I have checked another item off my bucket list and it was worth the wait. I convinced my husband to accompany me to the Netherworld Haunted House attraction in Norcross. It has been around since 1997 and is massively popular, and yet despite my love of horror (I’m a horror film junkie), I had never been. My husband is somewhat mystified by my obsession, but was still willing to go along, something I think he regretted a few times throughout the night — in a good way. Netherworld delivered on its promise to scare.
We went on a Tuesday night as neither of us have much tolerance for lines in any situation. Tickets are also cheaper Sunday – Thursday (weekday combo ticket for both houses $28/ $35 on weekends). After reading several reviews, I knew going on the weekend could result in standing in line for a couple of hours, unless you’re willing to spring for the Speedpass at $55. We got there about 20 minutes before they opened at 7:30 and though there were already several people there, the wait was brief once they opened, since they break attendees up into smaller groups. The line does wind through a museum of horror props, so if you do have a bit of a wait, once you get inside there is at least something interesting to look at.
The big bonus of going early and on a slow night, besides lack of a wait, is smaller groups –my husband and I were able to go alone. This makes the experience much better. If it’s crowded and you are too close to the people in front of you, it will ruin the experience as you will see the actors jump out and scare the people in front. It was just the two of us in Monsters, so we were constantly tense for the next scare, but in Vault 13 we were in sight of some other people which reduced the startle factor a bit.
Beyond just the costumes and scary decor, there were some incredible effects with projected images. I won’t go into too much detail and ruin the surprise, but wow. It’s amazing what tricking the eyes can do to the brain.
At the end of Vault 13 there is a foam tunnel. You do have an option to bypass it, which is what I would do if I had it to do over again. Based on some reviews I read, I was fully prepared to skip it, but at the last second, since there was no crowd, we decided to go for it. Big mistake. That was the only part I didn’t like. Getting wet was fine, but the bubbles are well over the head and you can’t see. I strongly recommend skipping this short section if you are claustrophobic. I started to panic because I was breathing in bubbles, and had there been a crowd around us to slow down our progress, I probably would have had a full on panic attack. If you do go through, try to avoid being first because you can hunch down behind the person in front of you while their body clears the bubbles, and if you are first, cup your hands around your nose and mouth.
The parking lot is full of displays that provide free photo ops, and characters walk around and interact with patrons. It really was the full experience I was searching for.