The owners of Laurel's House of Horror are geniuses! Taking an old movie theater, working with the existing features and architecture, and turning it into really cool escape rooms and a haunt is just amazing!!! They have 4 horror-themed escape rooms that are open throughout the year and in the fall they host their haunted attraction.
Tucked in the back corner of a shopping center, Laurel's House of Horror took over a 6-screen theater and have really made it work! They've done a phenomenal job with the interior build; aside from one scene (probably our fave) and a really well-done and detailed interior queue line featuring the theater's original concession counter, you would never even guess you were in a movie theater. They've managed to incorporate lots of level changes, chopped up the space to make enclosed rooms, and created some very dynamic pathways. We had to crawl in a pretty tight space for longer than most haunts would dare. This could have sent a serious claustrophobic into a panic attack. We, however, thought it was AWESOME!!!
This haunt played upon its theater roots by transforming some of those pre-existing spaces into scenes. They also delved into phobias. We moved from room to room exploring different sets that exposed a multitude of psychoses. Through the use of some creative transitions... "Feed the clown"... the different rooms were all tied together well.
They had some REALLY great actors and some not so great but definitely not due to a lack of enthusiasm or desire to be scary. These guys were passionate, but there were certain areas where the sets out-shined them. Make-up and costuming were pretty good but, because there aren't many props and they rely heavily on their actors for scares, it could use a little more focus.
They were crowded when we arrived and even more packed when we left so you can enjoy some music and a movie while you wait or buy the fast pass. They had one of our favorite scary movies playing on the screen in the outside queue line, The Conjuring, plus they had a DJ. This seemed to be a common theme in the DMV area, playing popular music instead of scary music. We kinda missed the scary stuff... it really helps set the tone for us.
Although we aren't the biggest fans of drinking and haunting, Laurel's House of Horror partners with a local tavern to do a cool haunt tour. It starts at Manor Hill Tavern and then transports you on a private bus to The Nevermore Haunt, Laurel's House of Horror, then back to the tavern. You receive fast pass entrance into both haunts as well as three beer selections from Manor Hill Brewery.
This was a super fun haunt with tons of room to grow. We would love to see them continue to really develop the interior queue line with the theater theme and add some actors in there and outside to create additional scare zones. They are definitely one to visit this season and to look out for in the years to come!