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WVC man builds ‘mad lab’ as Halloween attraction

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Posted at 10:49 PM, Oct 26, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-27 08:54:40-04

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah -- If you love mad scientists and Frankenstein there is one laboratory you can't miss this Halloween. It's located in West Valley City and it's run entirely by a man who claims to be a little bit mad himself, but in a good way.

It's the Mad Lab and it's located on 4970 West Odell Drive. Out front is a spooky graveyard filled with dozens of zombies, ghosts and skeletons. However, the real scare begins once you enter the Mad Lab.

As you pass the front door you are thrust into a mid-evil castle like atmosphere, but you're not going to find Sleeping Beauty here, this is Frankenstein's home and he's multiplying.

In this story

  • Visit the Mad Lab: 4970 W. Odell Drive, West Valley City
  • Hours: Sunday-Thursday 7 to 9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday 7 to 10 p.m.
  • Donation: Ages 12 and up: minimum of $5; Ages 6-11: minimum of $3; Children under 5 free with accompaniment of adult

Mad Lab creator, James Gamble, has always had a fascination for mad scientists. So he decided to become one, and turn his basement into his laboratory for all to enjoy every Halloween.

"For the most part people are absolutely enthralled and amazed, and kids love it," Gamble said.

It's more than just a hobby for James, it's therapy. He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after being shot in the head years ago during a convenience store robbery.

"It takes off a lot of stress and gives me something to really be focused and creative about," Gamble said.

More than 2,000 pieces make up the graveyard and laboratory, many of them dangerously authentic.

"These are all real swords and daggers many of them are sharp so I warn people, ‘make sure you don't touch,’" Gamble said.

Gamble said he would like to invent new ways to resurrect the Mad Lab throughout the year.

"I also wanted to have this used for movie sets, TV sets, commercials, things like that," Gamble said.

The Mad Lab runs every night through Halloween and then an extra week after that. Hours are 7 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 7 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Minimum donation is $5 for ages 12 and up, $3 for ages six through 11.

Children under 5 are free with the accompaniment of an adult.