by: Nelson Hicks Updated:
NORCROSS, Ga. - Terrifying live actors, amazing special effects and incredible monsters; that's how Netherworld advertises it's walk-through haunt.
And who are we to disagree?
HauntWorld.com just named the Norcross haunted attraction as the most influential haunted house in the history of haunted houses. Here's what they had to say:
"Netherworld has set nearly every record in this industry and is one of the best haunted houses in America," HauntWorld.com noted. "Netherworld helped show the haunt industry that haunted house actors can be iconic horror characters, and costuming should go beyond simple face paint & rubber masks. With the most amazing collection of special FX artists, icon characters and more, you simply must get the opportunity to attend Netherworld. It won’t disappoint, but even more importantly, the haunt industry has learned so much from this attraction over the years."
HauntWorld.com ranks Netherworld as having the best actors in the business for 2013, too.
This year, co-creators Ben Armstrong and Billy Messina are back with two new haunts: The Dead Ones and Boogeyman.
"They are ancient evil creatures that have come to punish mankind for not following the celebration of Halloween," Armstrong told wsbtv.com's Nelson Hicks about the Dead Ones. "And then downstairs in our dark basement is the Boogeyman. The creature of your nightmares, he's putting people into comas and torturing them with his horrors."
To pull off the haunts, Netherworld employs a dozen makeup artists and more than 300 actors, more than 100 of which work each night. There's an armory full of costumes and a fabrication shop where many of the pieces visitors to Netherworld encounter are built. And for Armstrong and Messina, it's a year-round job.
Armstrong has come a long way since his love of terror began.
"My very first haunted house when I was a kid in my elementary school, we did a Halloween carnival," Armstrong said. "We had tunnels made of refrigerator boxes. We literally had the spaghetti in the bowl you would touch. We did all that stuff. I think it gave me the fever that continues even until now."
Want to learn more about some of the people behind the masks each night at Netherworld? Watch the video above to learn about one man who takes vacation from his job in Germany every year to come to work at Netherworld and a communications manager for a kids' cancer charity who has been terrifying guests for over a decade at Netherworld.
Netherworld is open every night now through Nov. 3.