Las Vegas. Bright lights. Casinos. Drunken shenanigans. That’s pretty much what comes to mind when you think of this town, correct? Well, you’re not to far off. Although, it is when the most beautiful holiday of the year rolls around, Vegas shows another side of itself. This town embraces the holiday close to no other. Could it be the lack of the actual fall season, and the setting that makes this city attempt to one up any others? Possibly. Halloween time, Vegas is filled with haunted attractions that run on every side of town. Many are done up quite nicely and earn some great fright points; but there can only be one that can top them all. The Freakling Bros. and their Trilogy Of Terror does just that and like no other. Not only do they host the most theatrical and terrifying haunted houses this side of the United States; They have been ranked in the top 5 of the nation in scariest haunted attractions. But it doesn’t end there. A special treat for those extremists out there, they offer something they call “The Victim Experience”. Which I will expand on further into this article. Read on.
In it’s frightfully impressive 22nd year of scaring the shit out of people, father and son pair Duke and JT Mollner have come a long way since 1992, when the attraction first opened. “We wanted to stand out from the rest, so that it’ll be an experience you’ll never forget.” attraction owner JT explained in an exclusive interview with Ihorror. When you pull up to the Trilogy of Terror, the ambiance hits you right off the bat. As to what looks like a mini carnival, the trio of haunted houses sit in a triangle of nightmares in an abandoned parking lot. Walking up to the entrance, the sounds of eerie music and shrieks of terror from the people inside fill the air. One performer, who goes by Scorch The Clown, put on an impressive fire breathing show in the middle of the parking lot “arena”. Freakling Bros. consists of three major haunted houses. The Circus Of Horrors, Castle Vampyre, and the R- rated Gates of Hell. Each unique for a different scare experience as the night goes on, at considerably affordable prices: $12 each for Circus and Vampyre, $15 for Gates; or get a deal of $30 for all 3 and or $40 for an all night pass. They also offer a fast pass T shirt for $10, which pretty much puts you in front of the line. I would recommend it on a Friday or Saturday night especially. Operation dates and more pricing can be found at the official Freakling website by clicking here.
The Circus Of Horrors
The Circus Of Horrors has been a long standing staple at Freakling Bros. for many years. This, in it’s last year of running is definitely one to check out. The house will be replaced next year with something different TBA. While we were standing in line, that jolly ol’ clown Scorch, creeped his way into the front of the line to give us a little entertainment while we wait. Entertainment such as, sticking a giant needle up his nose and stapling admission tickets to his head. Along with a few scares, and gags while waiting to enter, it was refreshing to see such interaction outside the haunt. Greeted first by the “ringmaster”, then twisting and turning our way through the haunt was a fun experience. Again, the actors really get into it and make this one a must see for any horror fanatic. The house itself is really well thought out with a different surprise around every corner. Including a room full of giant balloons and rubber balls with a nasty painted nightmare chasing you inside. For me, it gives off that Killer Klown From Outer Space vibe. Fantastic.
Greeted at the entrance by a seductive goddess of the dead, Castle Vampyre is a exciting and terrifying haunt based on Nosferatu. Inside the haunt, the rooms encourage attendee interaction. Mysterious hallways require guests to get down on their knees. Doors open and close on their own. At one point in the attraction , you will find yourself inside a room with no way out. You look up, when the spiked ceiling you see hovering above starts lowering, forcing you to duck down. The talent in this vampire maze is on point. Many of the guests left screaming running for their lives out the haunt exit.
The Gates Of Hell
The Gates Of Hell is the twisted brainchild of JT Mollner. First established in the haunt in 2011, it is the first R rated haunted house in Las Vegas and the biggest attraction out of the three. Mollner said, “It is something that has never been done before, and we wanted to separate ourselves from the pack rather than use the usual haunted formula that most houses have to offer; This haunt offers something up for the more extreme type.” The attraction offers up severe profane language, touching, grabbing, controversial violence, getting jabbed with an electric prod… Sounds peachy! Basically what it is a Faces Of Death theme of sorts. Various rooms with a different experience of death. You’re first greeted with a skeptical (to say the least) satanic priest. (he really takes a shine to the boys mind you) who makes you sign a waiver before heading in. The terror begins immediately stepping in as you’re right away separated from your group and thrown into a coffin like tight space for what seems like an eternity. Not to fear tho. You’ll catch up with your buddies soon. From dark twisted mazes that seem to offer no way out, to a firing squad, and one hellish surprise at the end, Gates is not for the faint of heart. It definitely takes scaring people to the extreme. They do offer you a safe word if the house is too much for you to handle. As a matter of fact, within my first five minutes of being there I witnessed three people screaming this safe word from the inside and had to be let out. Now that’s how you run a haunt people. Take notes.
The Victim Experience
Now here is something for the ultimate thrill seeker. The Victim Experience is only for 18 and over, and you must do this on your own. First starting in 2013, the number of tickets is limited for this exclusive shock treatment starting at $120 and $150 for Halloween night. The entire thrill lasts about 30 mins give or take. Sometimes longer or shorter depending on the victim. JT explained in detail, ” The whole idea behind this is making the guest feel like they are in a death camp. And that death is immanent and it’s going to happen to them. It’s very criminal and sexual, with of course staying in bounds with the law. We wanted to create something immersive, the victim goes through a roller coaster of emotions; from erotic to paralyzing fear. It’s extremely realistic and not for your average haunted houser. Compare it to skydiving. It’s an extreme rush of adrenaline.” The Victim Experience is like The Gates Of Hell on steroids. According to JT, he’s received a good amount of hate mail from feminists over the idea of glorifying the whole victim idea. ” I’m in no way glorifying or trying to offend anyone. The majority of people who made it through the whole thing are women. We’ve had more men cry for the safe word. I’m all for feminism. Hell, I’m a feminist myself. And I can tell you every one of these people that have gone through this experience here, have come back for more. And we’ve kept in touch and formed a bond with a lot of these people. Some have even gone as far to say, we’ve given them a new outlook on life.”
Mollner has expressed interest in moving the Victim Experience to Los Angeles, where he calls home when the Halloween season is over, to set up an off season type gig. When he isn’t scaring the crap out of people, he is working in LA on his own films. He recently wrapped up an indie movie starring the legendary Dee Wallace (ET, CUJO), Robert Craighead (Children’s Hospital, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia) and JB BLanc (The Count Of Monte Crisco, Breaking Bad). The movie is called Flowers In December. The basic plot is that of a “bad girl” in her mid 50’s, who gave up on life years ago when she lost her one true love to uncontrollable circumstances. Even though, on the surface, it seems as though she’s picked up the pieces, a deep obsession with her lost love still consumes her, and she will stop at nothing to reunite with him, even if it means the destruction of her new family, madness, or worse. It is now in post production. His next film project is one called “Outlaws and Angels” Mollner described this as a Last House On The Left type deal. Production is TBA.
All in all my experience here was one for the books. On a scale of one to 10, I rate this one at 11 screams. The performers are stunning, the ideas are unique and bringing all these elements together is a must see and experience for any Halloween fan. So if you’re in the Vegas area, or visiting from another town, make sure you put Freakling Bros. on your destination list. They have my horror stamp of approval.
[youtube id=”UOT-xhwvQ8I” align=”center” mode=”normal” autoplay=”no”]