The Dent Schoolhouse (Cincinnati, OH)
“Detective Damien Walker At Your Service”
By Noah Wullkotte: Jollypumpkin@aol.com
Charlie’s Back and he’s mad as hell. Cincinnati’s frightful favorite, The Dent Schoolhouse has been scaring customers in some shape or form for decades. Josh Wells, Bud and Chuck Stross have been the driving force behind this classic haunt since 2006. They’ve created a haunt with incredible set design, dedicated actors and a story that will put fear into your soul.
The Dent Schoolhouse was recently featured as one of the top haunts in a special edition of Fangoria Magazine and was chosen as one of the best attractions in the nation by Hauntworld.com. The Dent Schoolhouse has received many accolades over the years and rightfully so. They’re simply one of the best.
Before you enter the haunt, you might have a strange feeling in the pit of your stomach. The old schoolhouse is intimidating and you might wonder if it’s really haunted. Are the stories of Charlie murdering innocent school children true and will you be one of his unlucky victims? Charlie is The Dent Schoolhouse’s resident janitor and has become somewhat of an urban legend over the years. Whether the stories of charlie are true or not is for you to decide.
The Dent Schoolhouse starts off inside a dark playground with lots of paranormal activity. Swings move by themselves and the corpses of young school children stand frozen in time. Detective Damien Walker played by Daniel Ruwan is on a mission to find out what’s going on inside The Dent Schoolhouse. He wants to know who’s behind the disappearance of the missing school children. Over the years Daniel has played many roles, but he’s best known as Damien Reaper. This season he’s a cigar smoking detective with an attitude. His new character makes the playground scene feel fresh and new and adds to the storyline of The Dent Schoolhouse.
The Dent Schoolhouse has changed things this season by removing many of its clowned themed areas and has done away with the vortex tunnel. I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss the vortex tunnel since it’s one of those classic props that people love to experience. It’s disorienting and makes you feel like you’ve entered a portal to another world. But I understand why it was removed. It just wouldn’t make sense to have it inside a schoolhouse.
The Dent Schoolhouse is one of the best themed haunts we’ve experienced and the place actually feels haunted. Walls are falling apart and scenes look aged. Lights flicker on and off as if an entity is trying to communicate with the living. Will you become one of the dead or be stuck in limbo?
Charlie is a mastermind when it comes to murder and mayhem. You’ll see his handiwork come to life at The Dent Schoolhouse. Corpses of children are on display. Some are attached to chains while others have been tortured in unspeakable ways. My favorite is the student who’s vomiting blood into a barrel. The Dent Schoolhouse is full of rooms that are perfect for the schoolhouse theme.
It’s 1951 and Dent’s annual prom is a hit. Spirits have stormed the auditorium and a dead school girl cries out for help. Another room has customers entering a grotesque bathroom with a ghost above a sink. You’ll enter the machine shop with an insane mechanic and a couple surprises that will have you screaming in pure terror. You’ll enter different areas of the school with the second floor being the most intense. This is where you’ll meet Charlie who slams one of his victims onto a bed. A psycho in the boiler room can be seen shoving a screaming woman into an incinerator as she’s burned alive.
The Dent Schoolhouse has many special effects like the giant monster who busts through the wall of the sewer scene or Frankenstein’s animated creation in the laboratory. We loved the endless hallway, but there was too much reflection on the glass which ruined the effect a little.
The actors are superb, but there were a few that just focused on the large group of girls in front of us and stared as we walked past them. This wasn’t a common occurrence and most of the actors were incredible. The Dent Schoolhouse has great queue line actors who interact with customers. On some nights, you’ll witness parents crying out for their lost children. This is a nice added touch.
Total tour time is around 20 minutes. After you survived The Dent Schoolhouse, you can get in line for their new attraction known as “The Queen City Slaughter Yard”. It replaces last season’s Detention Hall. You’ll enter a wooden maze full of chainsaw maniacs who want to feed you to the slaughter. Lights slowly dim as you try to escape. Slaughtered animals hang from the ceiling and you’re helpless as you’re tormented by insane, off the wall characters. A woman with only blood covering her chest is held prisoner, but don’t be foolish by helping her escape. You’re next and hopefully you’ll survive The Queen City Slaughter Yard. This intense haunt is 5 minutes long and is included with your admission to The Dent Schoolhouse. Don’t froget to check out Zombie Night on October 6th when the living become the undead.
Tickets are $20 a piece and it includes The Dent Schoolhouse and The Queen City Slaughter Yard. Fast Pass admission is $30. You can skip straight to the front of the line for $40. Lights on Tours for children 12 and under are $5 a ticket. The Adult Lights on Tour is $10 a piece and the Lights Off Tour is the same price. Parking is $2 across the street, but there are plenty of free parking spots you can find close by. An ATM is available onsite. Don’t forget to pick up a Dent Schoolhouse T-Shirt or a picture of yourself taken inside The Dent Schoolhouse by Jason Bohrer Photography.
The Dent Schoolhouse is without a doubt one of the best haunts in the tri-state and one of the most celebrated haunts in the nation. Relive the haunted history of The Dent Schoolhouse and be one of the few survivors.
Final Stab For Each Haunt
The Dent Schoolhouse: Length-9 Design-9 Props/Animatronics-10 Acting-9 Scare Effect-9 Final Stab: 9.2
Queen City Slaughter Yard: Length-5 Design-6 Props/Animatronics-Not Rated Acting-8 Scare Effect-7 Final Stab: 6.5