2825 SE Frontage Road, Mt. Pleasant, WI
If we had an award to give for the most detailed, immersive haunt experience, we'd have to give it to Abandoned. By far, Abandoned has the most realistic sets we've seen. They are not the biggest sets, nor are they the most unusual, but they seem very real, and that's the key to the enjoyment of this haunt.
Located in Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin (about 20 minutes north of the Illinois border), Abandoned is part of a complex that looks like it used to be an old roadside motel, at least on the outside. On the inside it's 40 minutes of non-stop immersive scenery.
This is one haunt that we can honestly say could be run without any actors at all. While there were numerous actors, and while some added to the creepiness of the haunt, a lot of them simply jumped out to surprise visitors, or came out from behind hidden panels. The acting itself tended to be a lot of the same type of things. However, in the case of Abandoned, the actors simply are a bonus - it's the sets that really sell the haunt.
The haunt is actually two haunts that are consecutive. The first is more of a hodgepodge of different scenes, from crypts to turn of the century carnivals, while the second haunt is more thematic as the entire thing seems to take place in one huge underground complex. The haunt has everything in terms of sets - modern prison sets, old prison sets, a boiler room, a slaughterhouse, a morgue with cannibals eating the corpses, what looked like the control room of a submarine, and even running waterfalls and jungle sets.
But it's not just the types of sets Abandoned has. as we've seen many of those themes before, it's the immersive quality.
For instance, aside from places where it's meant to be totally dark, there are no empty dark corridors in the haunt.Any hallway one walks through is fully realized and decorated to look real - no blank plywood flats here! Also, every room is surrounded on all sides by some type of scenery. As you get deeper into the haunt, you can see multiple levels above you. When you're in certain areas, for example, pipes and electrical wires run along the ceiling - you can't simply look up and see the roof of the warehouse where the haunt is located. All you see is what the designers want you to see, and that is the world of the haunt itself.
And the rooms themselves are also very well done. For instance, in the morgue, there is real embalming equipment and real vintage embalming tables; the eye doctor's office really looks like an eye doctor's office, with lighted cabinets and real medical equipment, and in an area that has supposedly been burned out by an electrical discharge, the walls are partially burned down and singed along their edges. All of these touches make for quite an interesting haunt.
And although we did mention that the haunt would be great even if there were no actors, some do stand out. The previously mentioned cannibals eating the corpses in the morgue, a crazy hangman who mumbled to himself in some unknown language as he went about his task, and the creepily fascinating eye "doctor" who was most interested in getting new patients all were standouts.
In short, we loved Abandoned - it's one of the longest and most immersive haunts we've seen, and the inside sets actually do look like the photos on their web site, which is always a plus - we like it when the hype is true! Highly recommended.