After twenty years in the same location, Netherworld unveils its new digs.
Opening its doors in 1997, Netherworld Haunted House is an intense, multi-attraction haunt event created by film and television professionals. It is well-known for its custom-made, movie quality sets and special effects, as well as highly-trained and terrifying scareactors. Debuting a brand-new location this year, Netherworld typically features a larger, main haunt and a smaller haunt.
Netherworld is open daily from October 5, 2018 through November 4, 2018.
THE AWAKENED, rotted mummified corpses, each with a single hideous eye in their forehead have emerged from the depths below to destroy everything in their path! Explore the cursed town of Whyshburg, make your way through its ancient crumbling cemetery, enter the haunted Colber Mansion and then descend to the forbidden city deep below the mountain to confront the ancient horror that created The Awakened…If You Dare!
The Awakened invites us into the exciting storyworld of exploring the streets of a crumbling village to face off with the ferocious creatures that have overtaken the inhabitants and taken up residence there.
The sets at Netherworld are exquisitely detailed. Starting out in the charming town of Whyshburg, it was obvious that something dark and single-minded has begun taking over the local environment. Vintage signage and authentic cobblestones decorated our path, but no living villagers are to be found. Ancient headstones and burial markers crumbled and decayed without interference, a sign that those laid to rest beneath the ground were free from the torment others were left behind to face.
Once out of the village setting, we made our way through the mansion rumored to be haunted, exploring various dark and lavishly adorned hallways and multiple areas of aging decadence. A trophy hunting room boasting animal trophies, pelts and other souvenirs, provided a busy canvas for things that go bump in the night.
Leaving the mansion, the scenery effortlessly transitioned into the underground environment. Our surroundings became more and more rotten, the textures and inhabitants beginning to reflect life without light. Putrid elements and creatures began closing in on us as we entered further into their world.
Netherworld quite simply has some of the best scenic to be found anywhere, even competing with the large, annual theme park haunt events. While experiencing this attraction, you essentially need to have your head on a swivel, because there are so many extraordinary things to look at and encounter.
We have found that if you don’t want to miss anything, you have to be looking both above and below at all times. Creatures fly overhead, while monsters and special effects surprise you from every direction. Netherworld Haunted House has always been a fan of the huge animatronics, and they have included a few even bigger ones in their new location, building massive monsters who interact and enthrall guests inside their new, seemingly unlimited overhead space. A plethora of other giant, creatures with salivating mouths and sharp teeth nip at you from their hiding places and block your path, threatening to snatch you from the line and have you as a meal.
Inhabitants of The Awakened are undergoing various stages of rot, waiting in the darkness to stalk and surprise guests as they progress through the decrepit streets of the overrun town. A few creatures who perhaps are not fully turned seem to be experiencing high fever and erratic behavior.
Rather than characters jumping out to startle you, Netherworld masterfully camouflages its characters into the scenery and effects. When they do reveal themselves, it is most often a surprise even for extremely seasoned haunt-goers like us who can spot a shrub creature a mile away.
Since we do not scare easily, we highly appreciate experiencing the cool creature design and special effects aspect more than getting a jump scare to elicit a reaction. It is very rewarding to us to have a character surprise us after hiding in plain sight, only to reveal themselves when – and where – we least expect it.
Another plus is that the intentional ambient noises inside the haunt combined with the screams and shrieks of your fellow patrons make a nice cover for the actuators and hydraulics firing, which in many haunts can very easily be heard and distracting from the overall experience.
One of the highlights of this attraction is that just when you think the haunt is over, Netherworld throws even more at you. Much like the best magicians who take the stage, this venue is also a master at distraction. They expertly focus your attention on something very interesting, all the while the main event or featured creature moves in to take you by surprise.
Dissection of an extraterrestrial life form has released a rapidly mutating virus into the facility, The BOX. Infected subjects have shown rapid anomalous tissue growth, near indestructability and extreme aggression! Additionally, many of the other experiments have escaped their cells and are extremely dangerous! After receiving your briefing, you must enter The BOX and successfully complete your assignment before the rampaging horrors of the UNKNOWN subject you to a fate worse than death!
Introducing guests to this attraction with astounding exterior views consisting of an impressive APC military vehicle, a giant, domineering robot with fully-aware AI, and an impressive facility façade, Netherworld masterfully drops you headlong into the story.
Upon entering the Subject: Unknown queue line, we were instantly transported to the setting of a military installation, where things have gone awry and personnel are on full alert. Before you formally step foot into the attraction, you encounter a giant, Transformer-sized robot who seems to have fully aware AI functionality.
Within the confines of the facility, soldiers donned in military garb rushed us through passageways lined with bare, utilitarian walls, attempting to get us to safety. Two armed guards near the entrance urge us to get into a giant elevator. Inside, a very authentic simulation of descending further underground is far from the lift’s most surprising moment.
As we journeyed deeper into the installation, we began encountering a variety of mutants and experimental subjects who had escaped or were in progress of doing so. The various types of mutations include all manners and hybrid versions of AI, robots, clones, and human/creature hybrids.
Giant bugs, alien-like beings, and robots with both biological and mechanical parts wandered around and threatened us as we pushed through to reach safety. Along the way, we came across a kind of choose-your-own-adventure selection of doors. Three pathways, all with different results. We each took a separate course, one a claustrophobic journey to walls closing in tightly, the other trailing across a panel with ultrahigh vibrations – like the sensation of being electrocuted might feel.
Exiting what we thought was the end of the attraction we came across a believable plane crash and a whiteout tunnel zone, which we construed as somewhat of a decontamination zone. This area was so utterly blinding that one of us actually got lost inside and made a few rounds before eventually finding the exit. It was quite unnerving to be completely and suddenly without sight, when you are used to relying so heavily on it.
Historically, the smaller Netherworld attraction typically sports a darker theme than the main one, and this still seemed to be true at the new location. Subject: Unknown played upon several popular phobias, as well as a few obscure ones. Of course, it is a given that guests’ claustrophobia will be tested, but those who have a fear of elevators, creepy-crawly things, and dark areas that mask the unknown will also be treated to a healthy dose of exposure.
As the slow progression of mutations became more apparent along the path, the tenants of facility became more grotesque and covered with oozing skin lesions. As with the other attraction, there were jump scares present, but we didn’t mind at all because they were well-placed, well-timed, and well-executed so that they were nearly impossible to see coming.
The event triggers were expertly disguised in this attraction, making it easier to catch guests by surprise. Rounding a corner within the facility, we both received a cold, wet shot to the head by a crazed character most likely trying to expose us to a strain of the mutating virus.
The whiteout maze was a bit unnerving, and the feeling of being completely and suddenly without sight – when you are used to relying so heavily on it as your main source of interpreting the information around you – is a bit scary.
Netherworld Haunted House is not only touted as one of the scariest haunted houses in Georgia and in the Southeast, but as one of the top haunts in the nation. For more than a decade, it has consistently ranked as a top-tier Halloween attraction and a destination haunt. It simply is a must-see for all haunt and horror fans. It has been featured in movies, used for filming locations, and highlighted numerous times on the Travel Channel, CNN, and many more.
After twenty years of operating at a furniture warehouse in Norcross, Georgia, Netherworld packed up everything and moved to a completely new location in Stone Mountain. We’re not talking about one small moving truck full of Halloween props here. We are talking about the herculean task of moving every scrap and speck of a world-class haunt to a different city. They had an astonishing amount of work to do in a year’s time to get ready for the 2018 season – and they pulled it off.
Not only did they succeed, but they absolutely killed it showcasing their talents at the new site. Knowing their exact needs and wishes to fulfill their vision, they bought their own building, where they could stretch their legs and fully hit their stride. In year one at their new address, they’ve already proven that when they have room to breathe unrestricted by neighboring businesses, they truly can set the bar even higher.
This new site is four times larger than the old one, where they also offered two attractions. One of the huge differences is that the size and length of the haunts now are noticeably longer along with much updated scenery.
While Netherworld has always offered some food options, photo ops, and a few games, the new location has taken this idea and transformed it into a full-blown midway that guests don’t even discover until they have completed the main haunt. The result is a delightful discovery of a hidden festival area with a small-town feel.
To sweeten the pot, they have brought back their popup escape room, The Mangler’s Fear Machine, which we played a few years ago at the previous location. There are various haunt-themed games of skill, a much larger and robust gift shop, and a great selection of food offerings. It is really well done. Even though the crowds were quite large, the layout is designed to spread everyone out through different areas and attractions, leaving the midway feeling sparsely unpopulated and accommodating to all who lingered there.
This new site also features year-round escape rooms and a beautifully done haunt museum containing actual movie props, costumes and relics. Both are definitely worth checking out.
You can find full reviews we’ve previously posted for each of their fantastic year-round escape games – Sasquatch – Bigfoot’s Revenge, Nosferatu – Van Helsing’s Secret and Haunted – Curse of the Night Hag -right here on Escape Authority!
Location: Stone Mountain, GA
Dates: October 5th – November 4th
Hours: 7:30pm – 10:30pm (Sundays through Thursdays and November dates) / 7:00pm – 12:00am (Fridays and Saturdays in October)
Cost: Individual tickets range from $23-25 for The Awakened only. Combo tickets including both haunts range from $28-35. Speed Pass tickets cost $55.