Nightmare On Thirteenthposted by : Jon Kroupa on 10/07/2013
The Nightmare on Thirteenth is a long standing haunted house in Salt Lake City. They have a castle façade on a permanent building with a creature that guards the entrance. This year the creature is a mechanical dragon.
For 2013 the Nightmare on Thirteenth has completely redone their exhibits and created three separate themes. They are Dark Harvest, the 13 Levels of Fear, and Mutant X. As you go through there is a clear transition as you move from one theme to the next.
3 stars - There are some really great rooms and some well placed actors. The only downfall was the crowding of the halls with attendees meant some of the scares were ruined. The Thirteen levels of Fear makes good use of environment to add to anxiety of the situation. Their actors are not too frequent and in some cases totally absent, letting the room do all the work.
4 stars - The Nightmare on Thirteenth has always done a good job of making great sets. This is true of their new themes for 2013. While the Haunted Circus had dark hallway after dark hallway with nothing going on, Nightmare on Thirteenth makes great use of darkness to add uncertainty to the experience. Changing the pitch of the floor, the material of the floor, and not over doing the darkness all contribute to a great experience.
The best room for me was the Fear of Heights (Part of the 13 Levels of Fear). This room successfully created a fearful atmosphere without even employing a single person. You just went through the room and experienced your phobia.
3 stars. The actors were well distributed and didn't do a lot of harassing or screaming. They came at unexpected times and were able to get a lot of good startles.
2 stars - Being a popular haunted house the line was longer than our two previous experiences. We waited for about 15 minutes outside (to the sound of the roaring dragon overhead) and then for about another 15 minutes in the second waiting room. This room had movie clips and talking pumpkins explaining the new themes. The line was such that you had to hear the presentations at least twice through, which became a little tiresome.
3 stars - I measured our time from start to finish at just over thirty minutes. It might have been shorter had it not been for the congestion inside the exhibits. We were frequently stopping to try and let the people in front of us get out of sight, this was also causing a long line behind us. At one point near the end Meagan and I stopped completely and let thirty to forty people go past. After that we actually had a minute or so by ourselves to enjoy a set.
3 stars - We received discounted tickets from my work, making the price $13 per person. This probably made the experience better than it would have been at $20 per person (the regular price). For the great sets and well placed actors it may have still been worth it.
The thing that soured us on the experience was the congestion. Had they done better to keep the groups separated the experience would have been superb. The decorations, atmosphere, and actors were all top notch. Some haunted houses make an emphasis on gore and gross things. In contrast the Nightmare on Thirteenth keeps to the spirit of trying to scare people. They don't make an overuse of actors or screaming in your ear (like Fear Factory), instead they make excellent use of sets and mechanical gimmicks.
We recommend the Nightmare on Thirteenth. Our only hope is you have less of a crowded experience than we did.
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