After having visited Bloodshed / The 13th Floor, and Zombieland / Asylum, my Halloween Haunted House Tour had immediately gone from happy-go-lucky, and "phew, my pants are still on," to "I will never be able to sleep with the lights off again, and my goodness how is it possible that my pants are still dry." Each house made my quest 10 times more gory, 11 times more animatronic, 12 times more fun, 13 times more life-like and about 700 times more astonishing. Yes, astonishing — as in, “these hybrid haunted houses left me absolutely, jaw-droppingly, astonished."
The Best of Bloodshed: Jangling, hillbilly butchery, with haunting hick music dangling through each room, and drooping carcasses of dead girls and boys blocking the hallways. I bumped into a few and screamed. Even on my second time in. Each cannibal character inspected you up and down as you walked by, teasing with “Well lookie here.” But my personal favorite was the gaping, flannel-clad man who would not let up screaming at me to absolutely do not touch his blood-soaked sheets. Don’t worry, sir. No desire to touch those.
The Best of The 13th Floor: This absolutely unbelievable tour through the hush-hush laboratories of Hell in the underground 13th Floor, where every room inside acts as it’s own conspiratorial and classified testing room, was a hoot. Between aliens performing research and experiments in a special covert hallway, disgusting and slick reptile noises throughout, and the horrifying clowns that laughed at me as they tried to run me over with a tiny bike and giant truck, I couldn’t help but feel like I was in a top-secret warehouse where scientists were working on evil undertakings. Even though I never did run into Pinky or The Brain.
The Best of Zombieland: I cannot believe I wasn’t eaten by a zombie — and I would have liked to stay and hang out in the alleyway of abandoned cars and arcade games, with blasting metal music, until very slow moving zombies started following me with hisses, coos, and flailing arms grabbing for my clothes. A nickel’s worth of free advice for you? If you want to remain alive in this zombie apocalypse, you’ve got to act like a zombie.
The Best of Asylum: Word has it that this building is actually haunted. But you wouldn’t know the difference between an actual haunting, and what Asylum has recreated in terms of terrifying out of body experience. I especially liked the surgeon (er, butcher), that was very articulate in explaining to me that there is “nothing to see here. Just your normal routine surgery. Just your typical routine lobotomy.” I could not get enough of the crazed technician who laughed maddeningly about electrocuting those two poor innocent men in front of me, and I was addicted to the chainsaw chase out at the end.
Any of these haunted houses will be the perfect candy corn atop your Halloween weekend cake.If you happen to miss them this year — you shouldn't. These haunted houses are built, designed, arranged and organized all year long, in order to make sure you come out of them screaming and crying.
Fear Factor (all four houses): A
Fun Factor (all four houses): A
Check out Bloodshed / The 13th Floor at 4120 Brighton Blvd. Bldg. C in Denver and Zombieland / Asylum at 6100 E. 39th Ave. in Denver.