Factory of Terror walks you through four ghoulishly delightful warehouse haunts.
After writing my review of Fear Forest Haunted Hay Ride I realized how big of a difference pictures can make. Not being able to take pictures on the hay ride or in the insanetarium, I could only tell my readers about the awesomeness that it was, but not show it.
To remedy this, I called around a few places to see if they would allow me to get in early to take a few pictures. Factory of Terror took the bait and did me one better. Instead of letting me in early to get a few shots of the sets, they comped me a couple of tickets and let me take the live tour snapping shots as I went.
I was given a tee time of Friday at 8pm. Jen was planning on being out of town so I went to work finding new haunted house buddy. Posting the opportunity on Twitter to join me at Factory of Terror, I had a few followers retweet my message, thereby throwing their hat into the ring. Craig (@CraigGeis,) was the lucky winner.
I’ve never met Craig though we have common acquaintances. I didn’t believe a single thing I’ve heard about him! We emailed, making arrangements to meet up at Factory of Terror. Come Friday, I put the bark collar on the dog and headed out.
I initially had mixed feelings about Factory of Terror. I was impressed by its magnitude but at some points it felt like sitting in a pew in a near empty church on Sunday morning. It was big, but it wasn’t always full of life… or in this case, death, destruction, murder and mayhem.
By the time Craig and I got our tickets there was already a short line building. The Factory of Terror is housed in a large warehouse on Mahoning Road in Canton. You don’t quite get the magnitude of it until you’re inside. It’s pretty dang massive.
The path from ticket booth to warehouse was largely unmarked. They could have done a better job outlining the path with police tape, a trail of blood, dead bodies or whatever. Instead we were pointed down the rope line, around the corner and…. um, is it this door? No. How about this one? Nope, not it either.
Luckily behind us was someone who had been there the night before and was able to point us in the right direction. Rounding another corner there it was. A large warehouse door entrance. Inside was the rope line and waiting area. The music was thumping loudly prepping you for the thrills yet to come. Painted on the walls were scary murials with zombies making their way around the room growling at newcomers and making a general nuisance of themselves, like all good zombies should.
The line was short but the wait was still about 10 minutes before we were permitted entry. They take their time staggering groups in so you get your own experience rather than viewing someone else’s from ten feet behind. This strategy didn’t always work out as planned.
Factory of Terror has four separate phases: Portal to Insanity, Industrial Nightmare, Mahoning Rd. Massacre, and Judgment Day 3D.
The Portal to Insanity was a very large house of mirrors. But this was nothing like any house of mirrors I’ve ever been in. Before entering you are required to put on plastic gloves. This keeps fingerprints off the mirrors and it worked marvelously. All through the house of mirrors you could not tell the difference between a mirror and a clear path.
There was a continuous heartbeat thumping that could be felt in your bones. As you make your way through the house of mirrors it gets louder and louder. Making our way through the Portal to Insanity wasn’t easy. You literally had to walk with your hands outstretched in front of you until they came into contact with a mirror. I was looking dead at people who I knew were not in front of me, but were a reflection of a reflection of a reflection. At one point I jumped out at myself from behind a post and scared the bejeezus out of me.
There was not a single path through the mirrors. There were many twists, turns and even circles. As Craig and I made our way through we passed others making their way back toward us, looking for the exit. Through the mirrors you could see an entrance and exit but you never could quite tell where it was.
Eventually, thanks to my bold leadership, Craig and I made our way out. Next up: Industrial Nightmare.
This was the big disappointment of the Factory of Terror. You were ushered into a large open warehouse with some machinery, storage racks piled with tools and what not. The atmosphere was creepy, but there really wasn’t much more than that. You just kind of walked through it. There were some decorations here and there and even the occasional zombie jumping out at you, but it just felt kind of empty.
It wasn’t until after we made our way that I noticed the ticket says it doesn’t officially open until next year. The question is, why have us walk through it at all? In its current form its a downer. I kept waiting for somethign to happen, becoming more and more disappointed realizing that it was not much more than a giant prop room.
When you finished strolling through the Industrial Bad Dream you find a snack bar This is where you can get refreshments and a bloody mary. (Get it? A bloody mary in a horror house? C’mon, that was funny.) My guess is that during peak times the lines for each of the four areas can be long, creating extended waits between the four areas. Only having approximately 10 groups ahead of us our wait was still 10-15 minutes each time.
The next section we entered into was the Mahoning Rd. Massacre. This area alone was probably double the size of Fear Forest’s Insanetarium. But bigger does not necessarily mean better.
The walk through was your standard haunted house fare. You walk from one set to the next, each with it’s gruesome scene of violence or monsters jumping out at you. Sometimes both.
There was an overabundance of hydrolics used. Eventually I tired of the body’s shaking in uncontrollable spasms, or someone jumping out from behind something they were obviously hiding behind. Most of the actors did great. A few were even successful in catching me off guard. But overall I would have liked more real human bodies to get me engaged with the scares. A lot more.
About 3/4 way through the Massacre we caught up to the group in front of us. And shortly after that the group behind us caught up. We became a human train. All the scares were spoiled by those in front of us, and the fun was ruined by the loud group behind us. I’m all for making the talking to the actors as that’s half the fun. Making sarcastic comments is par for the course, but the group behind us were loud, obnoxious and not even remotely funny.
The final stage was Judgment Day 3D. Before entering everyone is given a pair of glasses which allows them to get the full 3d experience. The effects in this section were expertly implemented. The walls, monsters, and decorations were painted orange and green. With the glasses the orange elements came jumping off the walls out toward you. Fixtures moved as you walked by creating a surreal feeling. Room after room of 3D effects gave Factory of Terror an excellent finale.
We exited the Factory of Terror on the south side of nowhere. It was kinda like being dumped in the middle of the desert with no directions how to get home. Where’s the path? The Markers? Heck, where is the parking lot? We ended up following a few other poor, lost souls on a long walk down the street, across an open lot and, oh, there’s where we parked! Nice of them to help us out and point the way.
I’ve never experienced a haunted house on this scale. Factory of Terror is simply massive in scope and bold in execution. They could use more of the human element, but overall, it’s a thrill I’d go back for.
More Factory of Terror Info
Cost: $20/person with internet coupons
Hats off: 4/5
Factory of Terror website
Google Reviews and info
4125 Mahoning Road NE