasher movies like “Friday the 13th”, “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, “Child’s Play”, and “Halloween”, as well as featured characters from TV shows and movies such “Bates Motel”, “The Dark Knight”, and “Suicide Squad”.

One thing about this haunted house that stood out to me was the actors. A lot of the actors were willing to discuss the details of their actors, such as one actor portraying Heath Ledger’s Joker and talking about elements from the movie, as well as a receptionist in the “Bates Motel” segment debating with me over whether or not the television show lived up to “Psycho”, which the TV show was based off of. While scaring participants, the actors made sure to stay in good nature and keep everything fun, even while they were scaring people.

The decorations at the attraction were very detail-oriented, helping to portray the scene that the participants had been placed in. The setup of the attraction made it seem like a maze of horrifying nightmare after horrifying nightmare as you tried to find your way through it.

Much like Shock House, House of 1000 Screams could certainly improve its entertainment for waiting guests. Although they had a movie playing for people to watch while they waited to enter, it was only seeable by a few of the guests, with people who were closer to the front and back of the line unable to see it.

House of 1000 Screams is a unique attraction that utilizes popular horror culture and realistic sets to help terrorize its participants, but it could still improve on the entertainment for waiting guests.

If I had to suggest a certain haunted house, I’d choose Skellington Manor for the more seasoned haunted house visitors, Shock House for people who want to try a somewhat less scary haunted house, and House of 1000 Screams for people who enjoy horror that is portrayed through pop culture.