Regardless of whether it's Halloween or you're just a fan of spooks, what better way to get in the mood than with the Lego Haunted House? Released as part of Lego’s Fairground series, Baron Samuel von Barron’s infamous mansion is a delightfully spooky playset, complete with an impressive drop ride hidden within the building's tower.
However, the sheer size of the Lego Haunted House means it doesn't come cheap. At just shy of $300 (or £260 if you're based in the UK), the price tag alone is enough to scare the bejeezers out of most. But if you're an adult fan of the best Lego sets, love modular builds, and are a Halloween/horror fan, trust me when I say that this set is worth the investment.
How easy is it to build?
The Lego Haunted House has a total of 25 bags of bricks, numbered 1 to 18, which, depending on your build experience, will either massively excite or intimidate you. There are just over 3,200 pieces included and they are all quite dark in colour, which made finding some them (especially on a gray carpet) quite tricky.
Hidden amongst these piles are nine minifigures, including a bunch of fairground visitors, a pair of creepy butlers, and two ghosts (the latter of which would have benefitted greatly from a glow-in-the-dark material). It's great to see Lego working to normalise disabilities with the inclusion of a wheelchair-bound visitor too, and the set covers all accessibility elements within the design, including a ramp to the front door and drop ride.
Speaking of which, the drop ride hidden inside the tall tower is a fairly complex crank system, which includes a number of moving parts and 148 black chain links that you have to individually snap together. This interactive part of the build is one of the most exciting to see come together, but it is also the most fiddly and requires a lot of concentration. Even the smallest mistake here will almost certainly disable the crank system and be quite costly in terms of build time. That said, get it right and turning the crank to pull the ride up through the tower is a total joy.
I built the entire Lego Haunted House across three days, and estimate it to be around 8-10 hours of building time overall.
Unlike some other modular builds (I’m looking at you, Tower Bridge), there is very little repetition in the Lego Haunted House design, which is, honestly, a really refreshing change. As you would expect, most of the detail has gone into the inside of the building, however there are some really lovely spooky elements on the outside too, including a small graveyard out front and tiny frogs sitting where you would usually expect to see gargoyles.
Noteworthy sections inside include the pipe organ, which has the most incredible level of intricate detail, and features quite rare 1x2 printed keyboard tiles. There is also a huge painting of Baron Samuel von Barron, which lights up to reveal Pharaoh Hotep when pressing an external panel.
The colours scheme of the whole design compliment the spooky theme well, with the olive green helping the darker gray and black elements seem that much more sinister. That said, there are hundreds of pieces in a variety of grey shades and black, so deciphering which was which in the instruction booklet was often difficult.
You can make life a little easier with some choice extras, though. Separate power-up components can be purchased to make the drop ride motorised, for example. This would no doubt make an excellent addition (albeit an expensive one - buying the extra two motors and the hub it'd need would cost in excess of $80 / £70). LED light sets are also available for the Haunted House, which, if you've got the spare cash, take it to a whole other spookily brilliant level.
Should you buy Lego Haunted House?
As modular Lego sets go, the Haunted House has a pretty small footprint at just 10 inches wide, so it's a great choice if you're short on space. While so much of the detail is on the inside, it's super easy to open up if you have extra room and want to display it in all its ghoulish glory. However, it works brilliantly as a display set closed up too – I love how, on a shelf, the house's foreboding height looms over me, just as I would expect it to if I was stood at its doorstep.
The overall design sees very little repetition too, and this is swapped for an onslaught of genius detail inside which makes the whole set brilliant to build. Here's hoping there's more Halloween/horror-inspired modular builds up Lego's sleeves...
How we tested the Lego Haunted House
It took me three separate sessions across three days to build the Lego Haunted House from start to finish, and it took me approximately 8-10 hours of building time overall.