The longest running haunt in the area is currently enjoying its 32nd season of operation. Big changes await their visitors this year as they claim to be 300% larger than 2004 with the additions of the 13th Street Morgue and The Royal Theater (which is purported to be the only movie theater in Red Oak). This is my kind of theater by the way. Classic horror double features each night in about the spookiest setting you can imagine.
This review will focus on the main building itself. Reindeer Manor is a flat out amazing accomplishment. This impressive feat of do-it-yourself engineering has been built inside an abandoned manor from the early 1900s with an intriguing history. A haunted house inside a haunted house… now we’re talking.
A great haunt to visit on a cool night, expect plenty of flames to keep you warm. You are shuttled from the parking lot to the attraction by hayride and get to take a loop around the grounds for a peek at what lies in store for you. Once you get in line, expect a bit of a wait as this haunt takes a little longer than most to move people through, but unique events result in unique circumstances. Once entering the building, you may be reminded of Disney’s Haunted Mansion as a disembodied voice welcomes you and gives you a bit of history… and then you’re on your way. You will soon recognize that Reindeer Manor is in a class by itself as you move through you take time to stop in each room and watch the events unfold.
A recurring experience that I have encountered when making the acting rounds with the Dark Night Players is bratty kids jumping right up in your face and yelling “You can’t touch me, you can’t touch me!” Well here, forget it. That rule is out the window. You will be touched by the manor’s inhabitants and you will be touched when you least expect it. And yes, this causes some serious chills. What appear to be innocuous rooms are transformed in a blink as you become swarmed by vampires or ghostly children, and they are all looking for a bite.
I don’t want to give away the whole experience and I highly recommend that you see it for yourself, but as you find yourself uncomfortably close to an intimidating lake of fire, or in a room that actually rocks wildly back and forth, you will be asking yourself, how did they do that? There is some real ingenuity behind the production of Reindeer Manor.
After you exit through a dark winding trail through the woods, inhabited by mischievous little devils, you will have a chance to reflect and realize that you’ve really seen something special. The combination of experience and boy scout know-how appears to have added up to a winning combination. The actors and atmosphere transport you to another place. Not just an amusement type visit of winding dark walk with jumps awaiting behind each corner, but it’s as if you are on an expedition exploring an actual haunted house in the classic sense and I really appreciate their effort. My visit to Reindeer Manor combined with 13th Street Morgue was the best time I’ve had at a haunt all season and if you only have one night to visit one attraction this year, I would recommend this be it.
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