It had been years since I actually went through a haunted house, so I wasn’t completely sure what to expect when I headed to RiNo to check out 13th Floor. I’ve always been a horror fan and not easily scared, but there’s something different about actual actors jumping out at you rather than braving the action happening on the screen. Nevertheless, I set out boldly to try the infamous 13th Floor haunted house and give an honest review.
Because I am not a fan of huge crowds or wild nights, I went with my best friend on a Sunday night instead. We went just half an hour before close, and were rewarded with an incredibly short line. Judging by the wrap-around line setup and the screen they have to entertain guests, though, that line can get brutal during the peak hours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
Waiting in line for just ten minutes, we were spooked by a girl in a truly uncanny clown mask with a high voice and a giant voodoo demon. Once you get through the doors, you are confusingly thrust in front of a prop elevator to get your picture taken, which you can redeem at the end with a swipe card. (I was caught completely off-guard and not ready for the photo, so it was awful and I didn’t buy it later.) That bit was a little hokey; a camera somewhere inside the house that takes a candid photo of guests screaming in terror to show them at the end would be a more creative way to commemorate the tour.
Once you get lead into the actual house, though, the terror, is non-stop. You are basically running (well, we were) from room to room with very convincing actors and props jumping out at you. My best friend was terrified and was clinging on to me for dear life, and I’ll admit I was doing my fair share of screaming as well. The dim lighting helps everything look more real, but the fact that you are barreling through in the dark, and let’s be real, maybe closing your eyes a few times, gives the feeling that you aren’t seeing everything there is to see, and at the end I struggled to remember the entire event. One probably has to do the house several times to really get the feel for it.
Some of the coolest effects are the gore and attention to detail. The entrails on the dead bodies and the Texas Chainsaw-esque house they created with human body parts being cooked on the stove look chilling in the dark, even though they are clearly plastic. They also managed to include almost every phobia out there. Mine is snakes, and they even have a foggy room with a giant snake prop that emerges from the wall.
That being said, the vertigo and claustrophobia triggers are truly terrifying. There is a room with a bridge and swirling lights, and even worse, a room with mirrors that will have you constantly running up against walls as you try and get out. If you have any serious triggers from things like claustrophobia or people getting in your face, skip the 13th Floor for sure, as awesome as it is.
Overall, the 13th Floor does its job incredibly well. I screamed, I had fun, and I even timed it right so I didn’t have to stand in super-long lines with a ton of drunk people. I would highly recommend this haunted house to anyone who thinks they can take some of the very real fear stimuli and to those who aren’t afraid to scream.