An Anti-thrill Seeker Goes to the Southern Door Haunted Mansion

I’m not one of those people who like to be afraid – my scary movie threshold stops somewhere between The Sixth Sense and Gremlins – but curiosity got the best of me last weekend. I wrangled a few friends and took them to the Southern Door Haunted Mansion in Brussels.

I had seen billboards for the mansion, watched that tall, red-eyed monster puppet walk through local parades and heard that the event was the creepiest in Northeast Wisconsin, so I had to give it a try.

I went in knowing the Haunted Mansion raises more than $20,000 for local groups every year and that it takes 140 volunteers to run it, and I was still amazed it is so elaborate and spooky. There are four parts – the Morbid Maze of Misery, the Quietwoods Quicksand Swamp, the Delusion Illusion bus ride and finally the Haunted Mansion. Quite a deal for $10.

Each step of the scary journey plays on classic fears. Silent children dressed in black approach you slowly (Children of the Corn-style), a chainsaw revs as you walk past a dark spot in the woods (hey there, Leatherface), and creepy clowns that are very, very attentive. For a few extra bucks you can even take a simulated ride in a coffin and experience the thrill of being buried alive.

Don’t let your fear of fear keep you from heading to the Haunted Mansion. While there were a few heart-stopping moments (like getting lost in a maze of endless revolving doors), I slept just fine when I got home. If I can do it, you can do it, and if you’re still worried the tamer “lights up” hour is from 5:30 to 6:30 pm.

If you decide to go, make sure to dress warm, bring a little cash for a cup of hot chocolate and be prepared to wait in line. Happy Halloween!

Click here to read more about the haunted mansion and see a slideshow of Len Villano’s photographs>>

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