The Fright Factory, at Swanson and Jackson Streets in South Philadelphia, doesn't claim to be one of them, but it'll throw a good scare into you Owner Robert Didzieck spends all year maintaining and improving four rooms or "scare" scenes.
The place is open only 17 nights a year including the last five leading up to Halloween. He makes it very clear that his experience is not for children.
The fright intensity would be traumatic for young visitors. But for adults, he promises a memorable experience. He likens it to a roller coaster ride, you know you're perfectly safe yet there's the illusion of danger and the satisfaction of having survived something that seems much wilder that it is.
The Fright Factory is staffed by a team of actors who play various characters. They're as in-your-face as they can be, working hard to get a fear response from each visitor, in each room.
Typically, a visitor will spend 15 to 20 minutes in each room, or between 60 and 90 minutes for the total experience. Despite knowing what's coming after the first visit, many come back more than once in a season.
During the off-season of more than eleven months, Dudzieck and his partners rework at least one room completely and rearrange the others. So if you were there last year, you'll have a substantially different reaction this time.
The scare business has been good to Dudzieck, so much so that he's expanding. He plans a haunted house attraction for 2012 on Sportland Pier in Wildwood.
It will be larger than his Philadelphia center, with more actors and more experiences, although probably simpler than what you see in Philly.
He hopes to open Easter weekend and definitely to have things up and running daily starting Memorial Day weekend.
The Fright Factory in South Philadelphia is open nightly at 7:30pm. It's open until at least 11:00pm on Friday and Saturday nights, 10:00pm other nights, and the place stays open until the last paying customer is all the way through.
Regular admission is $30.00. There is also a VIP Pass available for $40.00 which puts you at the head of the line...a consideration when it's busy.For more information, call 215-334-4678...that's 215-33-GHOST if you prefer. You may also use their website, The Fright Factory.