There are few haunted attractions in Western Nebraska. In the East, however, especially in Omaha, there are several commercial haunts including:
Mystery Manor and
Before building School District 13, the biggest haunted attraction in Western Nebraska, we visited all of the commercial haunts in the eastern part of the state to learn more about how to deliver a great scare. And we learned that there’s a special recipe for creating fear. It’s not just about startles and surprises. Kids jumping out from behind a wall and yelling “Boo!” is only scary the first time it happens. To deliver a truly spine-tingling scare, you have to use theatrics.
Both the Shadow’s Edge and Mystery Manor in Omaha use theatrics to accomplish this goal, but these haunts are very different from each other. Mystery Manor is a permanent haunt set in an old building that was once a brothel. The owners of Mystery Manor worked hard for years to build a respectable haunt that’s now dubbed a “haunted theater”. People return again and again from year to year to see the amazing special effects and unmatched acting skills of the scare actors who create and animate their own characters.
The Shadow’s Edge is a completely different haunt. First of all, it’s temporary. It’s located in the parking lot at Mangelson’s. But don’t let that fool you. Mangelson’s has a specialty section that offers high-quality haunt gear for Omaha enthusiasts. Though the haunt is located under a tent, it puts on a very respectable show. Line actors outside the haunt help set the tone for patrons who wait to be admitted. Inside, the props and the set are so well-done, most patrons forget that their in a parking lot under a tent.
At School District 13, we’re combing the best elements from all the haunt research we’ve done over the years. Our four haunted attractions are located in old buildings in Brule, Nebraska, a small village near the border with Colorado. This is a small town of homes clustered inside the pitch-blackness of the plains where amber street lights cast a dim orange glow along deserted streets. What makes School District 13 unique is the fact that our deserted streets spring to life with the undead at unexpected moments. Though there are several haunts in the western part of the state (one small haunt sponsored by the Sidney Jaycees in Sidney, Nebraska and another small fundraising haunt sponsored by the fire department in Imperial, Nebraska) where patrons can shake up their evening with a good scare, School District 13 was designed to be a more a fully-bodied experience complete with four haunts, a hay rack ride, a train tour, food, treats, and the opportunity to be terrified out-of-the-blue while standing on an abandoned street corner in a small middle-of-nowhere town.
As far as haunted attractions in Nebraska are concerned, there are a wide variety to choose from in the eastern part of the state and fewer in the west. Among the Western Nebraska haunts, School District 13 is the only full-scale, four-haunt attraction for patrons who would like to experience a full evening of Halloween and Terror that they’ll never forget.