By: Ella Robertson
One of the few memories I have retained from elementary school was when I first went to the Dungeon of Doom at Kemah Boardwalk. I had spent hours looking up reviews and watching advertisements in order to anticipate what I would see within the haunted house; however, nothing could have prepared me for the sense of dread that I experienced upon actually entering the building. My ten-year-old self was surprisingly able to make it the entire way through the haunted house, but not without a lot of tears and yelling “if you touch me I’ll sue” a couple of times. When I was invited back to review the haunted house seven years later, I saw it as a chance to redeem myself and see if the dungeon was actually as terrifying as I initially believed it to be.
Upon entering the dungeon, there is an instant sense of eeriness, because the props, lighting, and perhaps unintended smell of mildew set the mood for this adrenaline-filled experience. After a brief lecture regarding the rules of the house, my party was led into the dungeon itself. The hallways were narrow and the lighting was dimmed so that it was only possible to catch small glimpses of what lay ahead. There are different “rooms” to the house that have varying themes, but all are filled with actors that seem to take absolute pleasure in making you scream and scaring you to the brink of tears. It is impossible to prepare for what hides behind each corner, as actors will pop through windows, jump down from a ledge above, or sneak up behind you without notice. Undoubtedly, the most terrifying aspect of the dungeon is the actors themselves and how they decide to interact with you throughout the experience.
I exited the half-a-mile long maze running, which actually meant that I broke rule #2 of the dungeon (sorry). While inside the dungeon, I may have said a few too many obscenities, grabbed onto my friends and tour guide too often, and had a gross layer of sweat over me, but I still consider it a step up from a few years ago where I ended up crying. Regardless, the experience terrified me as much today as it did when I was in elementary school.
Overall, the Dungeon of Doom is definitely worth the trip if you are looking for a haunted house that will scare you, but not completely scar you for life. It is undoubtedly the most acclaimed haunted house in the area, and for good reason. If you are a casual horror-enthusiast or just looking to get into the spirit of Halloween, the Dungeon of Doom is the perfect destination for you; however, if you are numb to intense blood-and-guts gore and jump scares, this haunted house may leave you with something to be desired.