Every year we travel to so many haunted attractions that our reviews sometimes tend to get missed in the abundance of posts. We decided this year to get us all excited for the upcoming season we’ll begin sharing past reviews of various attractions, some we haven’t shared publicly. Are you counting the days till our favorite holiday? 168 days, friends…this year will be a doozie!
Located 90 miles from the suburbs of Atlanta, this haunt is a long drive but well worth it for the screams some of us experienced. This review will allow one to experience the different aspects and opinions our team shared of our jaunt through one of Rome’s top haunts.
Here are the tales of our adventure through Gates of Misery.
As you approach the long queue to enter the building, our team noticed a golden opportunity. One we feel would double their social media presence for this attraction in the upcoming years. As you enter the queue, guests pass by a small, unused room along the route. It lays nearly vacant with a few “dead” animatronics sitting inside. In our days with social media overtaking peer to peer conversation, why not utilize an empty space filled with animatronic witches? Light it up, display your banner behind it, and let people naturally use the elements as their souvenir to remember the night. It was an alluring space perfect for a photo op while guests wait in line to enter the haunt.
Guests will approach a facade of an old, dilapidated cabin. Their flawless design is absolute perfection for this haunt and provides a fantastic tone for the evening. Slowing migrating in the queue line towards the front door, guests are treated to the sounds of the screams coming from within the haunted walls of this mysterious house. Approaching the front door eagerly awaiting our arrival is the “Kill King” Sam Hain Hatchet. His introduction to Gates of Misery is hilarious while he explains the rules of the house. The actor portraying this character was fantastic and had some of the best one line comebacks we’ve ever encountered…Bravo!
Once you enter, you are promptly welcomed into the home by a group of young ones. It’s incredibly themed and very creepy. The rest of the house has you traveling up a flight of stairs to experience the scares of the upstairs portion of the attraction. Some of the rooms we encountered were beautifully themed and loaded with fantastic scares! We aren’t ones to spoil the fun but just be warned, there are scares around (almost) every corner. We have to commend the phenomenal actors this haunted attraction employs as 99% of the ones we encountered were truly fright-tastic! It’s not easy to scare this group of enthusiasts but they got many of us a handful of times.
So what is the big difference of opinion you ask? Well, to be honest, one of our biggest pet peeves is when we see amazing potential in a haunted attraction that is left vacant. While 75% of this attraction was full of incredible actors with beautiful design, the remaining were rooms filled with dull and cheap animatronics. Having a few rooms with too many holes not filled within the attraction is such a letdown and leaves the guest yearning (sometimes even questioning) the room and design. We know a few haunters that LOVE animatronics but haunters that go cheap on them, specifically from the giant Halloween store that pops up during the season, just eliminates the scare. We have seen haunted attractions all over the country that have taken amazing animatronics and made them incredibly frightening. One of our staff members has a decade of experience with animatronics and while they can be a wonderful addition to a scene, does it cheapen the thrill by being the “Main” scare of the room? Gates of Misery was the first of the 2015 season where our team didn’t agree on this specific topic.
Overall, Gates of Misery was really well done. The theming, scare-acting, and overall scares were fantastic and we can’t wait to see what 2016 brings to this North Georgia haunted attraction.
For those curious what the 2015 Gates of Misery backstory is, here’s a snippet from their website:
The blood flows as the family prepares for their gory and triumphant return…get ready for the carnage of the century. The legend of the Hatchet family…
“Nearly a decade ago, a family of psycho killers emerged from the backwoods to wreak havoc on the city of Rome, Georgia. Their home which was located adjacent to a rundown circus, nicknamed by many “Carnival of Carnage”. The properties were the site of gruesome and brutal torture and murders. Local swat teams were able to raid and end the massacre, but not before several family members escaped. Now under new leadership, the Hatchets are coming home to unleash unimaginable horror and revenge. Join family members new and old as they come together once more for the Hatchet family reunion.”