Review: Realm of Darkness (Haunted house)

Hello again, dear readers!

My family and I, all went to a haunted house last night, to get us in the mood for Halloween (of course, anyone that knows me, knows I dont need to get into the Halloween mood, I am there 24/7-365).  We had seen ads for Realm of Darkness, and decided to go and check it out.  What a blast!

They took over the old Mervyn's store at Cottonwood Mall.  Upon entering the site, we saw what appeared to be a Halloween costume store,reminiscent of what we saw when we go to SpiritHalloween.  The only difference is that this group seemed much cheaper and there were not all the animatronic figures and scare tactic items, it mainly contained some haunted house halloween items like miniature hanging figures, skeletons, zombie signage, etc. For the most part they carried costumes, accessories, and such.  I was very impressed by their selections.  Next year we will definitely be going back to shop there for our costumes.

After we meandered thru all the aisles of goodies, we made our way back to the ticket booth for the haunted house.

On Sundays, the haunted house opens at 4pm.  So, we got our tickets and waited for the doors to open.  Our son had never gone to a "real" haunted house before, other than the one his elementary school put on for the kids...not one like this.  He had only seen such things on tv, he was really chomping at the bit to get started...but that quickly changed once we got inside.  He heard all the screams, hysterical laughter and "jump out and scare the life out of you" characters that were hiding in all the shadows and play acting various roles inside the haunted maze of rooms. 

It was all dark and scary, temporary walls lead to dead ends, lots of twists and turns, and crazies hiding in every shadow...thankfully I have very good night vision, so I could see what most people could not, and I did not scream every time someone jumped out of the shadows at us.  There were a lot of great scares.  I did, however, jump when someone on the other side of the wall would bang, with full force, to make the portraits smack against the wall in protest. 

The haunted house had great props and great makeup covered actors.  I can see why it was called Realm of Darkness.  That is good in some respects for the "scare tactics" but not so good for the safety issues.  Let yourself be forewarned...if you are going to check this haunted house out, wear good shoes, dont wear sandals, or slippery soled flats...wear fully enclosed shoes with good gripping soles.  There are some uneven floor issues that could be real fall hazards, as I was wearing ballet flats, with slick bottoms, and I jarred my knee and back pretty badly when the floor became uneven and slick in some areas. 

I know they dont want to lose the scare factor that the darkness provides, but to be honest, if they dont want more people hurt, they should put blacklight along the walkways or glowsticks of some sort, so that people can watch the floor as they are walking.  And there are some areas that it was real easy to get "lost" in, which is great in a haunted house, but not so good when you have to rely on one of the staff to help lead you out of, because it is SO dark that you cant even feel along the wall to find the next room, etc.  Just minor little details they should take into consideration...

All in all, this was a fantastic event, our son, tho he said he didnt get "very" scared, sure had a good grip on me (I think i still have nail marks in my arm LOL)...he handled it very well.  A great time was had by all!

The great thing about this haunted house is that the money they take in is given partially to the actors, which are high school children and adult volunteers, and (if I heard correctly) the rest of the money goes to local schools.


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