Last week I attended Festival of Souls, a haunted attraction in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Festival of Souls is located on the Las Olas Riverfront, which is essentially the nightlife and business district of Fort Lauderdale. The area is full of bars, clubs, and restaurants, and now a haunted attraction as well. I reviewed this year’s Halloween Horror Nights already, and of course this is a much smaller event. So how does it stack up? Let’s take a look.
The location is marked by ScareFactory’s impressive Soul Seeker animatronic. Festival of Souls boasts three attractions: two walkthroughs and some zombie-themed games.
In addition to the main attractions, there were a few monsters roaming the area, as well as snack booths and a photo station. There didn’t seem to be one set theme… a demon, an asylum inmate, and what could best be described as a steampunk thug were just a few of the spooks I saw hanging around.
Now, on to the main event: the attractions.
Demon Mansion: Demon Mansion was the main haunt at Festival of Souls. From crazed rednecks to killer clowns, Demon Mansion covers pretty much every horror theme you could think of. The rooms were quite well themed, though it was sometimes difficult to tell where I was supposed to go. There were an abundance of animatronics throughout, and since people were broken into groups as opposed to HHN’s conga lines, there was no chance of missing an animatronic effect. The haunt felt quite long, and overall I liked it a lot.
PitchBlack: PitchBlack was, as the name suggests, a maze set in total darkness. Though significantly shorter than Demon Mansion, there were lots of dead ends and we ended up stuck in there for quite a while. You have no flashlight, glowstick, or anything of the sort… the only light came from periodic flashes, and even that doesn’t help much. You’re mostly limited to feeling around for an opening in the iron-barred walls. Also, the halls were full of actors as well, making loud noises to startle you. PitchBlack was very, very simple, but I liked it. It didn’t have the length, theming, or scares that made Demon Mansion so much fun, but there’s something exciting about running around lost in total darkness.
Zombie Games: Lastly were the Zombie Games, and honestly I don’t have much to say about them. They were sort of tucked away in a dimly-lit corner, and honestly weren’t that interesting. Dunk A Zombie was your traditional dunk tank, only you’re dunking a person dressed as a zombie. Zombie Shoot was simply a paintball firing range where you shoot at people dressed as zombies. However, they pretty much just stood there, and the dim lighting made it hard to tell if I was hitting them at all. I wouldn’t be so bothered by these if they weren’t billed as the third “attraction”. They cost extra and aren’t covered by the ticket, so the way I see it, they shouldn’t count. Besides, they take up maybe five minutes of your time.
I give the Festival of Souls 4 out of 5 Kamalas.