Dungeons of Delhi (Cincinnati, OH)
“The Year of Papa Shango”
By Noah Wullkotte: Jollypumpkin@aol.com
The sky was dark and gloomy and the wind was strong. Trees were creaking and leaves were blowing in the street. There was a storm brewing in Cincinnati, OH or were the gods trying to tell us something? Cincinnati was in for a rude awakening and hopefully the storm would soon pass.
Cincinnati is a playground for fear. You’ve got everything from charity haunts to big budget haunts. The weather wasn’t looking good, but it was perfect for touring a haunted house. That night we drove to Dungeons of Delhi. Dungeons of Delhi is inside an abandoned Thriftway supermarket and the outside is decorated with an impressive mural that advertises for the haunt. After you’ve walked past a hearse, you’ll be right at the ticket booth and concession stand. Outside of the queue line is a pumpkin headed prop and a zombie exit sign. An actor dressed as the Grim Reaper carries a large scythe with a skull attached to it as he walks around the lot.
The queue line is surrounded by a black gate that was made using PVC Tubing. A spider is hidden in the ceiling of the covered queue line and is controlled by one of the workers. It’s a cheap gag, but seems to scare women and young children. Music plays on a stereo that’s covered with human skin. After a few minutes of waiting it was our turn to enter Dungeons of Delhi. A dark room is flooded with thick fog and an old fashioned light sways back and forth. They don’t care too much for tress passers at Dungeons of Delhi.
A crazed woman is alone in a bloody bedroom and proclaims that she loves to stab her victims and likes to spread the blood all over her nose. Nerve wrecking music plays before entering a hospital from hell. A young nurse laughs and promises she will only hurt you a little. Dungeons of Delhi has a mostly young cast, but many actors surprisingly use a lot of dialogue and don’t always play the victim role. Costuming is decent and makeup is pretty good. There are some exceptions though. Papa Shango’s hooded servant wears an elaborate costume where he almost looks like a half human, half turtle hybrid. He’s obviously been cursed and must walk the earth with enlarged arms and a mutated face. His costume stands out among the rest.
Dungeons of Delhi features a variety of rooms and scenes. The first floor includes a live execution, a cemetery full of caskets, a haunted nursery, a body bag chamber, a human marionette scene, walls covered with words and more. You’ll encounter the Devil twice. He’s known as the Dark Lord. He comes in two forms. He’s first seen as a goat like creature with sharp horns and black fur. The second encounter has Satan standing near his thrown waiting for you to bow and kiss his feet. Other people may interpret this differently.
A few years ago the 2nd floor of Dungeons of Delhi was opened up and this has added a lot of length to the haunt. The second floor is the most intense portion of Dungeons of Delhi and where you might see a horror movie scene or something out of the ordinary. A lot has changed upstairs with many new scenes and characters. A Witch Doctor by the name of Papa Shango rules over his kingdom. He’s put a curse on you and you’re a fresh soul waiting to be cut up. A lowly servant (aka minion) runs around and speaks in another language. I’m not sure who plays this character, but he’s one of the best actors I’ve seen this year. I wish all actors were as enthusiastic as him.
The zombie horde is back and there are plenty of zombies ready to break free. There are many different characters at Dungeons of Delhi such as zombies, mental patients, a hillbilly, 2 werewolves and the usual screaming victims. Dungeons of Delhi even has its iconic characters like Madd Mark, Madd Matt, New Blood, Dark Lord and the rest of your favorit actors. Billy the Saw puppet returns and is once again on his trusty tricycle. Dungeons of Delhi doesn’t have a huge budget, but there are some impressive props like Distortions electric chair and a spinning vortex tunnel. You’ll enter another dimension in the vortex tunnel after you’ve faced some killer clowns.
There have been some big changes made to this year’s Dungeon’s of Delhi. The large monster Garage has been removed and replaced with smaller and more intense scenes like the dark chainsaw finale. The actors at Dungeons of Delhi are obviously having a great time. There are nearly 60 of them and while there are a few standouts, most are on equal ground. Some scenes could use more detail and have better lighting. The zombie horde could be more intense and feature armed soldiers firing at the living dead. The outside of the haunt could be improved. Years ago it was better decorated, but this year there just aren’t enough props. In year’s past there was a mini graveyard setup. The decorations used might be decided on how good the weather is.
All proceeds from the haunt go towards the Police Explorers. The Delhi Police Explorers help teenagers experience a first-hand look at law enforcement careers. They train in police tactics, ride along with officers, and compete in roll-playing scenarios at local and national competitions for the past sixteen years! Tickets are $10 a person which is two more dollars than last year’s admission. You can re-enter the haunt for $5. Lights On Tours will be Sunday October 21st and 28th from 4:00pm-6:00pm.
Dungeons of Delhi is an attraction that has stood the test of time. It’s for a great cause and you might get scared once or twice. Hell, you might piss your pants for all I know.
Length-8 Design-7 Props/Animatronics-8 Acting-7 Scare Effect-8
Final Stab: 7.6