I’ll be honest, I’m a sucker for a lot of things when it comes to anything related to horror and/or Halloween. However, I’m a HUGE sucker for “mom and pop” (which I’ll refer to M&P for the rest of this article) haunts. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a designer or if it’s because growing up I would go to small scale haunts; whatever the case may be, M&P haunts hold a special place in my heart. When I heard about Hollowgraves Haunted Manor, I was immediately interested in reviewing them. Not only are they one of these M&P haunts but they are also located at an amusement park, that in and of itself is rare. I’m not talking about theme parks like Universal that put on large scale haunted attractions. I LOVE that Haunted Manor is located at an amusement park. It reminds me of when I was growing up and a fair or amusement park would come to town and there was always that one creepy attraction that was placed in the back of the park hidden away that I always wanted to go to. With that said, when I found out that Haunted Manor would let me stop by and review them, I was beyond excited.
Hollowgraves Haunted Manor is located in Keansburg, NJ at the Keansburg Amusement Park. Since Haunted Manor is located at an amusement park I wasn’t entirely sure where it was within it; however, once I parked I was able to ask an attendant who was able to give me directions to find the Manor. Good thing is is that they are the only haunted attraction at the amusement park so it wasn’t that difficult to locate. When I arrived at my destination I knew I was going to love this haunt. I could tell by the outside exterior the amount of heart, soul, and passion that goes into this attraction. The building itself was designed like a mini manor and looked creepy as hell - especially with the sun setting off into the distance. Above the Manor was the Haunted Manor sign lit up in neon red. To top everything off there was a graveyard for you to walk through before entering the house itself.
As usual, I don’t like to give too much away when it comes to haunts, but I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed myself! Is this the scariest haunt that I’ve been too? No, but I will admit that they did scare me a few times. Did I have a fun time going through the haunt? Absolutely. The haunt itself has a creepy undertone with a lot of animatronics skeletons throughout (which are handmade by the owner himself). There are also some surprises that I wasn’t expecting - and for a small scale haunt I was extremely impressed. John Watt, the manager, is also one of the scare actors and does an extremely great job. He literally could run that place by himself and no one would know that it was just one guy. It was also wonderful to see how dedicated he is to the Manor and how much it means to him.
One of the things that I like best is when the owner/manager of the attraction lets me go on a “lights-on” tour to see how they put together the haunt. John offered me the chance to see Hollowgraves Haunted Manor with all the lights on and I have to say, it is extremely impressive. I promised I wouldn’t devulge any info on how they put everything together but I will say that it is done very creatively. Something that was pointed out to me while I was on the lights-on tour was that some of the props within the Manor are from one of my favorite haunts growing up: Spooky World. To see pieces of props used in Spooky World (when Spooky World was actually a great attraction) reused in Hollowgraves Haunted Manor brought back so many memories as to why I love horror and especially haunted houses.
All in all, I really really loved my experience at Hollowgraves Haunted Manor. The only thing that I wish they would do differently is offer this event during the Halloween season. As it is right now, this event is only offered during the summer when the park is open. I hope to one day see Hollowgraves Haunted Manor expand to the point where it can be an all year haunt. Other than that, I would definitely recommend this place to anyone and everyone, both young and old will enjoy all that Hollowgraves Haunted Manor has to offer..
My final review/thoughts are as follows:
Atmosphere/Scares: 2 (atmosphere)
Length of House: 1
For more information on Hollowgraves Haunted Manor check out the following:
FACEBOOK: Hollowgraves Haunted Manor
INSTAGRAM: Hollowgraves Haunted Manor