House of Horror Haunts Miami International Mall

It's October which means a few things: pumpkins, costume shopping, candy, scary movies, orange, black, blah, blah, blah. Unlike most places, we in fact do get a lot of events in the great state of Florida that really encourage all of us to get in the scare-the-shit-out-of-yourself spirit. We have Halloween Horror nights in Orlando and Howl-O-Scream in Tampa, but the scariest thing Miami ever gets are the kids of Jersey Shore.

This year, though, we finally got our shit together enough to get some spooky events (see our best Halloween events list here). There's Circo De Los Horrores, which starts tonight over at the James L. Knight Center (we went! read the review here). And weirdly enough, the mall even got into the spirit. Well, the parking lot at least. 

House of Horror has officially taken over the Miami International Mall as of last night. If you are looking for Halloween Horror Nights South Florida style, we don't suggest you drive over to the great city of Doral because you will most definitely be disappointed. But, for a pretty low budget parking lot take over, House of Horrors is indeed a good time. Calling it an "amusement park" is like calling Kirstie Alley big boned. It's a carnival that happens to have a haunted house. But unlike other spooky themed parks, it's fun for all. And we do mean fun.

Even if you don't like to be scared, then just avoid the haunted house and you will be good to go. The people watching alone is worth the $22 ticket fee. Anyone and everyone is there--chongas, gringas, families, young, old, black, white, toothless carnies--any person you want is in your reach. And like any true carnival, the food makes you realize why America is obese. Any deliciously fattening chow is at your finger tips: elephant ears, giant turkey legs, fried oreos, cotton candy, pizza and in true Doral style, there is even a Hispanic themed booth for anyone looking to get their rice and beans on.

If vomiting up all the food we just discussed sounds like a good idea, there are tons of rides to do just that. You have heaps of adorable rides to take the kiddies on, but if you're looking to have a shriek inducing time, then there are piles of rides to get your fix. Can we promise you wont die because they are your typical cheap carnie rides? No, we definitely can't. But will the "crazy dancer" that sends you spinning at 50 mph be worth while? Yes. And for any lovers that might be heading out to House of Horror for date night, the perfect ride on the Ferris wheel is available for a perfect make-out session.

On their website, they promise jugglers, tight rope walkers, trapeze acts, and performances by musical acts. Well, we saw none of that--maybe because we were too hyped up on sugar and terror, but one thing not to miss is the haunted house.  Now, before heading over, you must prepare yourself for a few things.

First, the line is going to be long and we mean long. It took about an hour and 45 minutes to get through the line. Oh and we mean the main line. Once you get inside what you think is the house, they put you in another goddamn line. To be honest, about 30 minutes into waiting, you're going to want to give up. But with a good group of friends and we suggest you grab some fattening food to snack on, it makes the herding of people semi bearable.

Before entering the house, you're forced to listen to an announcer in a creepy voice tell you not to run or touch the actors. Yes, you might not be allowed to touch them, but they are definitely allowed to touch you (we learned this the hard way). While not giving too much away: Get ready for clowns, a zombie-filled graveyard, pig butcher, vampire lair, and a room that looks like Chucky himself designed it and then murdered someone in it.

All in all, they didn't bring Disney or Universal Studios-like scariness to Miami. But when you get unlimited rides for $22, scared shitless from a haunted house, and can clot your arties with endless amounts of carnival cuisine all in a nights work, then you can tell that Mickey Mouse to suck it.

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Stacey Russell
Contact: Stacey Russell