Spooky Scenes: An inside look at area Haunted Houses

Clown actor, Stephen Amodio, pops out from around the corner as people walk through.

Paige Verma

The fall season brings more than pumpkin flavoring and scarves back into fashion; it also brings the haunted houses.  

A few haunted houses with good ratings and in general close proximity to Kent State include Carnival of Horrors, The Fear Experience and The Akron Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory.

Carnival of Horrors is located at Blossom Music Center. It has four attractions: The Fun House, the Wicked Woods, the Freak Show and the Insane Asylum. Tickets start at $21 and go up to $25 while the carnival is open until Oct.31 from 7:30 p.m. to midnight.

The Fear Experience is located on Brookpark Road in Cleveland. It has five attractions: Zombie Warfare, Bioteck Solutions, Centralia Country Fair and Circus, District 13 and The Estate. Admission for Fear Experience starts at $25 but can go as high as $45 with fast pass access and an additional fee for Zombie Warfare. According to Funtober, Fear Experience was voted #1 in Ohio and #14 in America. 

The Akron Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory on Triplett Boulevard is one of the longest-standing haunted houses in America. The Schoolhouse opened in 1974 and the Laboratory followed shortly after in 1981. Together there are seven haunted floors, with three in the schoolhouse and four in the laboratory. Preparation for it all focuses on making it better each year.

“We come in during the off-season and fine tune, and update and make scenes better,” said Ryan Haidet, a floor supervisor at the schoolhouse and laboratory. “Sometimes we completely tear down scenes and rebuild them… Everything here in the castle is made basically by scratch by our team.”

Haidet described the hiring process as a lengthy one in order to get the best reactions from haunted house goers.

“We actually audition people and it takes a couple of weeks to get the full staff…When you’re walking through the haunted house, we really love that fleshing blood scare,” Haidet said. “About 100 people are hired each season.”

Haunted Schoolhouse & Laboratory from Paige Verma on Vimeo.

The Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory will be having its second annual blackout event on Oct. 30.

Customers can go through all seven floors with all the lights off and have nothing but a glow stick to guide them through as the scarers roam throughout. The admission is the same as a regular ticket price.

While haunted houses are a destination for many around Halloween, some are not fans.

“I went to one in New Jersey – a haunted ship – (and) I was terrified and nervous,” said Tasha Gill, a sophomore early childhood education major at Kent State.

Gill said she will probably never go to another one again because fear makes her feel overwhelmed.

But for those who do enjoy haunted houses, more than just the general setting scares customers.

Tariq Abdullah, a freshman computer science major at Kent State and a scarer at the Akron Schoolhouse, said he became a scarer because his friend also worked there and as a way to get over his own fears.

“I was always scared of all scary movies, so I thought working here would be like therapy,” Abdullah said. “I’m usually a clown when I’m here…I hate clowns.”

Abdullah said he likes to use the surprise factor when scaring people (and) also adds things outside the original plan in the clown section to enhance the scare factor. 

“I can never be 100 percent on how to scare someone, so I have to be on my game,” Abdullah said. “Everyone is like a wildcard.”

Contact Paige Verma at [email protected].