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Dark Destinations > United States > Locations in Georgia > Netherworld

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Availability: Open to the Public
Filed Under: Halloween Events > Haunted Houses/Hayrides
Movie Locations > Zombieland (2009)
Movie Locations > The Halloween Series > Halloween II (2009)
Added By: Tom G
Added On: May 26, 2007 - 02:53 PM UTC
Modifications By: TheCabinet
Last Modified: February 06, 2010 - 07:11 PM UTC
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6624 Dawson Blvd, Norcross, GA 30093, USA (Norcross, Georgia)
This Halloween haunted attraction is located in Norcross, Georgia (outside of Atlanta) and is generally recognized as one of the top haunted attractions in the United States. Netherworld got its start in 1997 when co-creators Ben Armstrong and Billy Messina teamed up to produce a local haunted attraction in an area known as one of the toughest media markets in the country. Through investors and an underground marketing campaign, the duo was able to make their dream a reality.

Armstrong and Messina set out to make a unique haunted house that relies less on gore and more on terrifying their guests. They developed Hollywood-style sets, custom-made masks, prosthetic make-up, over 100 animatronic monsters, and unique props (as many as 10,000). The haunt also utilized such high-tech special effects as rocking rooms, a 20-foot spinning tunnel, and booby traps that were placed throughout the attraction that triggered sounds or events when triggered.

Within one year, the group had teamed-up with popular American gaming company, White Wolf Inc., to do a cross-promotion. Aside from the sponsorship and advertising, half of the 1998 Netherworld was redesigned to utilize various characters and creatures from the Vampire: The Masquerade gaming system. The creatures were recreated to the smallest detail and a storyline was put into place so that visitors could take part in the action.

Over time, Netherworld has continued to evolve and reinvent itself so that it offers something new each season. The overall theme is changed each year and the haunt is extensively remodeled, though some of the same scare tactics are retained though altered to fit into the new layout. However the true scare factor appeal of Netherworld may come in the form of their staff. The co-creators strive to be the best-haunted attraction possible and, as such, have hired Hollywood effects wizards, make-up artists, set designers, and a mix of theatrically trained actors to haunt-trained actors. Around 75 actors take on the role of the monsters, ghouls, and other assorted nastiness that wanders the corridors looking for their next victim.

Today, the event is staged at the Georgia Antique and Design Center building in the heart of Atlanta and has become a major force in the haunt industry. It has been reported that Netherworld attracts as many as 10,000 visitors a night throughout the season and even more on Halloween itself. It has also been featured on the Travel Channel's Halloween's Most Extreme and America Haunts as well as received countless accolades from the haunt industry each year. Its notoriety has also caught the eye of Hollywood and the haunt ultimately played a role in the making of two 2009 horror films: Halloween II and Zombieland.

The Attraction
Those that want to try out the attraction are greeted immediately with all sorts of creatures that wander the parking lot and start the scares the crowds waiting to enter the haunt. While the overall theme of the haunt changes annually, the prevailing concept stays consistent. Netherworld is quite literally the land of the dead where those that enter cross from the threshold of life and into the land beyond the grave where monsters dwell.

For the 2008 season, Netherworld implemented two distinct haunted attractions - Carnivore and Mangler. For Carnivore, the story involves a pack of savage werewolves doing battle with an army of inhuman monsters sprung forth by a demon-corrupted, madman sorcerer. Inside the attraction, visitors could find a bottomless pit, slime pits, and even a 17-foot tall Pumpkin King. In Mangler, visitors found the twisted underground world of the sewers that was haunted by a deranged, disfigured serial killer and his army of minions. Alongside the highly detailed sets and creatures, the attraction featured live rats, snakes, and roaches, as well as a half-butchered hogzilla awaiting the guests.

Halloween II (2009)
Netherworld became involved with two horror films that shot in Georgia during 2009. One of those films was Rob Zombie's Halloween II (2009). In the sequel to Zombie's 2007 Halloween remake, the character of Laurie Strode (played by Scout Taylor-Compton) attends a Halloween party with friends. The party scene, known as the "Phantom Jam," featured both actors and props from the Netherworld haunt; including the attraction's 17-foot-tall "Pumpkin King." Netherworld also provided prop gravestones that were used for both Michael Myers and Laurie Strode in the film. Props from the film, including the gravestones were made part of the haunt's 2009 Halloween attraction. Two of Netherworld's resident makeup artists (Bill Johnson and Roy Wooley) loaned their talents to the movie as well.

Zombieland (2009)
The other horror film that Netherworld had a hand in during 2009 was the horror comedy Zombieland, starring Woody Harrelson (Natural Born Killers, 2012), Jesse Eisenberg (The Village, Cursed), Emma Stone (The Rocker, Superbad), and Abigail Breslin (Signs, Little Miss Sunshine). Near the end of the film the character of Columbus (Eisenberg) funs into a theme park haunted house to escape zombies that are chasing him. The theme park scenes were filmed at Georgia's Wild Adventures Water and Theme Park (see Wild Adventures Water and Theme Park), however the haunted house shown in the park during the film was actually just a facade. The scenes featuring Columbus inside the haunted house were actually shot on location at Netherworld. Some of the areas Columbus runs through were specifically designed for the film. Those newly designed areas were incorporated into Netherworld's 2009 Halloween attraction.

Netherworld co-owner Ben Armstrong acted as a consultant for the film, providing notes and a video that was used to train the actors portraying zombies in the movie. He was not the only member of Netherworld to work on Zombieland. P. Jayne Rogers, the head of the haunt's costume department, distressed costumes to be worn by the zombies in the movie. Cast members from Netherworld served as zombies as well. When Netherworld opened for its 2009 Halloween season, it had a number of Zombieland film props to display to the public. The items on display included portraits shot with a gun by Columbus (Eisenberg) and chainsaws wielded as weapons by Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee.

For more information, including dates and hours of operation and ticket prices, please visit the site below.
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Related Sites
Netherworld: Haunted House
The official Web site of Netherworld - A Halloween haunted attraction located in Atlanta, Georgia.
America Haunts: Netherworld
America Haunts page for the Netherworld haunted attraction in Atlanta, GA.
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The above content is for informational purposes only. Before making any travel arrangements, it is highly recommended that you contact those in charge of the property to check for updated availability and hours of operation. While we do our best to keep this information updated, we cannot guarantee that it is completely valid and up to date. Any destination marked "Closed to the Public" is marked that for a reason and we discourage any visits or attempts to gain access to that facility. Similarly, take note of any "Travel Advisory" that may be associated with a destination. Finally, treat any location and its local residents with respect. Any vandalism and/or unruly behavior is completely despicable and only ruins the experience for future visitors.

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