Hello my spooky spectators and fiends of fright! I’m back with another review and this time it’s something a little bit different.
Today I’ll be telling you about my trip to Heartstoppers Haunted Attraction in Sacramento, CA. Heartstoppers has made a name for itself during haunt season over the last 10 years and for good reason! Currently located at an old mine shaft, the location itself is pure nightmare fuel. Heartstoppers is compiled of four totally different haunts that range from 3-5 minutes per maze, some of which felt like a lifetime. This being my first time attending, I was excited and nervous all the same. Fortunately for me, I brought my wife and some friends along.
Description: Underland may or may not be real… When Alice and her parents vanished from their estate outside of Deadlands, no one was able to locate them. Years later, after their estate was turned into an asylum, Alice was found there, as if she never left. It was rumored she fell into a deep depression and started to show signs of insanity.
Review: The first maze we checked out was called Underland, a psychotic psychedelic trip into a screwed up version of Alice in Wonderland. The best part about this haunt was that they provided you with 3D glasses because the walk-through is chalk full of black lights and other 3D imagery. This haunt also had some giant props that jumped out at you and those are probably what spooked me more than the actors. Aside from nightmarish versions of the stories characters, the haunt itself was highly disorienting which made it all the better for me. I can see this being difficult for some people and if you have any stimulation sensitivity, you may want to avoid this one.
Description: In 1857 esteemed psychiatrist Dr. Klaus Ghast, his wife and their young daughter Alice mysteriously disappeared. 10 years later their empty estate was converted into a Rehabilitation Home for the West’s most dangerous and unstable criminals.
Review: The second maze we checked out was the Steamghast Asylum, and as you can probably guess, it was a steampunk version of an insane asylum. The whole asylum concept of a haunt is almost always a go to for a lot of haunt exhibitors, mainly because it’s always a total gross out for most people. This one was not any different, aside from the multiple hallways full of hanging sheets you have to walk through, making the next scare nearly impossible to determine. No matter how much I tried to prep myself for the next jump, I found myself being totally spooked every time. The aesthetic of this walk-through pretty much hit the nail on the head, from bloody lobotomy rooms to panels painting to look like padded walls, they nailed it.
Description: This town was where Cyrus Lynch, a brutal bounty hunter, had been hiding out. Once while searching for gold, he ventured into an abandoned mine underneath the Deadlands. Not being an expert in the use of dynamite, Cyrus unknowingly angered something down there while trying to gain access to a new mine shaft. This caused anyone (and anything) that had previously died in Deadlands to rise from their graves.
Review: Deadlands was next up and from what I can recall seems to be the most famous and advertised haunt they have. Western meets zombie apocalypse, this one was a ton of fun and the set was fucking stellar. I know how much work goes into set design for haunts and my God, the set for Deadlands must have taken a lot of time to put together. Once we were inside, we encountered several half dead individuals as well as a slaughter room with a pig-headed individual that swung a meat cleaver towards us. The one thing about Deadlands that set it apart from the others was that it seemed to be the least crowded in terms of waiting which provided us with a much spookier ambiance.
UNKNOWN – CASE #121026-18MURK
Description: Something unknown is apparently stirring in the basement of this building. We assess that the unkempt condition of the mine shaft and the years of neglect has somehow contributed to the state of decay. But it does not explain the collection of bones and skulls that cover the once locked entrance of the opening of the decades old mine shaft.
Review: The final haunt we walked through was one I was dreading. This haunt was located in the basement of the mine, and included a walkthrough that was completely pitch black. The haunt did give a warning of potential claustrophobic areas since it is in the basement of a mine shaft. As we slowly crept down the stairs, we could see that the bottom of the walls were lined with tea light candles that seemed to become dimmer and less consistent as we got deeper and deeper. Once we were completely down the stairs we entered a corridor that resembled some sort of catacomb. At this point, the lights had dwindled down to complete darkness. We made our way through the maze in complete darkness while at the mercy of the scare actors. Fortunately for us, they don’t you in this haunt otherwise I might have totally dropped dead in the middle of that basement.
After a minute of aimlessly walking, we came to another room with dimly lit candles. There was a woman standing there directing our party to split up and walk down two separate corridors, much like the first corridor we walked down. This led us to a pitch black maze that was completely disorienting and honestly, very difficult to navigate. This only made the haunt that much more terrifying and so much more fun. As we began to near the end we encountered an area set up to look like it was full of spiders. This area was equipped with threads hanging from the ceiling that dragged across the back of our necks resembling the feeling of present spiders.
Overall, my two personal favorite mazes were Underland and Murk. They both touched upon fears of mine and pulled the biggest reaction from the group I was with. In addition to their haunts, they also have a zombie hunting laser tag area, which unfortuantely we didn’t have the time to check out. Heartstoppers is a very unique haunted attraction and I’m sure they have something that will tickle the terror bone on some of you skeptics out there!