February 18, 2018, 07:04:12 PM
News: Do something scary... go to a Haunted House!
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Author Topic: St. Alban's Sanitorium- Radford, Va  (Read 524 times)
Completely Haunted
Posts: 707

« on: October 04, 2015, 10:43:10 AM »

St. Alban's Sanitorium
Date visited: 10/2/15

Scare Factor: 3/5
It's hard to properly assign a number here.  We got lost finding the entrance to the haunt and picked up an off duty actor or staff member.  Sensing an easy mark he followed our group and one person in particular through 95% of the attraction.  It just became boring/annoying for the rest of our group.  Scares were killed when he, out of costume mind you, just kept yelling at one person.  A scene or two would have been fine but the whole trip kinda was a mood killer.  That being said there are solid scares here that are almost entirely actor driven.  I'd like to give it another go without our tagalong "friend".

Actors: 3/5
The actors here are a mixed bag.  Most seem to settle for the pop scare alone and are limited to just screaming.  Lots and lots of screaming.  Good screaming but just screaming.  In multiple instances actors run at you down a hallway which is unsettling but when they reach your group nothing further happens which is a bit of a letdown.  A few actors, especially in the clown areas, are more verbal and more attentive.  Most actors are good with name usage and in the later stages of the attraction would corner those showing fear and pour on the scares.

Sets/Props/Fx: 4/5
The most effective set here is the building itself.  This is an actual condemned / closed asylum.  There are crumbling walls, water spots, dank smells, holes in the ceiling, former patient rooms, and more that alone can give you goosebumps and keep your attention.  The sets range from well detailed to spartan but all of them do imbue the vibe of the mentally unstable.  I particularly enjoyed the metallic sheen walls that reflected green laser light as you made your way through the maze.  Masks and makeup again varied from very strong as seen in Twisty the Clown to minimal.  Sets are homemade by each volunteer per the introduction we were given.  There are some very retro touches with some vintage plastic pumpkins and 1950s feeling deco.  Regardless, though, the superstar here is simply the building it is housed in......shiver inducing in and of itself.

Length: 5/5
They've expanded the trail this year.  I meant to time our escapades but it was at least a 30 minute trip if not 45.  You ascend and descend through various levels of the asylum multiple times with the staff telling us they added the bowling alley and another room I forgot due to customer demand. 

Value: 5/5
For $15 you can wander through an old asylum.  Oh wait, there's a haunted trail, too?  I'd pay the $15 just to peruse the place but this way I get the added bonus of a decent haunted house to boot.  That's a no-brainer in my book.

Free parking.  The night we went it was raining and had been for awhile.  The lower parking lot was closed but the haunt offered a shuttle bus from a nearby parking lot.  The shuttle bus was decked out so we traveled in style!  There is a food truck on site with burgers and such and at the end of the trail is a full gift shop with logo merchandise but also books and such about the history and hauntings of the asylum.

Overall: 4/5
I was blown away last year but it was a first time visit.  The luster was lost a little this year but I still enjoyed myself despite the random guy who followed us through the whole way.  These folks do an admirable job on a shoestring budget but again consider the setting and that alone should get you through the door.  One of our group members thought she actually had a paranormal experience so if you are looking for the actually haunted haunted trail this one might be your stop...

"You can't piss on hospitality.  I won't allow it!"
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