One of the most synonymous names in Halloween entertainment in Las Vegas is Freakling Bros. “At Freakling Bros. Horror Show, we rely on live actors with carefully scripted and plotted shows,” Director of Operations Warren Ross told us. “A live actor ensures that everyone gets the same great show but also allows us to ad-lib in a pinch. We also owe our success over the last 30 years to our fans. They get it. They know we are not just a haunted house experience. Each of our attractions is SHOWS meant to be viewed, almost like mini-theater shows.” Freakling Bros. Horror Shows returns October 1 with dates of operation on Oct. 1 – 2, Oct. 6 – 9 and Oct. 13 – 31 from 7 p.m.
The History of Freakling Bros. Horror Shows in Las Vegas
The trio of horror mazes is beloved by locals and visitors and has a long history of terrifying visitors for over three decades. “Duke Mollner started with a home haunted on Halloween of 1977,” Ross explained. “At the time, they were one of the few that went all-out for Halloween. Duke built a coffin by hand, dressed as Dracula and laid down in the coffin, surrounded by candy. Trick or treaters that were brave enough could reach in and take some. Every now and then, Dracula would spring from his coffin and chase the terrified children, to the delight of the parents that brought them. The home haunt continued through the mid to late 1980s. In 1992, Duke and his son Daniel opened the free-standing commercial attraction, The Circus of Horrors.”
The Circus of Horrors became the series of haunts fans know and love today. “From there, Freakling quickly grew into a Las Vegas Halloween tradition,” Ross told us. “Over the years, Freakling Bros. has evolved and has featured several frightening shows, including Circus of Horrors, The Black Box, The Dungeon, The Mortuary, Castle Vampyre, which will be retired after the 2022 season, Coven of 13 and Nevada’s only “Rated R” haunt, the world-famous Gates of Hell.”
Real Haunts and Scares
While the three haunted mazes contain actors and scripted situations, not all experiences are planned. “Ghost Adventures” even featured the Freakling Bros. Horror Shows on one of its episodes, highlighting the Coven of 13 and Gates of Hell.
“Some say they feel odd or strange sensations,” Ross told us. “We’ve experienced a lot of strange things over the years – sounds after hours or feeling a presence while being alone in a room. Guests try to chalk it off to the setting and an overactive imagination.”
Gates of Hell is heralded as one of the most extreme haunts in America; guests are required to sign a waiver in advance of entering. “There are MANY boundaries we have set,” Ross explained when we asked if anything goes. “We won’t go into details so as to not give anything away, but the show is HEAVILY scripted. Our goal is that everyone gets the exact same show every time they go through the experience (within reason, of course, being a live show). In a more adult-themed, intense show, it is very important we have set boundaries, not just for the safety of our guests and actors, but to ensure every group gets the same experience.”
While experiences might be scary, safety is always a first and foremost priority for visitors and staff. “Our fans usually know what they are in store for,” Ross explained. “The first characters they meet while waiting to enter an attraction not only set the mood for the show, they also instruct our guests on how they are to best enjoy the shows, including being told to not touch the sets, ghouls, demons or ghosts inside. Our staff is incredible at maintaining the safety of all guests and performers. All-in-all, 99.999% of our guests are great, well-behaved and there for fun in a safe and controlled environment.”
While the three haunts are all returning favorites from previous years, you might notice some new features. “All three shows have significant changes, including entirely new scenes, as well as some “other surprises,” Ross said. “What are they? Well, now, you will just have to come out and see for yourself.” A new room “JUDGEMENT - You're Guilty, Death is Coming” debuts this year in Coven of 13.