Updated: Feb 19
Haunted Angelus House (Indy) 8829 E. Washington St. Indianapolis, IN 46219 http://www.500grim.com
Date of Visit: 9/25/21 Reviewer: Lindsay
If you've ever taken a ride down East Washington in Indianapolis, you've probably spotted Ron's Halloween Store (or Patriotic Fireworks over the summer) at some point. That big, vibrant banner is very noticeable as you're driving along the street. What you might've missed is the fact that a seasonal haunted house is also on that banner, and is actually operated by the same person who owns both of those stores. If you happen to stop by for some Halloween shopping on any Friday or Saturday evening from late September through October, you can head right next door and check out the Haunted Angelus House, one of the largest indoor haunted houses in the area.
Originally created as a fundraiser for The Angelus, an organization that provides residential support for people with cerebral palsy, the Haunted Angelus House has been a part of the Indy haunt scene for several years. When I think of haunts that work to support their local communities, they are among the first to come to mind, frequently hosting events like food drives, discount nights for special groups, and trick or treating for the kids. Another awesome way this haunt supports the community is that their show is 100% wheelchair accessible, meaning pretty much anyone who would like to enjoy a haunted house is welcome to come here and do so.
2021 has seen many changes to the Angelus, with the first involving ticket prices: general admission tickets are just $10 this year! Only the regular haunted house is open this season (meaning no extras like their 3D house), but for something that will take you a minimum of 20 minutes to complete- and probably longer- it's still a fantastic deal. Parking in their lot is free, and other lots are within walking distance if theirs happens to be full. Hungry and want to grab a bite before (or after) you get scared? The Wonder Dogs food truck will be parked next door every weekend, serving up a large menu of tasty treats.
Haunted Angelus House is a traditional haunted house with many different themes. Most follow what you'd find in a lot of haunts- stuff like a circus, a cemetery, an evil church, etc.- but originality has always been a strong point for the Angelus, and every room has this haunt's own unique take on it. They've also got a few rooms I have not seen replicated at any other haunts (you'll have to go through and see what I mean!). Each scene is well designed, and some are filled to the brim with detail, to a point where I could have spent a few extra minutes just admiring the work that was put into them.
If you've been here before, the house design is where you'll notice the bulk of the changes for 2021 - there is *loads* of new stuff this year! Several areas have either been completely redesigned, or replaced with brand new concepts. I'm a bit of a clown fan, so the updates to the circus portion were among my favorites... make sure you look down to see some neat (and slightly disorienting) new effects in that scene. A ton of new animatronics have been added throughout the haunt as well. (Again, the ones in the circus were the best... and I feel really sorry for anyone who hates clowns.)
It may have been because I was alone, and either snuck past the actors or caught them off guard, but it felt like most of the scares came from the animatronics and special effects. However, I was informed that over 20 actors were working when I went on opening night, and those I did run into gave it their best and never broke character. Something I've always liked about the Angelus is how interactive their cast is; for example, when I accepted one young lady's offer to "hold her baby", she walked right up and placed her in my arms, and I won multiple Rock, Paper, Scissors battles against a clown who invited me to play a game (much to her chagrin).
People ask me often if I know of any haunted houses that would be good for a family to visit, and the Haunted Angelus House definitely fits the bill. It may be a little too scary for younger children, but it's accessible to most everyone, not heavy on blood and gore, and offers a great experience for an excellent price - all while holding its own in the Indianapolis haunt scene. They're within 20 minutes of many other Indy haunts, too, making it easy to fit them into your night. If you live in the area or you're traveling that way, consider paying them a visit.
**This is a non-scored and unranked review.**