Las Vegas haunted house pioneers Duke and JT Mollner veer from the ordinary scare tactics. How many times do we need to see a masked man with a chainsaw standing at the exit of a haunted house? Sure, it is scary...to a degree. But this kind of thing happens so often, attendees have come to expect it.
At The Freakling Brothers haunted houses you won’t find anything out of a scary movie, be it "Friday the 13th," "Halloween," or "Saw."
The Freakling Brothers don’t use a lot of fake blood or gore effects, either. And they don’t employ dozens of costumed actors. Just 15 in each location. Yet, their haunted houses are some of the scariest, most creative that I have ever seen.
Duke Mollner unveiled Las Vegas’ first free-standing haunted attraction in 1992 at the corner of Sahara and Decatur. Today, they have three free standing haunted houses, and they are the best in town...and quite possibly the best in the West. Hell, maybe the best in the country.
To keep things fresh, every few years, they tear down one of their three haunted houses, and build something completely new. The Mortuary -- the attraction located near Sunset Station Casino -- is the next to go.
The Mollner’s create haunted attractions that tap into primal fears. At Castle Vampyre, the rooms encourage attendee interaction. Sure, there are dark rooms and mysterious corridors. But these hallways require attendees to get down on their knees. Doors open and close on their own.
At one point, attendees find themselves inside a room without a way out. Then, the spiked ceiling starts lowering, and continues to lower, forcing attendees to duck down. Finally, the doors open.
Circus of Horrors is less interactive, but just as creative. There’s a room where attendees must make their way through a maze of huge inflatable balls. It’s quite the challenge. Both locations offer patented final scares that think way outside of the box.
Surprise after surprise, these haunted houses set the bar high above the rest. There’s no other Halloween attraction in the Southwest -- not Fright Dome on The Las Vegas Strip, not Queen Mary in Long Beach, not Knott’s Scary Farm in Orange County -- that surpasses the genuine creativity and intense moments crafted by The Freakling Brothers.
Castle Vampyre and Circus of Horrors are located 2321 North Rainbow Blvd; The Mortuary is located at 1301 W. Sunset Road. Individual haunts cost $11.00, while packages of two are $18.00 and all three $25.00.
All locations are open nightly until Halloween, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and 7 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday. For more information, call 702-362-FEAR or visit www.freaklinghaunt.com.
Blake French has worked for 9ine Magazine, OC Drinks! Magazine, In the Scene Magazine, Lansing Community Newspapers, Laguna Beach Independent, L.A. Alternative Press, and Backstage West. He’s a regular contributor to 944 Magazine and a staff writer at Filmcritic.com.