GHOUL BROS HOUSE OF HORROR

PORTAGE LAKES, OHIO

ARTICLE BY: MICHAEL CIRRINCIONE

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It's in the back of a crowded commercial/industrial building on the corner of Robinson Ave and Manchester Rd in Portage Lakes, Ohio. The experience to be witnessed is a forty some room spectacle of thrills. Ghoul Brothers House of Horrors is established on the story that the Ghoul Brothers travelled the world for years collecting the most grotesque and nightmarish supernatural and horror items they could find.

 

Within these walls, you will travel from Swamp and Rainforest to Butcher Shop and Doctor's Office, even to the North Pole and an Egyptian Tomb. The storytelling avails these themes and they are very well executed. From floor to top, the walls encroach around you at a height of around twelve to fourteen feet. The walls are extraordinarily well dressed and painted. Shelves up and down hold immersive items and distressing makes the walls feel lived in.

 

The journey begins in the outdoor queue line which for the most part is protected from the weather by the fifteen foot overhang of the building. This is the first space in which you come into contact with the queue actors. A bloody, squirrely masked cannibal creeps through the crowd picking off the weakest of all guests. Another large cannibal swings around his knife, menacing the survivors who weren't scared by the first actors.

 

The Ghost Host lets groups in slowly either directly to the indoor queue or to the Box Office. Prices are $22 General Admission, no VIP. The lobby is stocked with a few big pieces of costuming and props and the lighting includes water effect gobos and LED Spotlights. Ticket taker is a little weary but, takes care of the job. When she send you in, Grandma's there waiting for you.

 

She greets you with the question, “Why don't you ever visit you Grandma anymore?” and when you answer, she quickly turns a corner and yells, “We have some new ones for you!” to a mysterious group of villains who seek to end you. Through the halls and rooms, you're assaulted from a good number of angles and the actors are loud. They definitely got me a few times.

 

You proceed through a House, a Meat-packing Plant and a good amount of different everyday environments built out to be immersive and disbelief suspending. It helps that you can't see the ceiling unless you're looking almost straight up. We went through at a decent pace and felt slightly in another realm for at least half the time. The award-winning Special Effects Artist who owns Ghoul Brothers does a good job with his team at making this happen.

 

One great feature I haven't seen at many other haunts is the use of fluorescence and black lights. The Crosses Hallway is amazing and they have a pretty good Spinning Tunnel. A few other rooms pop quite nicely too. General Manager Matt runs a good show with a good team and it enhances the nights of nearly everyone who comes. Everyone in the Cleveland-Akron-Canton Area should go at least once. 

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