View Full Version : Who are the BEST Tourist Town Haunted Houses

07-04-2013, 11:54 AM
With the talk of Ghostly Manor I'd like to know who you think have the best tourist town haunts...

Open most of the year or all year around. Name your best of list...


Jim Warfield
07-04-2013, 09:12 PM
Little Mount Carroll ,1,700 population, sees some tourists but is not a renowned tourist destination of any size.
My Ravens Grin is open every night and weekend afternoons and in the Summer many are tourists, tourists coming to this town just to see my house.
The architecture and lay out of the town is beautiful and interesting and 1850-90,s style,hilly, very green many trees and cliffs unlike the rest of this state of Illinois.
Possibly the reasons I have been successful in 26 years is also because I am very flexible in the shows that I put on here. We always strive to match the program to the patron.
We do :Little Kid's shows-simply silly shows-young adult,mature- college age and even seniors too.
A month ago a very incredible young man came here to interveiw us to write an article for a Magician's organization , exploring how anything we do here could directly apply to a Magician,s show? He was very impressed with what he saw and experienced here and said his visit with us much more than fulfilled his expectations for the article!

07-05-2013, 06:24 PM
I visited Ghostly Manor this evening, and I must say I was impressed. For a year-round haunt and only one actress running it (thanks Logan) I was entertained throughout. Obviously huge scares and massive scenes aren't on the menu for this venue haunt, but their distractions, content, and startle setups were done very well, in my opinion. I enjoyed the music, the layout, the content, and also the COST. 11 dollars for entrance and I was more entertained than I was for some of the other haunts that charge 18-20 a head.

I had a chance to talk to their manager (Rick, I believe) and he was very accommodating at answering some of my questions about their numbers, etc.

All in all, a fun and educational visit!! I would swing by this quaint haunt if you're ever in or around Sandusky Ohio!

Mike Goff
07-08-2013, 05:36 PM
My favorite is Ghostly Manor. It's been a few years since I've been there, but I remember it well. Skull kingdom was pretty cool, and Ripley's in Gatlinburg was a great time. My expectation level for Ripley's was pretty low going in, because of the fact that it was in a tourist town, but I really had a good time, and I will be a repeat customer the next time I'm in town.

Dark Tiki Studios
07-11-2013, 09:18 AM
I too vote for ghostly manor in Ohio! We went there on a week night (when they're not normally open), and just happened to catch them giving a special show for developmentally disabled teens. They were very nice, and agreed to let us go through after that group. Being a week night in August, there were very minimal actors, but somehow they put on a GREAT show! For a compact haunt, it's amazing what they did with the space available. Best body bag room I've ever been through.

07-11-2013, 09:46 AM
Best body bag room I've ever been through.

I'll second that...

07-11-2013, 07:41 PM
Ghostly Manor in Sandusky, Ohio

Mysterious Mansion in Gatlinburgh, TN

and Im sure Legends in Old Town, in Orlando will be amazing once it gets open

07-12-2013, 09:16 AM
The main ones I know about are... and can't believe you guys forgot about all Jim Warfield. LOL

I've been to almost every single tourist town in America... Myrtle Beach has two haunts one Ripley and another one. All the Ripleys attractions are okay, they put time and effort into them unlike most tourist town haunts but t hey aren't great. They are in my opinion just okay, but for tourist town standards they are probably the best out there. The other haunt in Myrtle Beach is NOT good and that is an understatement.

There are SEVERAL haunted houses in Niagara Falls... and in my opinion they are ALL terrible. Some have tried to be better than others, while others just focus on a nice facade and others an experience of basically no props and just a dark maze. In my opinion not a single one has much of any production value to them. The one that is the most detailed is The Haunted House its at least decent. But in the end I would say DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY!

There are a few haunted houses in Wisconsin Dells... the two on the strip are beyond words HORRIBLE! We built one there at Wilderness Resort and its a nice little haunted house but the focus is not really on scaring people as its in a family fun center. Detail wise its the best one there by a long shot...

Gatlinburg Tennessee They have Ripley there again not the best haunt in the World but for tourist town standards they are the best I've seen. There are a couple other junk hole haunts there but nothing you should spend money on. There is a Dino dark ride that clearly spent tons of money especially on the facade... they have zillions of animations from Scarefactory as well. I would say that is probably the most high tech place down there. Inside Dollywood they have a couple haunted themed rides that are cool

Branson Mo... use to have a haunted house that was mostly Rocky Point's old attraction it wasn't bad but it closed. I know of no other year around haunt there.

Orlando... Terror on Church Street was the KING since its closed many have opened and closed again. One opened on I-Drive and it was totally horrid... bad marketing just everything was terrible. As you know Skull Kingdom opened and closed. I guess the only man standing is in Old Town that is being renovated by a group from these forums. I'm making my way out there during IAAPA to take a look! I'm betting it will make my list as one of the best for sure.

There are many other tourist area's like Lake St George I know they have some haunts there but I haven't been there. There are haunted houses on amusement piers like in Wildwood area plus many spots like that. Typically you'll find dark rides opposed to haunted houses... and most of those are not good.

Tombstone AZ... we built a walk through educational haunted type experience that is fun!

Salem Mass... been there many times most of the haunts that open there are not well done. In the past John Denley had a really nice place there that has since closed. There is a really nice horror museum there done very nice! Salem overall is a fun place to visit their Witch museums are nicely done as well. I would suggest heading up there for sure!


damon carson
07-12-2013, 12:47 PM
I would of posted Jim Warfields Ravens Grin Inn right off the bat! For a year around haunt and work and dedication Jim puts into this he deserves to be mentioned! Its probably in the top 3 if not the best in my opinion! Jim is a trooper at his age I hope im still going like that!
Damon www.frightmasters.weebly.com

Jim Warfield
07-13-2013, 05:46 PM
We had a family go through Ravens Grin a month ago who complained about their experience with Ripley's in Gatlinburg and will never go back. They were basically upset and made extremely nervous the entire time, had water sprayed in their faces, in the dark, among other things. I am not cutting Ripley's here because what ever "works"... "Works", if it works for them most of the time with most of their customers who among US should ever make a complaint?
Educating the customer as to what they Should want or need to see /experience in your haunt is something I have spent many years doing, listening, asking questions of them and their other "Haunt" experiences.
Confronting a customer and telling them how impressed they Should be because the whats-it infront of them cost "X" amount of dollars really doesn't quite do this .
Some of us can be impressed by merely seeing a tool shed full of new power tools, but the actual impressive item will always be what those tools make, or made.
Weave the customer a performance, a storyline incorporating objects and strange things, odd ideas, unheard of revelations and give them something to think about. (This doesn't work very well with screaming, staggering drunks, so opt them out.)
I have been open pretty much non-stop seeing people come here from every country that any may care to name. Most of my experiences here involve me talking to them, listening to them, hearing their reactions to what I have here. Even on the busiest October nights I still do an original presentation for everyone who comes here in the first room for 15 crazed minutes adding the second, then third room as the night winds down. I am highly involved with a huge majority of the people who buy a ticket, and I would not have it any other way.
Nobody has more fun than I do.
In 15 minutes a group is supposed to be at my door who are on their way to Yosemite, but had to see my house first. They should be on-time , since they called from the Wine Shop a block away!

Jim Warfield
07-14-2013, 01:47 AM
Right on time, along with two other groups of kids and a few adults. Everybody meshed quite well and it was difficult to remember which kids were whose.
The Yosemite bound group was coming from Michigan and were stopping to see Ravens Grin because a year ago the Mother's Preacher and his Son had been here and he recommended it.
Some others in the tour are from Bloomington, Ill, a 3 hour drive away. They had been here before.
Earlier this afternoon a couple was here who were out here to ride the bike paths along the Mississippi River (10 miles away)
At the conclusion of their tour I got a whole new reaction from the guy, which inspired me to then react to his reaction, creating a slight amount of possible shock and awe on his part!
You will have never have heard or seen it "ALL" when you are dealing with the public.
I love it!