8640 Lake Hills Drive, St. John, IN
Lake Hills has, for a number of years, been one of our favorite haunts. We have enjoyed it since they first opened, and we have seen it grow and change into a fun, enjoyable haunt that provides scares, laughs, and a lot of entertainment for the admission price. We always make a point of visiting each haunt season, and 2015 was no exception.
The haunt is held in an abandoned fieldhouse which provides a creepy and atmospheric setting just because of that fact. Its multiple levels and rooms provide some ready made spaces for scenes to be set up, and the Lake Hills crew uses it most effectively. While there are usually changes to some rooms each year, some parts of the haunt remain the same, giving those who liked certain scenes in previous years another chance to see them while still providing new items for regular visitors.
One thing that never changes, though, is the dedication level of the actors inside the haunt. They are always on point and they do a great job at being interactive with visitors all the way through. Although most of the actors are high school age, they are all dedicated to giving visitors a good time, and many of the actors return year after year. We recognize a lot of them from our many visits, and we are always impressed by the effort they put in to trying to scare us. You won't find halfhearted, lackluster scares here, even in scenes that are the same from year to year.
The fun starts almost from the moment visitors pull into the parking lot, as Lake Hills has great wait entertainment in the form of All American Terrors (who often put in guest appearances), and their resident horror movie character, Mike Myers. He patrols the outside and the parking lot, and makes a point to stalking all visitors. Often times we see him following people all the way up to the ticket line and then staring at them when they are in line. On the way out he follows people to their cars, and no one is immune, as you can see by the second photo on this review!
The fun continues inside the haunt, as visitors travel through the various rooms, the first of which is a doctor's office. This scene remains mostly the same from year to year but has some good acting in the form of the nurses, doctors, and orderlies. Special mention must be given to the creepy nurse who greeted us by walking backwards upside down towards us, complete with black eyes and a needle sticking out of her chest. It was an excellent characterization and makeup job, and set the scene for the rest of the haunt.
Many characters impressed us throughout, including the girls in the bedroom (especially the one who jumped down off of the wardrobe to surprise us), the female vampire in the coffin in the church, the girls in the padded cell room who were all in straight jackets, the cannibal "cook" who offered me some of his specialties, the girls in the spider room (especially the girl dressed in black who crawled along the floor), all of the clowns, and the girls in the final room, including one who had a makeup job that looked like her mouth was partially ripped off and dripping blood. Their characterizations were all excellent, and they varied their scares so that it was not all just screaming and shouting. There was some of that, but even when it happened it was quite entertaining and not one note at all.
Overall, the entire haunt was an exciting ride, and one that managed to get Horror Tourer Laura more than a few times. We enjoyed moving from room to room just to see the new sets and to see how creatively the actors managed to come out and scare us, and we have to say we were applauding them through most of it. Following our exit, we were stalked all the way to the parking lot by Mike Myers, who offered us a fun and slightly unnerving sendoff to our 2015 visit
We're happy to say that Lake hills has again made it into our Hall of Fame for pay haunts. It's an outstanding haunt, and one that any fan of old school haunts and scares will appreciate. It may not be a big dollar, Hollywood style set haunt, but the Lake Hills cast and crew do a great job and making a creative and entertaining event for everyone, and their enthusiasm shows though. Our collective Horror Tourer hats are off to everyone involved for doing a great job at providing a fun event. The haunt has a charm that is simply not present in other haunts, and its level of set design and acting and makeup put it above some of the smaller community haunts as well, despite still having that community haunt feel. The entire "family" that inhabits the haunt puts their all into it, and you can see how they work together as a whole each time you go through.It's a highlight of every season for us, and you should make a point of visiting if you can. Highly recommended!