Weird Mishmash Spurs The Crypt

 

Chemco

The Crypt was just about to close up shop when we pulled into the parking lot which meant that John and I had the distinction of being the last people to pass through its hallowed halls for the 2014 haunt season. The Crypt, as we first discovered during a Halloween visit in 2011, held a strange mixture of scenes and scares comprised of garish props, clunky animatronics and odd actors.

The sojourn began with a slow but gradual descent through the perfect dark of a silent, extensive hallway, an effective an underutilized start to any haunted house. When the serpentine passageway finally yielded, we trudged our way through a series of cluttered, musty living spaces.

The actors in this area of the attraction were universally husky, each a physically imposing figure who took a twisted pleasure in dolling out scares. Also in this quarter of The Crypt, a pair of creepy organ players kept us on our toes, a well-timed clown in rocking chair provided a jolt and we were introduced to the rotten remains of one cretin’s dead mommy.

It seemed that the residents of The Crypt would love nothing more than to make us outsiders the main ingredient in a pot of homemade gumbo, so it wasn’t a moment too soon that we exited the hoarder homestead and entered a different section of the haunted attraction.

Here, we were accosted by an exceedingly tall harlequin who insisted that he was infected with Ebola but neither John nor myself was keen to stick around for the results of a blood test and thus pushed forward into the jarring dungeon that served as the latter half of The Crypt.

In this area we were assaulted from all angles by strobes, pneumatics and all manner of haunted attraction trickery — it was a veritable glut of sensory input. In one corner a modified Fischer Price car hurled toward us out of the darkness, driven as it were by a gaggle of diminutive clowns.

We were surprised on several occasions by actors whose costumes blended neatly with their surroundings and in one unforgettable instance, a stout and hairy man confined to an inaccessible room, treated us to the most unsettling dance number since Buffalo Bill cut a rug in The Silence of the Lambs. Finally, there was the family of animatronic humans gathered around a table that jerked and twitched in such a freakish fashion that I found myself momentarily frozen with fear; mesmerized by the bizarre abomination that was before me.

The Crypt was an old school spook house that eschewed polished eye-candy in favor of a more visceral, gritty experience. The attraction was of fair length and even stimulated the frequently neglected tactile sense. The placement of a few actors amongst key props and animatronics would heighten the overall scare factor and additional dialogue from the cast wouldn’t go unappreciated. But as it was, The Crypt served as an unusual and entertaining haunted attraction.

Rating: 3.25 stars

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