You know how much I love haunted houses? Enough to go through one by myself! Last night I satisfied my craving to tour a South Carolina haunted house attraction by driving to Dr. Screams, one of the major players in the haunted house biz here in Myrtle Beach. Let me tell you a little bit about it.
This year the location for Dr. Screams was in a closed down retail store. For me, the structure that a haunted house takes place in is almost as intriguing as the content of the attraction itself. I walked up to the entrance of the haunted house by my lonesome and paid the $15 admission price. This marked the first time I had never had to wait in line for a haunted house. After I received my ticket I was ushered to the side of the building with 10 other people.
After about two minutes of standing outside the side door, we were invited inside. We huddled into a dark, small room where a haunted house worker gave us the ground rules. We were then able to proceed. Because I was unattached to the other 10 people and because I was standing near the entrance of the maze, I was appointed the leader. I walked in as everyone else followed behind me.
It became apparent the moment I started walking that the dude behind me was a “funny man.” He was commentating throughout the duration of the tour and using expletives when actors would jump out. It didn’t really bother me, it did seem like he was having a good time. Anyway, the funny guy had some buddies with him and then there were a few girls and a few additional guys in the group. The girls had already started freaking out from the moment they had purchased tickets.
I liked the layout of the haunted house. I didn’t feel too much pressure leading the group because it flowed in a way in that you knew where you needed to go yet you had no idea where you were at physically in the structure. There was one time where I led us into a dead end dark corner and I had to whip my phone out for some light so I could backtrack just a bit. I actually liked that brief feeling of not knowing where I was going.
In the haunted house the actors were pretty plentiful and seemed motivated to give a good scare. Unfortunately, because I was the lead in the group, the actors tended to wait to jump out at the people more in the middle. The one costume that really jumped out at me was an evil clown. Yes, I am definitely on one of those kicks.
As for the scenes depicted in the haunted house and the other decorations, I thought they were about average. Here is a stupid moment of mine: I totally missed the boat on the Dr. Screams name.
When Sidney asked me about what I saw in the haunted house I replied, “A lot of scenes depicting surgery gone wrong.”
“Well yeah, that’s why they call it Dr. Screams.”
I didn’t put the twisted medical doctor theme together. I thought “Dr. Screams” was just the general name of the haunted house, much in the same that Dr. Pepper is a general name for soda with no ties to an actual medical doctor. So with that said, it makes sense that the attraction was filled with graphic failed operations and mutilated corpses on gurneys. I understand the theme and appreciate it, but I was hoping for maybe a little more variety. I would have like to seen cemeteries, murder scenes, and vampire lairs.
When we exited the building we were ushered onto an ambulance (another “Dr.” theme that I didn’t realize until Sidney brought it to my attention). I thought this was awesome and unique! The 11 of us piled in and we were driven around to a few different scenes. For example, at one stop the doors opened and there was a fire burning with actors around it with chainsaws ready to scare us. Of course they made the ride anything but smooth and creepy music/hospital sounds played inside. I appreciated this component to a haunted attraction that I had never experienced before.
When they told us to get out of the ambulance, one of the girls in our group had had enough. Scared to tears and disturbed, she said she couldn’t go on. We left her behind as workers showed her out.
The conclusion of the attraction had us walking down this wooded trail. Actors lurked in the trees and it was a guessing game of what side they were going to jump out from. A girl in my group clutched the back of my pullover the entire time we were on the trail. Apologizing profusely, I laughingly told her not to worry about it. At the conclusion of the trail, the attraction was over.
I really enjoyed the different components of Dr. Screams in that you got to go through a traditional haunted house, ride in an ambulance, and then walk through an outside haunt. I also thought the actors did a good job and were professional. My critiques would probably be the admission price being a bit steep ($15) and the mediocre scene creations. But overall it got me into the Halloween spirit and it was so nice not freezing my butt off waiting in line. I am happy to say that I have gone through a haunted house attraction in the South. Don’t Blink.