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Dr. Evil's House of Horror

16101 Neeley Rd., Guerneville

Reviewed 10/13/07

We had a long day yesterday. We stopped by a festival and a couple of pumpkin patches before heading out to Guerneville for a haunt that had slipped under our radar for the last few years, Dr. Evil's House of Horror.

We'd made the drive to Guerneville many times over the years on our way to the Russian River or Armstrong Redwoods. It's a beautiful drive during the day. At night though, the deep redwood filled canyon can be quite spooky especially when you've spent the day in the wide open fields of Sonoma's pumpkin patches. To pass the time we told ourselves tall tales of the murderous hitchhikers and haunted abandoned cabins that surely dotted the hills just outside the reach of our headlights.  

Before long we reached the site of the defunct J's Amusement Park and current home of Dr. Evil's House of Horror. With a huge "Haunted House" sign perched high on the abandoned wooden water slide, those tall tales didn't seem so far fetched any more.

The vibe was good as we walked up to the short line but we weren't sure what to expect from the spartan outside of the haunt. Just then, two girls came screaming and running out of the haunt as if they were being chased by Satan himself. A moment later their dates emerged with ear to ear grins and couldn't stop themselves from telling everyone in line how great it was. Although we agreed to reserve judgment for ourselves, we started to get very excited at the prospect of a proper scare.

Our turn to enter arrived a few minutes later as Dr. Evil lifted a curtain and ordered us to enter his home. I just have to say what a home it was! The sparse decoration outside the haunt hid the truly detailed ramshackle madness that lay within.

We were immediately assaulted by a giant spider probing to see if we were to be its nightly meal only for us to flee into a ghastly scene of yuletide horror. Room after room of detailed mayhem ensued giving us the impression that Dr. Evil's house was nothing more than one giant trap that we were never going to be released from.

All of our senses were treated and tricked. Rooms were immersive, being decorated to theme in every possible location and connected by tight, twisting passages, which varied in height and width causing us to bend and squeeze our way through. We had to push aside heavy obstructions to affect our escape from some rooms while being tormented with feather touches in others. Sirens, screams, and moans filled our ears and created a confusing cacophony. All the while we were constantly and unapologetically surrounded, attacked, and cornered by the dead, undead, near dead, and just plain monstrous.

We were chased into rooms with no apparent exit and only when we had been good and scared did they reveal a way out that any sane person wouldn't want to go through. Another room gave way into a confusing funhouse maze of mirrors and bars that I must admit we did get lost in for quite some time.

There must be more actors per square foot of Dr. Evil's House of Horrors than we've encountered in any other haunt. They seemed to be everywhere at once prodding and poking, grabbing at ankles, clawing at shoulders, and tapping us on our heads as they lectured us on true evil. These were some truly inspired performances by a large number of people who love to scare.

In short, Dr. Evil's House of Horror was full of true and very unforgettable Halloween fun! You won't want to miss this haunt.

If all of this sounds like it may be a little too intense for children, you may be right. Personally, I would take great pride in sending my young one in to be chewed up and spat out by Dr. Evil but for more caring parents, on Halloween, an additional attraction will be open, a special spooky, yet tamer, Trick-or-Treat haunt just for the little ones. Short open walls ensure that little guests will be in full sight of their parents at all times so they don't get too scared.

Dr. Evil will also be handing out a bag of candy, homemade caramel, and a candied apple to all the children trick-or-treating at the event late into the night so they can trick-or-treat in their neighborhoods first and visit Dr. Evil's House of Horrors with their parents later.

Dr. Evil also has coffee and treats for sale just outside the haunt for parents and those needing to brace themselves for the ride home.


Be sure to take a look at our Events Calendar or our map of pumpkin patches and haunted houses to find all the other great events going on in the Bay Area.

Do you think we got this review totally wrong? Agree with us? Or just want everyone to know your thoughts? Then start a discussion of this haunt in our forums!

QUICK FACTS
When Oct. 12-13, 19-20, 26-28, 31, 2007, 7 pm-11 pm
Where 16101 Neeley Rd., Guerneville
Admission $6; ages 12 years and under $4
Contact 707-869-3102
 
   

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