If you’re out and about in BA and happen to hear some screams in the night, it’s probably just folks being scared at the 13th Ward. This attraction isn’t hard to get to however it wasn’t well identified – 71st and 193rd behind the Pizza Hut is the best way for me to explain how to get there.
From the outside, the unassuming building hides the horrors that lie within. Oh sure, there may be a couple of creepy clowns banging on barrels and scaring people, but the building looks plain. Once you step inside the doors however, you are taken to The 13th Ward, an insane asylum under the care of Dr. Thaddeus Munch and his faithful nurse. Did I mention that the patients were the criminally insane and were subjected to some very intense and illegal experiments?
You are greeted by a lovely nurse (no, not a hot nurse – but one more of a matronly type). She will tell you a brief history of the facility and about how they have graciously opened it up for tours. Of course, it’s not until the end that she informs the visitors that it was a hospital for the criminally insane. Then she ushers you into the facility proper. The very first scene you encounter is well placed because it does the job of getting the guests disoriented and it can (and has) left grown men weak kneed.
The scares and actors are well spaced. I will give a warning to all people who will be going through the haunt. BE CAREFUL! The reason I say this is because the actors will come out of places and rush upon you. When you can see them, you know you can be out of the way. I almost collided with an actor, though, when I was rounding a corner and he was actually sliding on his knees to get to where I was. I didn’t hit the guy nor did he hit me but it can happen. There are disclaimers on the website informing you that the haunt or the landlords or any of the actors are not responsible for injuries. That is why it is there. They are not trying to tackle you, but everyone in there is human (or at least they were at one point).
And going with some of the other disclaimers, I can tell you that yes, there are strobe lights so if you’re prone to seizures you probably shouldn’t go in there. And there are fog effects, in one area it was so thick that I was temporarily blinded as to where to go to next. Granted, I just paused a bit to get my bearings again but be aware that if you’re sensitive to that you might want to stay away. There were a couple of places where the walls were not the same dimensions as the rest of the haunt. I did not have to crawl through the hall but I was bent over. And while it was well lit for a haunt (yes, if you’re paying attention you should not get off the path) it is still a dark place. Because of these features if you are claustrophobic you might want to reconsider going through. I am not trying to discourage people from having fun, but I do want people to consider what they can and cannot handle medically or psychologically. This is for fun not to cause any harm in any way to anyone.
I do not want to give away too much of the scenes in there or what to expect. Typical haunt effect such as strobes and fog are pretty much expected. The rooms with different dimensions may not be common but it happens. But the costumes and the actual scenes are very well done and deserve to have fresh eyes going in. True, the fact that the theme is posted on the website (and kind of given in the name of the haunt) does let you know some of what you will see but they don’t just stop there. One of the things that I really enjoyed that I don’t know of other haunts taking on is the maze. Yes, you read that correctly, there is amaze in the haunt, in the building. This is not like a corn maze or trail of blood maze that is separate. This one may not be very tricky (give it time to grow) but it can lead you down the wrong path. My advice to anyone going through is to stick together! And remember, there is a way out.
This is a family run business. Most of the actors are family and all of them are volunteers. They actually sacrifice their weekends for this month in order to scare you and they don’t get paid to do it. The fact that it is so family centered means they do try to keep things to where a family can enjoy it together, but parents should keep in mind what their children can handle as far as loud noises, flashing lights and every scary things. No one wants the haunt to have to close down for a few hours as they look for a child that ran off scared and is now lost.
Something that I feel needs to be mentioned that this haunt does and many don’t or at least they don’t promote, is it gives a portion of the proceeds to the American Cancer Society. Yes, some of the money you spend to get scared will actually go to try to stop a very scary disease. So, while you are facing spooks you can feel good that you have done you bit for a greater cause.
I would absolutely recommend anyone in the area to come visit the 13th Ward. Their prices are not unreasonable, $15 for general and $20 for a fast pass. They don’t seem to give a discount for online purchases. When I went, there really was no need for a fast pass but then I went early in the season. I imagine that the lines are longer now that it is mid-October and if you really want to cut through the lines and minimize your wait time then go for it. However, some of the fun of going to a haunt is meeting other people who are like minded and enjoy these things. That is something you might miss with a fast pass. I do understand that when the general admission is at a 2+ hour wait it doesn’t seem so fun. I am not trying to discourage the purchasing of fast passes just saying that don’t be in such a hurry that you might miss something. A 30 min wait verses a 10 min wait isn’t such a big thing.
I can say that my Halloween Haunt season has started off to a great start and I cannot wait to see what else is in store. Keep checking back here for more updates on other local Oklahoma Haunts and Activities this month.