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The Haunted => Member Reviews - 2014 => Topic started by: packbacker on September 28, 2014, 02:10:41 PM

Title: St. Alban's Sanitorium- Radford, Va
Post by: packbacker on September 28, 2014, 02:10:41 PM
St. Alban's Sanitorium
Visit Date: 9/26/14

Scare factor: 4/5
The entire haunt takes place within an old insane asylum.  An old, crumbling insane asylum that hosts actual ghost tours during the rest of the year.  Yeah, seriously.  The building itself is the main attraction- exposed ceilings, crumbling drywall, old patient rooms, creaky bannisters, etc etc.  If that's not enough the folks here have constructed an incredibly entertaining, and at times frightening, attraction.  The natural surroundings are well utilized by creating well themed sets and the actors manning each station do a great job of selling that they are escaped patients, disturbed doctors, and such.  The timing of scares is both varied and excellent.  All parts of the group get attention.  My one gripe is that early on our group was separated by actors for no discernible reason.  Two of us were stopped by actors and told to wait.  When we were released there was no scare for us and we missed two rooms of "action".  This happened twice and was quite baffling.

Actors: 4/5
The actors here are all volunteers of various ages and various talents.  The numbers are more than adequate as there are no bare spots.  Several actors had remarkable timing.  As we admired a patients room 3/4 of the group made it by before a pop scare (that we all completely missed) came.  Walking past a body that you're trying to debate if it's real or not....incredible patience was utilized to fool us all on the reveal.  There was fun actor ad lib and some very long stalking sequences.

Set Design/Props/FX: 5/5
There are not a lot of animatronics or gigantic props....there is no need.  Did I mention that the whole thing takes place within an old, crumbling asylum?  That alone earns this place a 5.  That being said there were some amazingly crafted rooms- the laboratory and an especially impressive Victorian dining room set with floating candles.  Makeup and masks vary from cheap store based to sinisterly subtle.  Overall the entire set-up exudes creepiness.  You're perpetually in awe of the building and the sets are the icing on top.

Length: 5/5
Upstairs, downstairs, the basement, up again, around the corner and down again.  It's long, it's winding, it's creepy.  

Value: 5/5
Tickets are $15 with all profits going to support upkeep of the property.  Honestly it's worth the $15 just to get to go get to walk through the property.  Oh wait there's also a fun haunted trail?  Why yes please!  Long trail with ridiculously creepy atmosphere that is worth every penny of the asking price.

Other:  Free parking.  There is a full gift shop, a coffee truck, and what looked like a craft tent that was packing up when we arrived.

Overall: 4.5/5
I cannot accurately describe how cool the location itself is.  Don't get me wrong- these folks put on a great haunted attraction but your imagination runs wild when you're in this building late at night.  Our group continually marvelled at the entire building....decorated or not.  The actors and sets were great and delivered on multiple levels but honestly words can't do the place justice.  I'm jonesing to go back to see the place during the daytime.  

Title: Re: St. Alban's Sanitorium- Radford, Va
Post by: screaming_diana on September 28, 2014, 05:04:27 PM
St Albans Sanatorium
Date Attended: 09/26/2014

Scare Factor: 4/5
I was freaked out the moment I knew we were going to a sanatorium.  The place is beyond creepy.  When you walk up and see this place you can imagine it housing all kinds of crazy and strange people many years ago.  I cannot express to you how genuinely creepy this place is.  It gives off a very uneasy eerie feel.   Adding props and actors makes the place even more frightening. 

Actors: 4/5
Iíll be honest that I was so freaked out about this place actually being haunted that I didnít look up or open my eyes much.  I know I missed a lot but the actors terrified me without me even seeing them.  They would touch my hair or brush up against me just to let me know they were there.  Or perhaps these were actual ghosts Iím not sure and would like to keep it that way.  I know we were stalked by several actors and most of the pop scares got me.   The actors are all volunteers and all proceeds go toward the upkeep of the building. 

Set Design/Props/FX: 5/5
This is the perfect location for a haunt.  Iím not sure what could be scarier than an old, run down, abandoned asylum.   The building itself is amazing to look at as well as the outside landscape.  You can still see the old courtyard where the patients could roam outdoors.  Itís grown up with weeds and such, but random old park benches and light posts can still been seen scattered around amongst the trees.  It looks like a set from a horror film.  I think my favorite set was the dining hall with the long banquet table and free floating candles. 

Length: 5/5
Itís all indoors which usually means limited space and length but not here.  This is a long indoor haunt which includes the main level, basement, and upstairs.  Iím not exactly sure how many long narrow stairways we climbed but we covered a big portion of the building. 

Value: 5/5
The haunt is perfectly priced at $15 a person with proceeds going to upkeep the facility.  An added bonus is with your $15 haunt admission you might actually get to see a real ghost. 

They offer discount pricing for large groups and a ďno scareĒ tour for children or adults wishing to see the haunt and interact with the actors without getting scared.  If youíre brave they offer Special Private Paranormal Investigations throughout the year.  Check out their website for more details.

Overall Impression: 5/5
I canít express to you how impressed I was with this place.  The friendly ticket staff, great actors, creepy sanatorium, and the fact that itís really haunted made for an awesome haunt experience.