I understand and totally agree with you that people will vote with the pocketbook. But I guess I keep going back to the fact that people are reviewers no matter what. When they tell their friends to go or not, they are reviewing you haunt. If they look up in a paper your review, then that may ultimately help them to choose which haunt they go to if they can only attend one particular haunt. If they go to a haunt and the review was good, but they thought it sucked, then they learned to ignore that reviewer. Just like movies. If I hear the critics think it sucks, then I will most likely like it kind of mentality. I think they can help guide people to you if they are undecided about visiting you or not and it's good free PR for your haunt.
Personally, at the end of the day, I think the ultimate review is the word of mouth recommendation to their friends. Printed reviews by media sites of haunts are good PR and free advertising (assuming they are good), but if I was a haunt owner, I'm more concerned about doing exit surveys of customers leaving my haunt to see what they liked and didn't like so I can improve it for next year. Just showing that level of care for your haunt to your customers will get them to return for next year and recommend you to other people.