Roadside America

Dr. Morbid’s Haunted House and Frankenstein Wax Museum

Located on the strip in central Lake George, New York, Dr. Morbid’s Haunted House and House of Frankenstein Wax Museum are fun, campy throwbacks to the haunted attractions of yore. Dr. Morbid’s operates from July 1 through October 31 and the wax museum is open roughly from the second weekend in April to the fourth weekend in October, so if you want to get your scare on, you don’t have to wait for Halloween. This is a rare treat. When it comes to commercial horror, I can’t think of another example in the northeastern United States.

Dr. Morbid’s Haunted House is located at 115 Canada Street. It features some animatronics and macabre scenes, but relies heavily on its story for chills. “Recently, during attempted renovations to Morbid Mansion, workers discovered a secret passageway leading to the ruins of an old abandoned waxworks,” the story goes. “Dr. Willy S. Morbid, the proprietor of Morbid Mansion, and known to locals as the Mad Waxmaker, is said to have used bizarre methods when filling his wax-works with statues.” Dr. Morbid also had two daughters, one of whom he locked away in a secret room. Look for Morbid’s preserved corpse to also make an appearance.

A woman of mysterious beauty dressed in black guides you through Dr. Morbid’s lair. My guide seemed immersed in the role, her voice adding to the macabre atmosphere. On entering, she asks you to stand against the wall, where you wait in near complete darkness. Seconds seemed like minutes as I waited for the inevitable scream. The only question was how close she would get.

Throughout the tour, my heart leapt in my chest several times as she disappeared around a dark corner and reappeared with a shriek. I can’t remember the last time a haunted house genuinely startled me, so I was pleasantly surprised! The haunted house tour is guided from start to finish, with only a few moments to look around on your own. Dr. Morbid’s offers a few jump scares, but mostly scores points for its cleverly gruesome scenes. Photography is prohibited.

For a more low key scare, head down the street to the House of Frankenstein Wax Museum, located at 213 Canada Street. Its proprietor describes it as “a museum based on classic literature and traditional aspects of early wax museums.” It is fun and campy rather than informative. On your self-guided tour, you will see various scenes involving classic monsters, torture, and executions. Most displays require you to push a button and wait for the action. I personally enjoyed the spinning room, in which you scramble across a catwalk trying not to get dizzy as a large reflective tube spins around you.

Both Dr. Morbid’s Haunted House and House of Frankenstein Wax Museum cost $9.30 for adults, $8.36 for teens, and $4.65 for children. I wouldn’t recommend bringing children under the age of ten to Dr. Morbid’s. The wax museum is mild in comparison. If you find yourself near Lake George this month or next summer, definitely check out both attractions. They will add a unique experience to an otherwise memorable trip.

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