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GHOUL BROTHERS HOUSE OF HORRORS, PORTAGE LAKES OHIO

Ghoul Brothers is a newer attraction to the highly haunted Cleveland-Akron-Canton Area. It has a competitive advantage of being directly connected to Hollywood design and artistry.

Recommended Drive-Time Map - 2 1/2 Hours

Navigation and Customer Service

  • In a multi-unit Commercial/Industrial building

 

    - From Manchester Rd, it's kind of hidden by the McDonald's right next

       to it

 

    + From Robinson Ave. it's well marked and indicated except for the

       small banner on the front

 

  • The Owner and Managers are decent

 

    + General Manager Matt spent a lot of time with us and took care of the

       worst customer complaints very well

Atmosphere and Lobby/Midway

Key Lobby and Midway Amenities

  1. Concessions

  2. Merchandise

    + Combined Concessions and Merchandise, right out front, highly visible

  3. Video

  4. Music

  5. Seating

  6. Bathrooms

  7. Games

  8. Stage

  9. Photo Ops

  10. Queue Line Actors

    + The most effective actors I've seen so far this season

Bonus:

  1. Metaphysical

  2. Pyrotechnics

  3. At least one HUGE set piece

    + Multiple large props with the inside queue line

Facade Quality

  • No real facade to speak of, just two queue lines

Use of Existing Environment

  • In a multi-unit Commercial/Industrial building

     

    + The deep inset is used to hide the outer queue and Merch from the .

       weather

Actors and Acting

Energy

  • Many actors jumping out from everywhere, around props, out of walls

  • Most are highly aggressive

 

    + The number of actors is definitely good for high coverage of scare

       angles

Costuming

  • Typical clothing for each themed scene

 

   +/- A lot of actors apart from stars like Santa, the Mummy, Grandma

          and Doctor seem like run-of-the-mill Zombies

 

     + There are a number of roles that are driven to heights of madness by

        decent costuming

Lines and Vocalizations

  • A great variety of sounds, words and phrases were made or said

 

     - About a quarter of those with lines are super cliché

     - The actor who scared me the most yelled “Boo!”

 

    +/- About half of all actors made scary sounds or said one word

 

     + About a quarter of actors with lines are original and fully monologue

        or dialogue

Theming and Design

Lighting

  • Multiple streams of light in every room

  • Good color palette

 

    + They do a good job of pointing out misdirection pieces

    + Nearly all lights are neatly hidden LEDs

    + Good development of shadows

    + Some novel fixtures

Sound

  • Nice, overarching Soundscape

 

    + Unique, adventure sounding Music

    + Actors execute loud bang scares

Set Dressing

  • Too many scenes to easily count in one walkthrough

  • Twelve to fourteen foot walls

 

    + Walls are dressed from floor to top with all manner of scene

       appropriate goodies

    + Feels aggressively lived in

    + Great use of Fluorescence

    + A LOT of relevant puppets

    + The Barn feels real

    + Cthulu! Cthulu everywhere!

Storytelling

  • The Ghoul Brothers travelled the world collecting all the occult/horror objects they could find

Adherence to Story

  • With the premise of this collection campaign, it's impossible to not be successful as it avails any scene in the book

Entertainment and Other Values

Fun

   +/- Only some actors are fun

 

    + Definitely a well executed haunt

    + A good number of actors

Scares

    - I was only jumpscared a few times

 

    + There are a lot of opportunities for a scare

Monetary Value

  • $22 GA

  • Eighteen minute walkthrough

  • Some forty scenes

 

    + Worth the $22 for the density, actually if you're scared easily, it's a

       steal

Recommendations

  • The Cleveland-Akron-Canton Area has eleven other haunts to combine with this one

  • A 3 Hour Drive max on its own

  • Depending on the other haunts, a 4 ½ Hour drive with Ghoul Brothers

Experience Essay

It's in the back of a crowded commercial/industrial building on the corner of Robinson Ave and Manchester Rd in Portage Lakes, Ohio. The experience to be witnessed is a forty some room spectacle of thrills. Ghoul Brothers House of Horrors is established on the story that the Ghoul Brothers travelled the world for years collecting the most grotesque and nightmarish supernatural and horror items they could find.

 

Within these walls, you will travel from Swamp and Rainforest to Butcher Shop and Doctor's Office, even to the North Pole and an Egyptian Tomb. The storytelling avails these themes and they are very well executed. From floor to top, the walls encroach around you at a height of around twelve to fourteen feet. The walls are extraordinarily well dressed and painted. Shelves up and down hold immersive items and distressing makes the walls feel lived in.

 

The journey begins in the outdoor queue line which for the most part is protected from the weather by the fifteen foot overhang of the building. This is the first space in which you come into contact with the queue actors. A bloody, squirrely masked cannibal creeps through the crowd picking off the weakest of all guests. Another large cannibal swings around his knife, menacing the survivors who weren't scared by the first actors.

 

The Ghost Host lets groups in slowly either directly to the indoor queue or to the Box Office. Prices are $22 General Admission, no VIP. The lobby is stocked with a few big pieces of costuming and props and the lighting includes water effect gobos and LED Spotlights. Ticket taker is a little weary but, takes care of the job. When she send you in, Grandma's there waiting for you.

 

She greets you with the question, “Why don't you ever visit you Grandma anymore?” and when you answer, she quickly turns a corner and yells, “We have some new ones for you!” to a mysterious group of villains who seek to end you. Through the halls and rooms, you're assaulted from a good number of angles and the actors are loud. They definitely got me a few times.

 

You proceed through a House, a Meat-packing Plant and a good amount of different everyday environments built out to be immersive and disbelief suspending. It helps that you can't see the ceiling unless you're looking almost straight up. We went through at a decent pace and felt slightly in another realm for at least half the time. The award-winning Special Effects Artist who owns Ghoul Brothers does a good job with his team at making this happen.

 

One great feature I haven't seen at many other haunts is the use of fluoresence and black lights. The Crosses Hallway is amazing and they have a pretty good Spinning Tunnel. A few other rooms pop quite nicely, too. General Manager Matt runs a good show with a good team and it enhances the nights of nearly everyone who comes. Everyone in the Cleveland-Akron-Canton Area should go at least once.

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