Address: 1235 Bedford St, Abington, MA 02351
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When writing a review of Barrett’s Haunted Mansion, it’s hard not to talk about past trips. With 28 years under their belt, their sheer experience in running a haunted attraction is apparent the second you pull into the parking lot. While 2019 may not be their strongest year over all, you’ll be hard pressed to find such an amazing haunt in the eastern half of Massachusetts. Barrett’s doesn’t compete with other haunts, they compete with themselves year after year.
First, some details about Barrett’s Haunted Mansion. Located in Abington, MA, Barrett’s is a two attraction haunt with Hollywood level sets, costumes, and make-up. As mentioned earlier, they’re celebrating their 28th season at the same location they started at back in 1991. They share the same lot with the Abington Ale House which is a great place for pre/post haunt food and drink (I highly recommend heading over to bhmansion.com and checking out the “Bite and Frite” deal). As someone who frequents the Mansion almost annually, I’m constantly impressed by how much they continue to add. The outdoor haunt (known as “The Sanctuary” this year) has evolved from an abandoned mini golf course to an outdoor haunt that’s approaching the same length and quality as the “Mansion” itself in (if memory serves) less than 10 years! Between the constant evolution of the outdoor portion and the constant swapping of rooms in service of the yearly theme change, it’s clear that Barrett’s thrives on keeping things different year after year which is why they’re still considered best in class in Eastern Massachusetts.
All that said, let’s get into more detail on what makes Barrett’s so great. The second you get to the ticket booth, you know you’re in for something special as they’ve built a “mini haunt” that guests must traverse before you even get to a point where you buy your tickets. On top of this free mini haunt, they have the best line actors in New England bar none. The line actors combine amazing costumes and makeup with a great level of haunting experience to keep the sometimes long waits highly entertaining. If they aren’t scaring you half to death, they’ll work to make you smile. Every year, I see a group of teens succumb to scares from the amazing line actors before even entering the ticket booth haunt which results in either the group leaving immediately or the occasional “protein spill” followed by an immediate departure. Barrett’s puts the best of the best in the queue areas to help build anticipation for each haunt. I know, I know... I’m gushing over the line, but what about the haunts? Well, the haunts deliver for sure. The outdoor haunt is generally a short “appetizer”, but usually has great actors that combine dialogue and distraction scares to really mess with you. Though it is a shorter attraction, it’s always a great start to the night and never disappoints. What about the “Mansion” itself? Well, the Mansion takes all the great parts of the outdoor portion (great acting) and adds amazing sets and unique scares. While somewhat short, Barrett’s fits a lot into their flagship haunt and it never disappoints.
For those that have been to BHM in the past, you must be wondering “why should I go this year?” Which is a valid question. In my opinion, this year is great, but it does not stand out as one of BHM’s strongest years in recent time. That award goes to 2017s “hotel” haunt. I will say, The Sanctuary is probably the best execution of the outdoor haunt we’ve seen yet, but it has yet to step out of the shadow of the Mansion itself and still feels like an appetizer haunt. The Mansion itself is solid this year, but the nuclear fallout theme does not seem to live up to prior years especially 2017s’ Hotel theme. It felt like the theme was only executed in the last 3-4 rooms and the rest of the haunt fell to the wayside while they vastly improved on the outdoor haunt.
Overall, my recommendation is this. If you have never been, you NEED to make it down to Barrett’s this season. If you’ve been in the past, you know you’re in for a world class haunt and probably already made plans to swing by this season. I do recommend heading over to bhmansion.com and looking at their calendar for deals and events. For anyone looking for something rather “extreme”, I checked out their “Devil’s Night” event last year and it was absolutely nuts! Fair warning, it is not for the timid.
New England Scares Pro reviewer.BIO: “Mike has been touring haunts since the early 2000s visiting haunts from coast to coast though he calls Massachusetts his home. He’s spent four seasons as an actor and even decided to start his own haunt, Massacre Fields, years ago. He spends his non existent free time getting ramped up for haunt season.”