Scares the yell out of y’all.

By Hope S. Philbrick

There’s a strange dichotomy of visiting a haunted house for the second time: You want to be scared, but you also want to see some of your favorite things.

Can the familiar be scary?

Turns out, the answer is yes.

The trick is a totally new arrangement and enough new stuff added to the familiar to keep the surprises coming.

My husband and I had visited Netherworld Haunted House in Atlanta for the first time a couple of years ago. We loved it, but could a second visit elicit the same level of scare? We walked in knowing that the themes would differ—themes change dramatically each year with new effects, costumes, sets, and surprises—but would we be surprised? And would our favorite bits resurface?

Yes. Yes. And yes.

Though billed as a “haunted house”—and considered one of the best in the U.S.; it’s been called “the most over-the-top haunted house on earth” by Travel Channel and ranked as the nation’s top haunt by USA Today—Netherworld is more of a haunted warehouse with two different scare stories each year. For 2014, the themes are Season of the Witch and Spliced.

NetherworldNetherworld 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. (Of course, deep down you know that you are safe, but it’s hard not to be startled by almost everything that screams, jumps out or lurches at you inside the experience. And other guests screaming in front of and behind you add to the ambiance of fear.)

Spoiler Alert: Season of the Witch is the longer of the two walk-through attractions this year, but don’t skip the shorter Spliced, which offers a few moments that suggest an apocalypse as you walk through an abandoned bus, figures in gas masks, a bright cloud, and more—with ebola in the news, it’s hard not to imagine the realities of such a threat.

We were thrilled to see two of our favorite special effects incorporated into the new shows: a bridge that appears to tilt and spin through space and a swamp in which you’ll find yourself stranded neck-deep without getting wet. We were also intrigued by a room that seemed to drop as soon as we stepped into it, a steep tilted floor, a mirrored maze, and much more—but we don’t want to spoil all the details.

Netherworld is co-owned by Ben Armstrong and Billy Messina, both former TV and movie professionals. The top-notch effects have terrified and thrilled visitors since 1997.

For Halloween season fun, Netherworld sets the bar in Atlanta, Georgia.

Netherworld - Season of the Witch

More Information…

Netherworld Haunted House
6624 Dawson Blvd.
Norcross GA 30093

Netherworld is open every night now through November 2, with additional nights on November 7 & 8, 2014.

Buy tickets HERE.

@21plusTravel Tip: Buy tickets online to avoid the box office line. A speedpass ticket costs more than general admission, but in our opinion is totally worth it…unless you’re fond of waiting in line. General admission is $22-28; a speedpass is $50-55. Click HERE for more pricing information.

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. 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

Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion.

HopeP_144Hope S. Philbrick is founder and editor-in-chief of Getaways for Grownups. She became a freelance writer and editor because she believes that work and fun should not be mutually exclusive. Her work has appeared in dozens of publications nationwide. When not writing, she can usually be found on the road or savoring something tasty. She has never seen a ghost.

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