From the depths of the surrounding woods, hides a building that hides even bigger secrets. This instantly brings to mind a favored lore about a multi-level haunt where you win a prize if you get out alive. That's no myth, no tall tale...That's 13th Hour Haunted House and Escape Rooms, and it IS a hidden horror gem located in Wharton, New Jersey.
Movie quality sets, props and the like are all things haunters want or already have. Stretching far and wide are the visions haunt owners alike dream of or have achieved. It takes a lot to make a show work, but a key factor is the open mindedness of the people who own, run the show or both.
Walt Disney’s work is debated within the walls of action entertainment industries, and he's respected regardless for his accomplishments. Some haunters don’t even realize the level his influence had over the inception of the haunt industry and still does to this day. One place where Disney's influence can be seen and is put to the test is 13th Hour. Owner Steve Bailey is an admitted admirer of the man who made the mouse and you absolutely pick up on that by the vastness of space used to fulfill the vision Bailey has in his heart and mine.
With sets that seemingly touch the sky and detail beyond belief, you really feel immersed in the environment once inside. It is pure eye candy with an energetic magic that combines the beauty and art of a Disney imagineer with the grittiness of a 70's horror film.
The property has a unique story, one which lends itself well to the overall theme of 13th Hour. Set in the 60's, a story about a family so twisted, so cruel and deranged they would build a house made to capture and torture their victims. If SAW and Texas Chainsaw were the same movie, you could imagine 13th Hour pretty well from that description. Guests are transported back in time from present day to experience a taste of this demented family's life at their ole farmhouse.
Things go from bad to worse as scenes start tame and quickly ramp up to a full throttle horror show right before your eyes (when you're not covering them in fear, of course). It's a fully immersive, interactive experience unlike any other show in the state. Others make claims, but 13th Hour Haunted House delivers.
And now, time is up...the 13th Hour is upon us.
13th Hour might be the newest haunt on the scene, but owner Steve Bailey has a record of trying new things. He's owned more than one haunted house attraction in his time and has experienced different styles and different creative and in developing 13th Hour Haunted House, he implemented only the best throughout, the crème de la crème, and it shows.
Immersive horror, a style of haunting that isn't widely known in the industry and is one of many things 13th Hour offers that other haunts won't or can't. In the making of 13th Hour Haunted House, Bailey collaborated with immersive horror artists, allowing them to use his space, halls and walls. Bailey felt now is the time to take the leap and find the best way to use what's trending and that decision is what gives his guests an experience that stands out from all the rest. 13th Hour expects to be known as the most interactive haunted house and escape room experience in New Jersey and beyond because Bailey has pushed his vision forward time and time again culminating into the evolution that is 13th HOUR HAUNTED HOUSE & ESCAPE ROOMS. Between his elaborate and immersive escape rooms, interactive haunted houses and the special events planned for the 2018 season, it will be a task to dethrone 13th Hour and Bailey from being labeled best, scariest, most detailed, most extreme, or most horrific haunted house in New Jersey.
A Trilogy of Terror
13th Hour will have 3 interactive haunted attractions running at the same time this season, each different from the last but seamlessly carrying over each theme into the next so guests are never out of the narrative. The first is The Hayden Family Farmhouse, by far is the largest of all the mazes. Staring out in a pre show where, guests await their fate in massive time machine while a ghost host of sorts takes them back in to meet the depraved Hayden clan. Once out the first scene you’ll notice is the farmhouse itself which takes guests through scene after scene of horror lore fashioned from the could-be true tale of the Hayden family. Through its turns, pops and jump scares, guests are met with family members who just want to get a closer look at you. Doors shut behind you while frantically looking to find the secret passages to advance to the next rooms. You'll leave the house and find yourself in the woods where a skull caped castle rests hidden behind the trees. For what it's worth, the first haunt divides itself well into three different style haunts within one very large space and it doesn't let up on the scares through any transition…not even once. It ends on a high note and then you look up and see that there is a whole upstairs that you've yet to explore and it's called THE ATTIC.
Everyone knows someone who had the cramped, dusty basement or storage space filled to the brim of this and that. This attraction isn't much different than the idea of stuffing an attic with the weirdest of all the parts of horror. Sure, you start off in what looks like an old attic space and then the Bailey custom of twisting you around to a visual hellscape. Clowns, dolls, vampires, werewolves…its the horror tropes we all know and love crammed into one space, working together for the betterment of a good show. The Attic ends with one of the most unique and interactive sets in a haunted house, mini escape rooms, each 60-seconds long, and if you solve the puzzle and escape, you actually win a prize.
When entering The Chamber, you might feel like you're in yet another escape room, but you would only be partially correct. You're in a pre-show for the next haunt, a blackout maze designed to feel like a dark ride. The only puzzle to solve is how you get out of the room and into the maze. Now a puzzle might not be the right way to explain it, but you must interact with your surroundings to find a passageway. Your inner child should be happy, because it's exactly like old stories of mansions with secret rooms and passages, only reflecting more on the Disney-style quality of the attractions. If you love dark rides, this one is for you. Sure, you're walking through the maze this time, but you'll definitely feel like you're at fair with better caliber props, live actors and set designs. You'll only see what you're supposed to see and that is perfect.
Rise of the Escape Experience
13th Hour has the only horror themed escape rooms in New Jersey. It was smart positioning to continue the horror theme throughout the attractions and into the escape rooms. Why? People who want a horror themed escape room might not be people who would come through the haunted attractions during the season.
They will come back year round though and attempt to beat the clock in each of them.
These escape rooms are huge and have so much detail and depth, it is hard to talk about them because of how intense they really are. It needs to be seen to be believed but before we give a descriptor of each room, you might ask yourself what sets these escape rooms apart from others, especially ones in Bailey's backyard...It's his live actors! Yes, these rooms have you interacting with actors who come and go as they please. It’s their home after all. They're there to scare and intimidate, but also offer you help as you and your group might need. It’s genius really. Instead of a Game Master assisting the play, 13th Hour has actors double as game masters.
John Hayden's Room
Do you have the guts to enter the Hayden Farm House, a place where countless murders were committed? Your adventure (should you dare to take it on) starts in John Hayden’s Room where your task is to find out who John Hayden is going to kill next. John Hayden tortured and slaughtered innocent people; they tried to escape his farm, get help and bring him to justice. But all attempts failed. Each and every one of his victims met their demise. So fearless friends, your decision must be made. You know what to do. Gather your courage, take a deep breath, and ESCAPE!
The Great Room
This is the Hayden family’s room of murders. This section of the farmhouse is known as The Great Room. This massive section of the farmhouse will challenge your wits in all fashions. Multiple sections, secret passage ways, and puzzles you never experienced before will have your team running mad. What terrible secrets lie within the Great Room? Just what were the Hayden family members up too? Be warned; you only have 60 minutes to complete the Great Room and save yourselves. Do you have what it takes?
This is where the disembodiment of all victims all took place. You and your group have 60 minutes to find out who the very last victim was before hurricane Doria demolishes the Farmhouse ending the spree of murders committed by the Hayden’s. With Mind bending puzzles, multiple sections and secret passageways you and your team will all need to work together for the time of your lives.
13th Hour's newest room, The Dungeon, offers a unique challenge that is only for the tough. Faint of heart beware. You start your game blindfolded and led to your cells. You get chained and locked into your cells unaware of your surroundings. Do you have what it takes to escape?
Beyond haunting now and well into the future: There are many things at 13th Hour that make it stand out already so much, but it’s the dedication to immersive and interactive horror that sets it apart from anything else and will do so for years to come. 13th Hour will be collaborating on more adult themed immersive events with famed artists from Shock Theater out of New York, who have been creating immersive horror experiences for the better of 6 years now. Expect to see a dramatic shift in content as haunts like 13th Hour, with their utmost appreciation of art, start seeking more ways to scare outside the box.