Review: Arx Mortis provides frights and scares

My heart was racing. I tried making jokes to keep my mind off the fact that I would be facing some of my biggest fears. I regretted the decision to go to Arx Mortis.

I went to my first haunted house Oct. 13 thanks to Student Government Association. Editor-in-Chief Jasmine Fleming and Student Photographer Trevor Kiddy accompanied me in this experience.

I was already nervous before I entered the building, but it became worse when I was waiting in line. Actors in full costume would weave through the line interacting with the guests. One actor walked around scraping blades together that created sparks and a smoky scent. He became less terrifying though when he said, “thanks man” to Trevor who complimented the actor’s costume.

The sounds, decorations and actors immediately made me regret my decision more than I did before. They worked together to make me scared from the beginning. I held Jasmine’s hand the entire time, and I had to stop myself from squeezing her hand too tight.

My favorite part was Covington Clinic, which also contained a mental asylum. This section was the longest one, or at least it felt like it was. While most of the time the bloody makeup of the actors and loud, thundering noises scared me, there were times where I was not too scared, and I actually interacted with the actors.

When we entered the mental asylum, one of the women shouted “Trevor’s coming.” This made the experience more personal and terrifying. Another lady asked us if we wanted to buy a coffin, and I asked, “How much are they?”

Vinny Grosso, owner of Arx Mortis said that while one-third of the house changes each year, this is the section that has stayed the longest.

The worst part of the trip did not scare me—it annoyed me. This was the clown section. There was a grape scented smoke that impaired my vision, and the smell lingered. It was overwhelming.

Even though the clowns did not scare me, I know other people were scared of them. When we entered their section, the clowns were intense. They would get close and speak to us in menacing voices and stare at us.

Grosso said the clowns play on the fears in America right now. One of the clowns might even stand in a wooded area with a single balloon when participants walk through the clown section.

Grosso said the clown masks are the bestsellers right now at their gift shop.

The only improvement the attraction needs is better directions. The group I was in went the wrong way once, and we thought we were going the wrong way another time which out of that scary atmosphere. Despite this, the actors were helpful, and they guided us back to the correct area.

While the entire experience scared me, my fright was not immobilizing, but it was for others. A group of girls in front of us would become so scared that they would stop sometimes. It helped take my mind off how scary it was because I would try to motivate them to get through.

I would definitely recommend Arx Mortis for anyone who likes scary attractions. I would not go again, but this is because I am afraid the next time I go I will have a heart attack.