- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 20, 2018

With Halloween approaching, the last place scare-seekers might go to find horrifying possibilities is the local mall. However, those humans stopping by southern Baltimore’s Eastpoint Mall will find an indoor smorgasbord of terror, thanks to “Bennett’s Curse.”

Now in its 18th season, the multi-tiered haunted house created and managed by the husband-and-wife team of Allan and Jill Bennett offers a quartet of themed mazes.

Each will spark the nightmarish imagination of guests through detailed characters and themed presentations.

Mrs. Bennett makes it very clear about their ultimate intentions this year. “We have gotten back to our roots and are passionate about getting the scare,” she says.

That translates to between 65 and 100 masked and costumed actors hidden throughout the decorated areas ready to deliver the scares.

Unlike other haunted attractions that require visitors to move to different locations and keep waiting in multiple lines, the mazes are continuous so guests get in line once and then experience a roughly 25-minute odyssey that evolves during their journey.

The themed areas include Legends of Halloween, featuring a large, child-eating, multi-headed pumpkin humanoid, and the medieval, vampire and demon monk loaded Underworld.

Also, especially notable is walking through the hellish Inferno 3D that requires guests wear a pair of three-dimensional glasses to get dazzled by some in-your-face, florescent-colored effects and a collection of grotesque and tortured ghouls hanging out in Ravenbrook Asylum.

The later location will also give visitors a strong case of coulrophobia.

Specifically, mid way through the Asylum, visitors must traverse through heavy, draped circus tents that begin to impede progress. As one might guess, clowns are found in various states of decay hanging around those tent strips with a supplement of living killer clowns looking for easy prey.

My favorite ghoul of the entire group of mazes had a devilish grin on his face as he silently popped up from behind a wall. He looked very much like a cross between German actor Conrad Veidt’s portrayal of Gwynplaine in the 1928 film “The Man Who Laughs” (an early inspiration for the Joker) and the demon face seen in “The Exorcist.”

Yeah, this guy really left a lasting, traumatic impression.

Bennett’s Curse” also offers more interactive specialty nights that could involve monster laser tag or walking through the mazes in nearly complete darkness (using only LED finger lights).

Perhaps the most intriguing and oddest of the nights are the demon baby scavenger hunts. Visitors scour the areas looking for a 4 1/2-pound silicone figure, very much akin to the toddler in “It’s Alive.” Find the baby and win a prize.

Visitors can also come out, post Halloween, on Dec. 7 and 8, to visit with Christmas’ embodiment of evil, Krampus.

Suffice it to report, “Bennett’s Curse” relies on an insane level of devil in the details, so I implore guests to take their time and appreciate all of the artistry.

IF YOU DARE TO GO

What:Bennett’s Curse
Where:
7875A Eastpoint Mall, Baltimore, MD 21224 
Fear factor (out of 5): 4 for adults, and children younger than 13 may find the experience too terrifying.
Hours: Thursday and Sunday, 7 to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 7 to 11 p.m.; Oct. 30 and 31, Nov. 2 and 3, 7 to 10 p.m. (open through Nov. 3).
Price range: $35 for general admission or $45 for “Speed Pass” to avoid long lines (look online for possible daily deals). “Bennett’s Curse” will also match pricing of competitor’s tickets.
Website:www.bennettscurse.com

 


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