Saturday, October 8, 2011

Brighton Asylum

I just got back from going through the Brighton Asylum in Passaic, NJ, and it was well worth the $20 admission. From the decor to the actors to the length of the haunt it was an all around good show.

First off, the haunt is in an industrial area of the town, apparently an abandoned factory. Driving through there at night was creepy enough and certainly set the mood. There was plenty of parking (it wasn't crowded at all -- probably its location) and there were helpful (and friendly!) attendants guiding you through. There was also a police presence too to ensure everyone's safety.

The haunt starts off with a small tour of their "museum," of props and artifacts that have appeared in various movies. You then go into the asylum, and right from the get-go, my wife was terrified. The doctors that greeted you were appropriately gory, and the one with the pencil sticking out of her head really scared my wife. Lots of twists and turns and different rooms with actors hidden around every corner.

There was lots of eye candy too for the home haunter to absorb. Some rooms were more bare than others, and I probably would have liked every corridor to be chock full of props, but there was definitely enough to entertain me. The actors were also excellent: their timing was good -- even got me once or twice -- and the make was fairly professional.

Now I'll have to make an admission here: a friend of mine from the NJ Make & Take group on HauntForum is an actor at Brighton Asylum, but that didn't color my judgment at all. If the haunt sucked, I would have said so, but it didn't.

Walking through the haunt, though, I heard an actor working on two women in front of us and I knew that voice. It was Sharon! She has her own haunt too, Bloodcrest Manor, and goes by the name Joiseygal, but tonight she was in full clown regalia. Great job, Sharon!

The haunt had a Claustrophobia run as well, and it must have been one of the big ones because my wife couldn't wait to get out of there. She was really getting claustrophobic and kept asking when is it going to end? Rooms with clowns, rooms with body bags, hanging creepiness, and more! There was a lot to take in. And as I said, it was a fairly long haunt which to me was a positive; to my wife, not so  much. There were plenty of pop up scares, actor scares, and sensory scares (the sparking fuse box was cool).

All in all I really can recommend the Brighton Asylum. Now it does have a sister haunt, a Field of Screams Horror Hayride in Montvale, NJ. Two years ago I attended that one, which was something of a mix of the two and had enjoyed it at the time. Since my wife prefers hayrides (I don't) we'll probably end up going there as well before the end of the month.

Tickets to the Asylum are $20 and $15 for the Hayride. A Combo ticket runs just $27, and if I'm not mistaken you don't have to go to both on the same night. Any time they're open you can use them. So if you have an opportunity to choose a haunt to attend, I can recommend Brighton Asylum.

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