Scarevania 2014 IndyMojo.com Spook Staff

IndyMojo.com Spook Staff at Scarevania with Jingles the Clown

Any first timer to Scarevania will be impressed with the attention to detail that clearly goes into the haunt’s design. From spinning art on the outside walls to larger-than-life creep show relics on the roof – the props and design of Scarevania are over the top. Moreover, any returning victim who has visited in the past will be even more impressed at Scarevania’s ability to provide a nearly unique experience every year.

scarevaniaExpect a fairly long line if you hit Scarevania during peak hours; we found a 10 or 12 minute wait behind a couple of groups in front of us. However long the wait seems, it’s truly worth it once inside and you’re the only victims in the haunt with hardly any risk of running into the group ahead of you.

Luckily, there’s a new creepy stage outside to provide entertainment for patient line-waiters and scaredy cats too afraid to go through the haunt. Expect to see suspension acts, fire breathers, bands, and other live entertainment performing on the stage, in addition to movie screenings and scaryoake.

Scarevania's Carnival Cabaret

Scarevania’s Carnival Cabaret

The first room of Scarevania is perhaps its most memorable, as victims are held captive for several minutes while acclimating to their new environment – plenty of time to examine the thoughtful placement of props from ceiling to floor, from the front of the room to back.

Scarevania upholds a no-touch policy but that doesn’t mean they won’t interact with you. Those who aren’t scaring are clearly pissed off or mentally disturbed and they’re keenly aware of your presence.

Tipsy The Clown provided comedic entertainment from the stage as he stumbled over his own words when reminding us not to touch the actors. A creepy man-baby of a clown who goes by the name Jingles (ask him why) lingered in the corner, offering a childlike laugh at opportune moments.

When we entered the haunt an immediate assault of all senses immediately began: blaring death metal music, shrill screams from all angles and enduring performances that felt authentic as we stumbled by, totally in shock of our surroundings.

The second half of Scarevania takes victims outdoors on a trespassing jaunt where they’re promised not to make it out alive. In a completely different twist from last year’s shadow-filled graveyard trail, one recurring character steals the show with perfectly-timed scares. The outdoor portion of Scarevania has doubled in size, ending the trip on a desolate trail that ends in the longest, most intense chainsaw chase I’ve ever seen.

Gwen StaffAfter attending last year, I was eager to see what would be next for this Muncie haunted house. The heavy metal music paired with tons of terrorizing monsters and sick staging proved yet again to be a winning combination.

My favorite moment came with the rattle and smell of a chainsaw. Usually you can hear and anticipate the moment that you will sprint off without your group however, that was not the case this time. I ran, I ran so fast I didn’t know what was behind or ahead of me. – Gwen

 

dan2As a new contributor to the Spook Staff I did not know exactly what to expect. Scarevania was extremely well organized and managed. Eerie music played as we waited to enter that effectively set the mood to get scared. I liked that half of this haunt took place outside and included children in an interesting way. – Dan

 

 

ziziThis haunted house was set up with quite a bit of imagination and had a “Devil’s Rejects” meets “Nightmare Before Christmas” vibe to it. But, before I knew it, that vibe was gone and I was on the haunted trail outside, which led us through a graveyard of rusty, broke-down campers, RV’s and tall, grassy, unlit paths filled with chainsaw fog. I love chainsaw fog and everything, but I can’t say that I didn’t see or hear the guy coming. They definitely pull all the bells and whistles at Scarevania. Well, all the bells and whistles that they could pull without touching me… which was really the one thing missing from here – hands on interaction. – Zi Zi

 

ramzThey really spent some time on the scenery. We were weaving in and out of some well thought out areas outside. It allowed for actors to interact multiple times through the journey. It felt relatively tame after going to haunts that can touch you. I didn’t realize how much of an impact it has on the fear factor when you know actors aren’t allowed to get into your space; they’re no longer a threat. There were a few actors who stood out, though, such as the creepy little kid who followed us for quite a while, seeming to reappear out of nowhere. He was easy to lose track of due to size. Overall, I think it was a good haunt, especially for the low price of $12. – Matt

Scarevania Haunted House

1911 N Granville Ave
Muncie, Indiana 47303

Thu: 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Fri – Sat: 8:00 pm – 12:00 am

$12

scarevania

The Scarevania Haunted House in Muncie won major kudos from the Indy Mojo Spook Staff for their exquisite theming that’s consistent from the second you step foot outside your car until the moment you come running back to it in terror. Elaborate, menacing props adorn the rooftop of the building that houses the Scarevania haunted house. A fat, bearded lady and sinister devil on top of the room eye patrons from their vantage point as they approach the entrance. Carnival-style concessions and quirky signage further enhance the freak show format of Scarevania.

scarevania

scarevaniaA roaming pair of clowns entertained us while waiting in line- one overwhelmingly flamboyant and chatty, the other uninterested and totally silent. Inside, we took in as much of the detailed rule-reading room as we could before being shooed into the haunt; clever signs and props lined the tall walls while the leader of Scarevania’s freak show posed for a photo and warned us not to touch the actors.

Scarevania employs a no-touching policy, but makes up for it in sheer numbers. Every room had at least two monsters, some as many as five or six. With constant attention coming from every angle, Scarevania’s indoor haunt leaves its victims feeling disorientated and overwhelmed. Special attention to costumes and makeup also solidifies Scarevania’s freak show format; our favorite characters included Pigman and the opening room’s nightmare baby.

An outdoor graveyard rounds out the Scarevania trip of terror. The spooks and scares are not as constant or jarring as the whirlwind of surprises inside but when they get you, they get you good.

scarevania cast

Spook Staffer Morgan Brooke loved the intensity of Scarevania:

morganThis haunted house went above and beyond–literally every three steps and around every corner there was something new and horrifying to continually keep us on edge. From the second we walked into the heavily-decorated, creepy building, we were instantly startled by the scariest looking child who sent chills down our spines. Every step of the way we were on look-out and these characters never ceased to execute on a scare. With several different disturbing scenarios, it was a mix of being in Saw, The Hills Have Eyes, and The Ring all at once. We got an all-around scare and the actors made sure we felt like it was real. Scarevania is definitely worth the drive to Muncie if you want a good spook, but if you’re looking for something to last for a while, this one is short and you’re in and out before you know it.

scarevania aww

Spook Staff veteran Gwen Wilson sums up her Scarevania experience as follows:

Gwen StaffIf you ever wanted to be in a Rob Zombie movie, this is the place to go! The sick and twisted world of Scarevania left me in utter terror. The hunted attraction literally taps into everything freakishly grueling and gives their guests an uncomfortable constant scare! The acting was amazing, especially the demented cemetery girl that rushed at us in convulsions and spasms. This haunt is for people that can handle true gore and horror!

Though some would argue that the trip to Muncie from Indianapolis isn’t worth the 20 or 30 minutes of entertainment you’ll find at Scarevania, we would still encourage anyone looking for something new to gather a group of their friends and head north.

______________________________________________________________________________________

Scarevania

1911 N. Granville Ave., Muncie, Indiana 47303

October 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, & 31; 8 pm – 12 am weekends; 8 pm – 11 pm weeknights

$12

Heatbox at Dizzy Rooster

Thursday began at The Dizzy Rooster on 6th Street as part of The Take Off Tour 2013. The bar was not packed at all, but a small crowd had assembled in front of the stage where Minnesota’s Heatbox was set up to perform his one man band show. His management team enthusiastically greeted us at the door and coerced me to sign up for the mailing list in exchange for a free CD of his newest material, Get Some Love.

It had been nearly three years since I first saw Heatbox at Summercamp 2010 and while I was secretly hoping to hear him bust out my best memory of that set, “I Need A Jack and Coke”, it was great to hear fresh music from his unique one-man-band. Seamlessly transitioning from bebop and groove to quirky sound effects-laden hip hop with little more than a loop machine and his mouth, Heatbox entertains on multiple fronts.

He closed with a hilarious new song called “Ladies Room” that graphically explains how he was banned from a mall for using one; it’s raunchy hip hop pop at it’s best.

The Tumbleweed Wanderers at Jackolope

After a quick check of my Twitter stream flooded with SXSW tweets, I took action on a recommendation from Jambase who were hosting a party a few doors down the street at The Jackalope. By the time we got there a soulful rock and roll band dusted in 60’s psychedelia called The Tumbleweed Wanderers were performing.

The Jackalope’s stage was rather small and its dance floor even smaller, tucked in the far corner of the room and largely obstructed by a central bar serving both sides of the same expansive room. The free alcohol thing you hear so much about at SXSW isn’t a lie, although I found it to be far less frequent  than originally expected (see opening article, “Welcome to Austin”, about having no expectations). The Jackalope was serving free beer though, and it was a pale ale nonetheless. We stayed for two rounds and finished out The Tumbleweed Wanderers’ set before moving outside to explore more of 6th Street.

Here’s a fun video the band made while they were in Austin. After watching it, see my opening article (linked above) for a protip on catching a cab in Austin during SXSW.

Street Performers

One of my favorite things to do at SXSW was to wander 6th Street during the day with no specific objective. It’s a little less chaotic, several hundred fewer people are out, and the crowd is much less drunk during the day, so navigating the streets is significantly more relaxing and enjoyable. Soaking up the hot Texas sun while watching street performers became a regular pastime during my stay in Austin.

Over the course of the week, I managed to find all of the following performing along 6th Street:

  • Charly & Margaux (Brooklyn) – this eye-catching pair of string composers returned to Austin for their second year at SXSW armed with a game plan to get their music into the hands of festival goers. Their tactics included an afternoon street performance, mobile iPad listening parties, and the creating of a wall mural, all of which can be seen in the video below.

  • Kao=S (Japan) – a Japanese rock band (the first I’ve ever seen!) performing with authentic homeland instruments called Tsugaru-Syamisen and Shakuhachi. These instruments, paired with an acoustic guitar and the liquid movement of professional sword performer and actress Kaori Kawabuchi, captured the curious attention of many who passed by the street corner on which they were performing.  (Seen here: https://vine.co/v/bdO7MVAr9FB – be sure to unmute it!)
  • Although not a day performance, this band of percussionists marching down 6th Street on Saturday night was one of the biggest crowd draws I saw all week. The troop attracted so many lively fans following them down that street that the blob of people could be seen and heard from blocks away. (Seen here: https://vine.co/v/bdl1TmQmidU)

  • Muncie’s own When, Not If looking like the Midwestern hippies that they are, playing acoustic tunes on the corner of busy Congress Avenue in downtown Austin. (seen here: vine.co/v/bdg2vYTTDPt)
  • The Ugly Club

For a recap of my first day at SXSW, check out Partying with Sonos & Falling in Love With Oregon