Get spooked in Atlanta, Georgia, nightly through November 1, 2015.
Discerning grownups opt for the Speedpass. Same boos, less teens.
By Hope S. Philbrick
Netherworld Haunted House is now open nightly through November 1, with bonus dates November 6 & 7 and November 13 & 14 to wrap up the 19th haunt season.
Co-creators Ben Armstrong and Billy Messina have designed two brand new haunts: “The Rotting” and “Vault 13: Unearthed.”
I recently met someone who wanted to experience the haunts, but confessed that she was too afraid to actually venture inside. My advice: Don some Depends if you feel you must, but go for it. This is fun fear! Because, of course, deep down you know that you are safe the whole time. Whisper reminders to yourself as you walk along, if need be. While it’s easy to be startled by the actors who scream, jump, or reach at you inside the experience, if you get lost in the maze of the attraction these same actors point out the right route to follow, so it’s sort of hard to hold a grudge.
Stepping into Netherworld feels like stepping onto a movie set. The special effects are so top-notch and over-the-top impressive that even as you may be screaming because someone dressed up in a very realistic corpse costume lurches out in front of you, it’s hard not to stand, mouth-agape marveling at the skull walls, cushy cemetery-esque footing, creepy ambiance, and extraordinary “WOW!” of it all.
Netherworld assaults the senses with so much to hear, look at and absorb that while on the one hand you feel compelled to run through to safety, on the other you want to linger and try to look around to appreciate everything. It’s realistic, in the men-in-charge-of-Hollywood sort of way (e.g., female skeletons still have boobs, because silicon?), and ultimately as scary as you allow yourself to believe.
Spoiler Alert: The Rotting is the longer of the two walk-through haunts this year. It’s packed with experiences that weave from one scene to another, each one more impressive than the last in its bold design and intense engagement. But don’t skip the shorter Vault 13: Unearthed, which stages a few vignettes that suggest an apocalypse as you walk through a tilting room into an abandoned bus occupied by figures in gas masks, and eventually escape through a tunnel of foam.
I’m always thrilled to see my two favorite special effects incorporated into the new haunts: a bridge that appears to tilt and spin through space and a swamp in which you’ll find yourself neck-deep without getting wet.
Recently named the No. 5 “Scariest Haunted House in America 2015” by Hauntworld.com, and one of the nation’s “Top Halloween Attractions” by the Travel Channel, this year features amazing new sets, intense special effects and weird creatures found nowhere else (thankfully).
“The Netherworld stories continue from year to year,” says one representative. So, if you had a favorite character in years past, you may see it again. But even if this is your first visit, you’ll catch up.
Just don’t miss it: This is one of the best tourist attractions in Atlanta, and it only comes around once each year for a limited time.
More about the 2015 haunts…
Armies of spirits have escaped from the NETHERWORLD and are draining the life from humans turning them into zombie like creatures called THE ROTTING! A paranormal investigation team has discovered the supernatural source of THE ROTTING, but they fear the cure may be worse than the disease! The new themes and characters include The Tombs of Whysburg, The Ghoul Tunnels, The Arena of Ghosts, and The Alien Flesh Lab!
VAULT 13: UNEARTHED
A secret government base buried deep below the earth has been reactivated by an unknown force. Now you must descend into Vault 13 and discover the truth, before the hideous experiments and weird creatures contained there are released to the surface world! The new horrors include The Elevator of Death, The Toxic Foam, The Grotesque Hatchling and the Mighty Torg!
NETHERWORLD, Atlanta’s most popular self-guided, dark attraction, is one of the most highly-acclaimed Haunted Houses in the world. Known for its over-the top special effects, unique make-up, elaborate costuming, skilled stunt actors and unusual themes and details, NETHERWORLD has established itself as an Atlanta tradition. Since the attraction first opened 19 years ago, NETHERWORLD has been voted by publications such as Hauntworld Magazine, Fangoria and USA Today as the top haunt in the nation as well as been recognized both locally and nationally by media including CNN, The Today Show, The Early Show, The Travel Channel and Wall Street Journal. Every season, this innovative horror experience continues to draw in generations of thrill seekers eager to see what new nightmares have been released!
NETHERWORLD has been named Haunt World’s “Best Haunted House of All Time,” one of Travel Channel’s “Best Halloween Attractions of 2015” and Dread Central’s #1 “Terrifying Haunted Attraction.”
For more information, visit www.fearworld.com or call 404-608-2484.
• Nightly October 2 through November 1: Sundays-Thursdays 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Fridays & Saturdays 7 p.m. to midnight
• November 6 & 7, 13 & 14: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Off I-85 @
Georgia Antique & Design Center
6624 Dawson Blvd.
THE ROTTING: $22 weekdays, $25 Fridays & Saturdays
Combo THE ROTTING & VAULT 13: UNEARTHED: $28 weekdays, $30/$35 Fridays & Saturdays
Combo SPEEDPASS (Skip the line!) THE ROTTING & VAULT 13: UNEARTHED: $50/$55
@21plusTravel Tip: Spring for the Speedpass.
A Speedpass ticket costs more than general admission, but in our opinion is totally worth it…unless you’re fond of waiting in line. Note that while standing in line, your odds of being surrounded by teenagers is extremely high—an experience that can wear a discerning grownup’s patience faster than getting gnawed by a flesh-eating zombie.
Netherworld is not recommended for anyone who is pregnant, has a heart condition, is sensitive to strobe lights, or is in general poor health.
Odds of Encountering Children: High, but once you’re inside the haunt there are too many distractions to care. Officially, Netherworld is not recommended for children under the age of six–though we’d give the place a PG-13 rating and caution parents accordingly.
– Photos courtesy 360 Media for Netherworld
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