Halloween Haunts

Written by: Beau Brown

Hundreds and hundreds of people lined the parking lot of an old, abandoned factory building last Saturday as they waited for the plunge into an hour’s worth of haunts and scares in Ohio’s longest haunted house, The Factory of Terror.

The Factory of Terror, a two-time Guinness World Record winner, is located in Canton and has been recognized as the longest haunted house in the world, with a path extending 3,796 feet. Open since 2002, The Factory of Terror is an amalgamation of four chilling, yet enticing, haunted houses. Each house has its own special type of scare that is sure to keep any visitor wanting more.

Upon arrival, you are faced with an already-frightening long line. However, don’t let it intimidate you too much, because the ride you will encounter once you make it through the winding line will make you realize that it was worth the wait.

During the wait, several actors dressed up in many different styles of costume and makeup wander through the line and scare unsuspecting customers. The artistry of the costumes and the makeup is interesting and realistic, and, to top it all off, it is varied in order to prevent The Factory of Terror’s victims from getting bored.

When you enter the factory while in the line, you are engulfed in a room decorated with beautifully disgusting ornaments. To your left, there is a handsome, mutilated body hanging from the ceiling, with the head and the legs completely severed from the rest of the body. The severed limbs hang elsewhere in the room.

The pre-scares and scenery before you come across the haunted house itself allow you to sense what is up next, and prevent the typical boredom and regretful feeling one gets when having to wait in line for an hour or so.

“The wait in line was long, but it was really worth it,” said Alicia Ivanoff, psychology major at  The University of Akron. “They didn’t really keep you waiting, since they already were scaring you before the haunted house began.”

Now it’s time for the part everyone’s been waiting for: the entrance into the first haunted house. The Portal to Insanity lives up to its name. You start walking through a spinning, colorful vortex, and suddenly you find yourself shrouded in darkness. The start to your adventure shakes off the nerves of entering the haunted house and replenishes it with terror. The first haunted house thrives off of its nature of randomness and, well, insanity.

The second haunted house, Industrial Nightmare, plays off of the name of The Factory of Terror. Inside this portion of the factory is an industrial setting that makes you feel as if you were in an old, worn-down factory. It is full of twists and turns and strange mechanical devices that move and sound with no warning. The monsters inside are dressed as factory workers who have been killed inside the factory and have been cursed with haunting its machinery.

After the trek through Industrial Nightmare, the jolted individual experiences a complete change in scenery, one that may not be expected when thinking of The Factory of Terror. The third haunted house is called Massacre on Mahoning, and the setting here is one that reminds you of a sort of combination of “The Last House on the Left” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” The props and the scenery here blow you away… sometimes literally. You find yourself walking through someone’s old mansion, complete with old, antique furniture, paranormal activity, and degraded women asking you to join them while they eat assorted body parts. Let’s hope you like insects as well.

The final haunted house is truly the quirkiest. The Portal to Insanity may be the most “insane” portion of The Factory of Terror, but the fourth haunted house, Judgement Day, serves up an even bigger bowl of insanity as you are surrounded by bright neon colors and 3-D effects. Judgement Day circles around the idea of hell and plays with it greatly. As you look around, you find creatures and aliens staring right back at you menacingly, and they aren’t even actors, but paintings on the wall. It’s mind-boggling, but its esoteric properties give Judgement Day a scary factor that might make you want to change your underwear.

The Factory of Terror is chock-full of surprises, great scenery and props, and impressive actors. What really seemed to scare the audience, however, were the props.

“What I liked most about The Factory of Terror was definitely the props,” said Michael LoPiccolo, an Akron native. “They were so realistic. I felt like I was really in a horror flick.”

Brianna Ivanoff, sister of Alicia, couldn’t decide which part scared her the most. It was the whole thing that scared her.

“I literally almost peed myself,” Ivanoff said.

The Factory of Terror is located at 4125 Mahoning Road in Canton. General admission is $23 per person, or, if you’d prefer not to wait in line, you can purchase a VIP ticket for $33. Special group rates, as well as regular tickets, can be purchased online at fotohio.com.