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Atrox Factory—Where Your Nightmares Come to Life

By Dylan Baggiano

© Photo by Dylan Baggiano

It’s Fall again and Halloween is approaching. The fall season seems to invoke jack-o-lanterns, pumpkin spice beverages, and fragrant candles into homes of friends and family each year. However, that’s not all this fall brings.

Atrox Factory opened its doors October 2, beckoning crowds to its frightful, in-door horror fest.

Having heard from a handful of friends that Atrox Factory is the place to go if I was looking to “scream my lungs out,” a friend and I decided to go to Atrox Factory as a spooky way to enjoy the fall together.

Agreeing to go Thursday night, we purchased our $23 tickets, online, for a 15-minute session.

I admit that I was suspicious for paying a substantial amount for what might sound like a short experience, but those 15 minutes in that hellish factory felt like an hour.

Atrox Factory houses a wide variety of interactive rooms featuring nightmarish characters and scenes within its 50,000 square feet. The factory’s website says it is one of the top ten horror attractions in the United States, and after experiencing a night there, I’d agree.

At the factory, reminders for social distancing, mask-wearing and the promise of characters not getting too close to the customer groups were repeated by staff at the entrance. A security guard also maintained his distance as he followed groups to make sure everyone practiced the measures.

On what seemed to be a never-ending journey of fear, I had traveled 1/4 of a mile through fog-filled, blood-soaked hallways.

Aided by background noises of buzzing chainsaws, electric shocks and other fear-striking sounds, the actors and actresses portraying the horrifying creatures used many corona-conscious tactics to scare their group of victims in the rooms along the corridor.

Monsters lurking in the darkness hopped out to touch our backs and sides as we drew near to their hiding places. Characters used props, like hissing snakes, to reach out and touch us when we least expected them.

Some characters followed behind us to give the groups jump scares. One character resembling the Ferryman from Annabelle Comes Home (2019) chanted “Fresh meat!” As they trailed after my friend and me, reaching for our shoulders.

In one fog-filled room, creatures reached out from the pitch-black darkness causing the entire group to let out blood-curdling screams.

On our path, not only did we stumble around in the dark as we maneuvered out of the grasp of numerous creatures, we climbed stairs in dimly lit passageways, crossed perilous bridges and jumped through a moving entrance.

In between rooms, a repulsive-smelling liquid sprayed the groups’ faces. My friend lost her mask in the fog and inhaled gross-tasting smog, to her dismay.

Out of all of the rooms, the one that scared me the most was the chainsaw room. As I walked into the putrid orange room, the sound of whirring blades echoing throughout sent me running away from the madman operating it.

One room featured a mutant cook, frying what looked like human flesh on a stovetop. When I passed her, she shoved it in my face, asking me if I wanted to try some, I screamed.

While this room was less scary than others, it still managed to provoke a fight-or-flight response within me.

As a horror movie buff, I thought I had seen enough gory depictions of decapitation torture and possession to desensitize me of fear, but when Atrox Factory transported me into those same scenes, I screamed more than everyone else.

Edited by Alivia Moore & Ryan Michaels

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Made By Students from the University of Alabama at Birmingham