Ranking is something coaster enthusiasts do all the time without putting much thought into. And I’m guilty of that too. I’ve slapped numeric ratings on rides constantly without worrying about rating inflation and consistency or stepping back and thinking about what exactly makes a 70/100 ride so instead of a 50/100 ride. This will keep my ratings more objective and something that hopefully I can use to automatically generate a top 10 list.
I’m still working on how exactly to rank coasters considering that so many different rides do different things. The goal of Kumba is not the goal of Diamondback and my ratings should not penalize the rides for not doing something that they’re not designed to do.
But in the meantime, I’ve come up with what I think is a more objective way to rank Halloween haunts. The following is my criteria for rating haunts:
Haunt Rating Criteria
My criteria is made up of five parts: concept, production value, scare potential, my luck going through the maze and a bonus category for anything that I particularly liked about the house.
The first part of my rating is around concept. In my eyes, the concept that the maze is based on is the foundational aspect of the experience. This includes factors like scare potential, the amount that an IP lends itself to a haunt as well as originality. If a haunt is based on a generic circus with evil clowns, it will probably score low on originality since the concept has been done so many times. On the other hand, if a maze is based on something never or rarely done before it will likely score highly in this segment.
This rating is out of 5 points.
The second part of my rating is production value of the maze. This measures, in a vacuum, how impressive or well done is the maze. If we’re evaluating that same generic evil clown circus, how realistic and well done are the sets? Cheap painted plywood and ratty looking costumes will score low here whereas huge or well detailed set pieces will score highly.
This rating is out of 10 points.
The third aspect of my rating is around scare potential. This is just a convoluted way to say, what are the quality and quantity of the scares that the maze provides and how varied are they. Are there three actors in a huge maze and they all rely on the same jump scare tactics? That’ll be a low rating. The house feeling full and a variety of types of scares (jump scares, creepy moments and gore) will give a maze a great score here.
This rating is out of 10 points.
The fourth aspect of my rating is how well my particular run through the house went. Although I’m hesitant to include something like this due to the fact that maze experiences vary a ton from run to run, I do need to include something that summarizes my experience through the house since this is my rating. A run that gets all of the scares that really creeped me out will get high marks here whereas a run through with little to no scares and lackluster actors will get low marks.
This rating is out of 15 points.
Finally, my last category is one for rewarding amazing houses. A perfectly average house will get no bonus points here whereas an exceptional one will get anywhere from 1 to 5 bonus points depending on how I feel about it.
This is out of 5 points.
So my haunts will be rated out of 45 possible points. The following are
40+/45 - World class, top of the line haunts that represent the best I’ve ever been on
35-39/45 - Usually the best haunts that appear at a top flight event in a given year
30-34/45 - Very good haunt at a top flight event/top haunt at a regional event
25-29/45 - Good but fundamentally flawed haunt - most things about this haunt are very good but there’s usually one category that drags this down
20-24/45 - Mediocre haunt
0-20/45 - Flawed haunt