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News: Visit a haunt in South Carolina this season!
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Author Topic: St. Alban's Sanatorium- Radford, VA  (Read 44 times)
packbacker
Completely Haunted
*****
Posts: 707


« on: October 18, 2017, 10:33:00 AM »

St Alban's Sanatorium
 
Date visited: 10/6/2017
 
Scare Factor: 5/5
For me St. Alban's has bit hit and miss in this department over the years but I keep going back because the setting is just so awesome.  This year, however, they hit every nail right on the head for our group.  I watched normally stoic people run, scream, flail, and yes there was urination.  Scares were mostly actor driven.  The building allows for some tremendous hiding spots and these folks utilized them well.  Through deception and good timing there were several scares I didn't predict.  One room had all your traditional movie killers in it and the three other people I attended with were running around like chickens with their heads cut off while I was clapping and fist bumping Leatherface.  The Alice in Wonderland room also got one of our group members in a well timed scare after the fact.  On top of that we had floor crawlers, actors within a hanging body bag section, screamers, and some really terrific queue line actors.  The setting, of course, is terrifying in its own right- if you get the chance do a historical tour here as it is really fascinating.
 
 
Actors: 4/5
Noticeably better than in past years, the actors here really upped their game in terms of timing and continuing the scare.  We did have a few break character and one inexplicably take his mask off in front of us but otherwise they were on their game the night we visited.  The queue line actors were thoroughly entertaining and separated out the easy marks with surgical precision.  The speaking roles were handled well and actors knew to back off when staircases were involved. 
 
 
Sets/Props/Fx:  4/5
Again the building is a crumbling former asylum.  Seriously I've not encountered a better natural backdrop for a haunt on all my travels.  Patient rooms, the shock treatment area, crumbling walls/ceilings.....that's just the natural setting.  On top of that they've decorated it well with a variety of themes.  Props are more low key in nature but again they aren't needed with the setting that the building provides.  Of special note, however, is the new clown face entrance with spinning eyes.  It's amusing yet creepy.  Actor costuming runs the gamut from cheap masks to exceptional makeup.
 
 
Length: 5/5
Up, down, around, up again, sideways, and down again.  The path of the haunted attraction traverses huge swaths of the building through 2-3 floors of the area. 
It covers a lot of ground.  Allow at least 30 minutes to finish it all.
 
 
Value: 5/5
Tickets are $15.  Besides the fact you are walking through an abandoned, haunted former asylum they deliver a lot of scares with some great sets.  We had people
screaming, running, urinating, and otherwise trying to flee!
 
 
Other:
Free parking!  The attraction ends in a well stocked gift shop.
 
 
Overall: 5/5
Yeah a kid took his mask off and some others could be heard discussing things after we left the room but man everything else hit ***perfectly*** for our group.  As I said earlier it's worth the price of admission alone for the trip through the building.  Purported to be actually haunted the building is jaw dropping in places with a grand staircase, actual former patient rooms, and a variety of areas succumbing to age and disuse.  The scares are well timed, well positioned, and executed by a more polished volunteer staff this year.  Line management is careful to send through well paced groups such that people don't pile in upon each other in a scene.  This has become a yearly trip for me but I think that save our first visit where we knew nothing of the attraction this year was the most well executed.  Just a fantastic time!

 
 
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