Netherworld full of frights

It’s that time of year again where it’s fun to get scared senseless by spine-chilling horrors. If you’re into that kind of thing, Georgia just so happens to be home to arguably the best place to do it. Netherworld Haunted House, located in Norcross, has been named the top haunted house in the nation by Hauntworld magazine and the second best haunted house by AOL CityGuide. This was my fourth year going to Netherworld, and (trust me) it just keeps getting better. I love haunted houses and have been to all the major ones around Atlanta, and nothing comes close to this.

I went with some friends including my boyfriend (who is 6 feet tall and built like a football player). Needless to say, he is not the type of guy you imagine running down a hallway screaming for his life. It was a sight to see, that’s for sure. He left me to fend for myself in the maze of a house that could take 10 minutes to navigate through! Once they lead you into the house and tell you a little story to start you off, your rational mind takes a backseat and everything seems shockingly real. Once you’re in this mood, Netherworld is sure not to disappoint.

As soon as you get out of your car, you are transported to a world of clowns, demons and chainsaw-wielding psychos. Many haunted houses have cheap-looking costumes and hokey props that look like they were made in someone’s garage. Netherworld has top-notch makeup artists and costume designers to make sure the experience is as realistic as possible. Elaborate props, scenes and illusions make you feel like you’re on sensory overload.

Every year there are two completely unique haunts. You can pay to go to one, or both. This year there was Carnivore, with a story centered on a pack of werewolves, and the Mangler, who is a disfigured serial killer who performs many gruesome murders for you to watch. Each house has a ton of gore, and you are constantly worrying about where the next monster will pop out to chase you down the hall.

While waiting in line, prepare to look over your shoulder to find a werewolf breathing down your neck and ghoulish monsters hiding in every shadow; all are waiting for their next unsuspecting victim. As you get closer and closer to the front of the line, the screams of the people who entered before you add to the mood and jumpstart the adrenaline that will continue to pump throughout the rest of the house.

Walking down a pitch-black hall, not knowing when something or someone is going to jump out and scare you is bad enough, but Netherworld doesn’t stop there. Along with the gore factor, they use a lot of different methods to freak out nearly anyone. There are optical illusion tunnels that spin with bridges that shake, along with movie quality special effects that both confuse and frighten. The walls themselves move and grab at you, and water squirts on you as you watch a body being hacked up with a chainsaw.

Netherworld Haunted House is not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach. Your throat is bound to ache by the end of it from all the screaming, and you will feel like you just ran a marathon. They never let up on the thrills and keep you on-edge even at the very end of the house, where a man with a chainsaw is standing at the exit ready to chase you back to your car if you seem the least bit hesitant. For those of us who like letting go occasionally and allowing ourselves to be scared silly, this is the place to do it.

People travel from all over to experience Netherworld and we’re lucky to have it right in our backyard.