They Make You Sign a Waiver: This means you, and you alone are responsible for your own survival. On a more serious note, it also means this haunt is run by professionals who have thoroughly invested in their production.
It’s Based on a True Story: Milwaukee was once home to a deranged group of trailer park boys who lived atop a toxic landfill, it was also home to a collection of cannibals. The best ghost stories are true.
Things are Touching You: Seeing a Satan worshiping mutant clown with an axe is scary, but feeling the same Satan worshiping mutant clown grab you with a warm, bloody, deformed hand is on an entirely different level.
Multiple Themes: How many haunted cornfields are there in Wisconsin? The greatest haunts blend multiple themes together; like the panic of a kidnapping, the fear of a cannibal mutant, and the horror of unspeakable demons stealing your soul.
You Feel Helpless: Good haunts will make you feel trapped, forcing your mind to race and your heart to pound as you frantically struggle to escape.
You’re Actually Helpless: Great haunts will trap, bind, and blind you, forcing you from one terrifying encounter to the next, leaving you to wander aimlessly through their maze of corridors looking for an escape as unspeakable horrors warp your mind.
Great Shock Factor: A good haunt turns the shock value up to eleven, but the best haunts break the knob off. A zombie graveyard is an old trope, but a group of mutant clowns sacrificing a grown man in an attempt to summon Satan? That’s shocking.
New Each Year: Do you watch the same horror movie every year? Maybe. But it gets old. Great haunts are new each year; the minds of their twisted creators always thinking of new, demented, unspeakable horrors. A new addition each year is always exciting.
Keep Raising the Bar: Each step you take should fill you with more dread than the last. Your adrenaline should keep flowing and you should be able to feel your heartbeat in your ears by the end – if you make it there. Every encounter should be scarier than the last. What began as a simple escape from a murderer should end with a glimpse into the very face of terror.
They Have a Bar: If you just escaped mutant hillbillies, deranged spec ops soldiers, and a ritual to summon the dark lord Himself, you probably need a drink – and a stiff one at that. A Wisconsin haunted house without a bar might be too scary for anyone. Great haunts raise the bar; the greatest haunts have a bar to begin with.