Haunted House Review: The Gauntlet


Anna Jenkins

“The Gauntlet,” a Haunted House located at Golfland Sunsplash is a great way to start your spooky season.

After initially arriving at Golfland Sunsplash’s ‘Gauntlet’, we didn’t have a clue what to expect.  But as we walked into the smoke-filled room, listening to the screams and shouts of scare actors, we finally realized what we were getting ourselves into.


Overall while in the haunted house you feel like you are in a reality of horrors and terrors. There were over 8 actors in the house. As you walk through, you are met with possessed twins, a screaming mom, and piano playing father. The performances of the actors make you horror-struck because they are very lifelike and make you believe you are experiencing their character. Everywhere you went there was someone ready to scream, jump, run after you and yell at you: “get out,” or try to get you to stay with them. 



In “The Gauntlet,” a house filled with family members of possessed Kiki, the predictability was very minimal and although there were predictable moments many unexpected scares appeared. While distracted you end up forgetting to look into some places that end up jumping and scaring you. One area that was unanticipated was when a car backed up into us. We weren’t expecting it to move at all, so it really scared us when that happened. Although many sudden scares, there is room for improvement.

Decorations and motions such as animatronics were very predictable while walking through the house. As we knew what to expect when seeing a pretty obvious Spirit Halloween simulation.  When in an unlit room seemingly alone, it’s safe to presume you are not, in fact, alone. The sound helped enhance the experience of the house. Hearing the constant revving of the chainsaw and putting two and two together, we knew we would soon be chased.



If you’re looking for information on the house, don’t go to the website. There is little to no info about the time nor the location, leaving us to believe the house was inside the golf course when in actuality, it is in the parking lot. The times were extremely confusing with different hours depending on the day mentioned on the website. Additionally, we were confused on the time duration of the event. Leaving us to wonder how long the house would take to get through. 

Other than the price, $25 per person, you are given no clear explanation of what even the Gauntlet is. Only the tiniest introduction right before the actual experience, which we barely understood.  The storyline itself was confusing, leaving us to wonder who even Kiki was, the supposed possessed girl in the house.



If you’re looking for complete comfort, a Haunted House shouldn’t be your first choice. Even so, if you decide to put yourself in a scary situation like this, you might as well feel the slightest bit of safety right? The Gauntlet kindly supplies these desires, and before you even step foot into Kiki’s house, you are informed of emergency exits if you ever “feel the need to escape”, located in every single room except for the main exit and entrance. Although this is comforting and eases your mind if the unknown becomes all too much, it’s a bit unclear where those said exits are, in the midst of the fully transformed rooms. Within the blacked out house and flashing lights, it’s a bit hard to depict where those exits are if someone needs to leave, especially if you are scared out of your mind. 

To add onto the concern, for most haunted houses there is a depicted safe word the house uses that gives the actors the OK to break character and lead the guest to the nearest exit.  In our case, we panicked and yelled stop numerous times as a coping mechanism, but at no point did the experience end.  This does cause a bit of concern, if someone is really feeling unsafe and yells stop, it could be misconstrued as just being scared, and not an actual emergency.  As there is no age limit, only a recommendation of 13 or above on Sunsplash’s website, if there was a decided safe word at the beginning the whole house and actors are aware of, I believe it would be much more comforting.

As for more physical safety, the Gauntlet has quite a few air fans spread out throughout the house, blowing air constantly and cooling you off as you walk through.  The rules are clear and concise, don’t run and don’t touch the actors.  The no touch rule is actually very comforting, considering the number of injuries actors can gain from guests’ fight or flight response.  Even so, the running rule is a bit odd, taking into account you are being chased in more rooms than one.

All in all, the gauntlet definitely could improve on comfort and making the guests feel better and not actually trapped, but we applaud them for their physical safety precautions.



After experiencing the entirety of the Gauntlet, I’m impressed with the amount of time and effort included. Everyone is in character, and it truly immerses you in the experience. The entire house is decorated in dark colors with a few exceptions including a little girl’s room, filled to the brim with pastel and pink plushies to set the mood. The Gauntlet really pays attention to detail, and while the story itself is confusing, for most of the rooms you can get a decent idea of what’s going on, and whose room it is.

Although the inside is quite impressive, the outside does not compare with no exterior decorations, you don’t even know this is an actual family’s house before going inside While we understand it could be difficult to depict such a huge house, possibly a lawn or some other things could help paint the picture 


In the end, we recommend Sunsplash’s Gauntlet for horror seekers everywhere. With the talented actors and makeup, accompanied with quality theming, we rate the house an 8.5/10.