Saturday 12 October 2019

Potter's House of Horrors Scare-ific Haunted Houses

With Hallowe'en fast approaching, scare-tastic shenanigans have been taking place all across the Lower Mainland. Now I must admit, I am an absolute scaredy-cat and tend to gravitate towards non-frightening activities like going to the pumpkin patch or celebrating my birthday - I am an October baby!!! Anything that causes my heart to leap out of my chest is not my thing, so I am shocked that I loved Potter's House of Horrors

Potter's House of Horrors has been scaring those who dare to venture in since 2003. I only learnt of Potter's House of Horrors because they reached out to me and invited me to experience their frightening attraction. 

For your enjoyment, Potter's House of Horrors has two ultra-scary haunted houses. They have brought back Devil's Descent for its third and debuted their newest creepy creation, Death Valley Motor Inn. They have been featuring two haunted houses for several years now and the themes are changed every few years. I did a quick Google search and found some of the previous storylines: 2016 (#1 Monstrosity, #2 The Swampin' Slaughterhouse) 2018 (#1 Monstrosity 2.0 #2 Devil's Descent). 

The haunted houses are a labyrinth of tight winding corridors, creepy sounds, foul smells, animatronics and of course, live actors! For me, the talented team of actors is what brought the entire experience together. It takes an astounding team of 40 actors to bring the haunted houses to life...or kill. The cast is diverse and each of them brings a unique perspective to a character. 

An 18 year old college student full of energy might play a rotted zombie as a high-energy character, thumping and smashing and destroying. A 55 year old stage actor might play that role much more subtle and creepy. Both are effective in their own way and we appreciate the different ideas that an actor can bring to a role.                            
                                -Chris Pershick from the Potter’s House of Horrors team

With so much talent, it is understandable why Potter's haunted houses are considered Live Theatre Haunted Events. The planning phase for the haunted houses begins in January and fabrication can start as early as June. With four months of construction, you can imagine the insane level of detail that has gone into constructing the structure. The two haunted houses sprawl out across 15,000 square feet making each haunted house over 15 minutes of fright. 

I do not want to give too much away in terms of the scare factors, but I will touch upon the themes for this year's two haunted houses. Devil's Descent is set in the depths of a mine shaft with rotting wood, menacing-looking machines and lots of gory bloody goodness. In my mind, it was a mix of Mad Max machinery/mutations and The Walking Dead's realistic guts galore. Throw in a smattering of deep earth dwelling monsters and rotting zombies and we have a recipe for a haunted house that even makes the Devil himself quiver in fear...or grin with satisfaction. 

New for this year and in my opinion the scarier of the two is Death Valley Motor Inn. The haunted house is designed to be a grimy motel from the 70's which draws inspiration from several horror movies. Because where else would serial killers and bat shit crazy people stay why the Death Valley Motor Inn of course! There are far more actors involved in the story for Death Valley Motor Inn making for a truly immersive and downright terrifying experience. Like I said earlier, the cast KILLED it - pun intended - making you feel like you have legitimately checked into a secluded creepy motel and you are screaming down the halls trying to find your way out only to come face to face with another killer finishing off another motel guest. The worst part, they intentionally made some of the corridors super narrow forcing you to brush past the frightening characters. 

Of the two haunted houses, Death Motor Valley Inn was my favourite and in my opinion, the far more frightening one since it did not rely on gore and guts, but instead used clever scares. I did manage to make complete both haunted houses, albeit with my face buried in my friends arm for 50% of the attraction. However, if you just cannot bare to go any further, the haunted houses are strategically built with an exit always just a few short steps away. This also means you will be adding to the "Chicken Counter" which is honestly comical and they hilariously announce when someone chickens out and exits a house part way through. 

I wish I could tell you about some of my favourite parts, but it would ruin the experience. What I can tell you is that outside of the haunted houses they have several creepy frightening characters walking around who just love to sneak up on you. My favourite was the manic axe-wielding man that gave me Beetle Juice crossed with Harley Quinn. 

This post is getting so long, but I had such a great time at Potter's House of Horrors that I want to tell you all about it. Aside from Thanksgiving Monday, Potter's House of Horrors is upon every day in October. Adult tickets are $15.99; however, the ticket only grants you access to a SINGLE haunted house. If you wish to visit both, you will need to PURCHASE TWO tickets. And if you want the scariest experience, give them a visit on Hallowe'en as the actors like to amp up the scare factor. It is after all the night of haunting. 


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Disclaimer: Media Invite.  All opinions and content are original and my own.

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