REVIEW:Long Island HAUNTED HOUSES
By Michael Burgner
HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Well almost. Do you remember when you were a kid and the slightest noise or bump in the night made you jump? You believed in zombies, vampires, werewolves, and the boogeyman. Well, all of these things come to life when you visit a haunted house. Long Island has a great collection of Haunted Houses whether you love Halloween or just want the adrenaline rush that comes with being scared to death. I took it upon myself to visit the four Haunted Houses that make up Scream LI so you can decide for yourself which is the best to go to before it’s too late. They will be ranked on a system of 1-5 “Boos” in 3 different categories: Value, Scariness, and Acting.
Chamber of Horrors: Hauppauge NY
This particularly haunted experience is a three in one. I purchased the Trilogy of Fear ticket for $25, and that gave me access to their three different “Houses.” The great thing about this place is you get not one but three different experiences when you walk through. Another cool thing is that as the weather gets colder and damper it’s located indoors. In my opinion in order from yawn to yikes the three haunts are as follows: Ward 9, Maniac Manor, Murderers Row. This is my opinion because things that jump out scare the bejesus out of me(full disclosure: I did not make it through Murderers Row). Your most standard one is Maniac Manor, it’s exactly what you picture walking through a haunted house is like. I will say that of the four places I went to the actors at Chamber of Horrors were the scariest and most convincing.
Value 4 Boos
Scariness 2 Boos
Acting 4 Boos
Total: 10 Boos
Darkside Haunted House: Wading River NY
Probably the most well-known attraction on the list at Scream LI it has been in business since 1998, they scare because they care. Tickets here are also $25 but only get you two attractions. I will say though that those two attractions are well worth the money. The Haunted House alone takes nearly 20-25 minutes to get through. If you can stick it out on the long line that forms, it took me an hour to get to the front. The acting inside Darkside is top notch but what sets the tone is their crypt keeper at the front gate who makes commits to his role. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Darkside and honestly if I wasn’t doing them for research would probably have run out of this place multiple times.
Value 2 Boos
Scariness 4 Boos
Acting 5 Boos
Total: 11 Boos
Schmitt’s Haunted Mansion: Melville NY
This is the Haunted House you take your family to it’s not too big not too crowded and has two sections one is a haunted corn maze(more for kids) the other is the haunted mansion. The big difference with this one, price. You can purchase each experience separate or as a package, the mansion is $22, and the corn maze is $12, but if you do both it’s $32. The Haunted Corn Maze was seriously lacking in scary, and there were a bunch of 13-year-olds in my group going through it, so I was less than enthused. I had a better experience at the Haunted Mansion, and at least for my 30-minute wait, they had Young Frankenstein playing on a projector which was cool [RIP Gene Wilder]. Like I said it’s not going to make you scream for your mom but if your mom came she’d have a good time.
Value 2 Boos
Scariness 2 Boos
Acting 3 Boos
Total: 7 Boos
Gateway Haunted Playhouse: Bellport NY
Gateway Haunted House takes place in and around the Gateway Playhouse, so the good news is that it lives up to the acting you would expect to experience from a playhouse! Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. This also has two haunts but takes approximately 40 minutes to walk through them both. The cool thing about this place is how they handle the wait. Instead of standing in a line you’re given a number and when your number is called your time of feeling safe and unafraid is up. While you’re waiting, they have a good concession stand, and on the night I went there they had a Billy Jeans Food Truck which made the wait more bearable. The lighting and animatronics that are utilized being in a playhouse make the experience something truly frightening. If you are a true adrenaline seeker, I highly recommend this Haunted Playhouse.
Value 3 Boos
Scariness 5 Boos
Acting 4 Boos
Total: 12 Boos
To summarize, they are all great and amazingly well put on executed haunts. If you are a true Halloween and adrenaline junkie looking for the scariest places, check out ScreamLI.com for more information on each of the Haunted Experiences.
- Gateway Haunted Playhouse [12 Boos]
- Darkside Haunted House [11 Boos]
- Chamber of Horrors [10 Boos]
- Schmitt’s Haunted Mansion [7 Boos]
If you’re looking for other things to entertain yourself with this Halloween check out my other article for the best Halloween-themed cocktails to spice up your party. So that you can have an alcoholic pumpkin spice mocharita whatever.