The Haunted Hotel (Louisville, KY)
“Bed Bugs Are The Least of Your Worries”
By Noah Wullkotte: Jollypumpkin@aol.com
Every state has its share of roach motels where you were unsure if you would catch some incurable disease or take an army of bed bugs home with you. Louisville has it’s own version where high priced mini bars and dead hookers hiding under your bed are the least of your worries. This isn’t a motel. I’m talking about The Haunted Hotel of course. For over 20 years, this Louisville institution of fear has scared loyal fear seekers far and wide with its unique brand of horror.
One of our favorite trips every year is our trip to Louisville, Kentucky. The city known for the Kentucky Derby, college basketball, bourbon and Thunder Over Louisville is also known for its large amount of haunted attractions every where you turn. This is a Halloween city through and through with new haunts making their presense known every year. The Haunted Hotel is one of the best known haunts in the bluegrass state and has built a reputation over the years for being extreme, in your face and no holds barred.
Your journey through fear begins as you take a ride straight to Hell on The Haunted Hotel’s one and only Hellevator. You’ll have a difficult time finding a Hellevator as realistic and intense as the one at The Haunted Hotel. It shakes, bounces up and down and the sounds of it malfunctioning are simply awesome. You’ll even have a little company courtesy of Haunted Hotel’s Hellevator operator who gets as close as possible without touching you. You can run, but you can’t hide from him because he constantly lets his presence be known as he illuminates his face and threatens you with his hammer.
The Haunted Hotel is one of the only haunts where more than half of the scenes are timed to loud rock music and flashing strobe lights before demented freaks and lunatics are ready to rip you apart from limb to limb. Their weapon of choice is the gas powered chainsaw which is loud, smelly and intimidating. Other characters weild machetes, metal rods and various weapons that will make a grown man cry. The cast of characters you’ll meet are one of a kind. You might have fond memories of Christmas, but Santa Clause will soon become your worst nightmare when you face this chainsaw killer in the bloody Christmas room. Your visions of sugar plumb faries will soon become visions of grizzly murder and sin. The sound of Elvis’ Here Comes Santa Clause is this actors queue to scare the crap out of every customer that enters his sick domain. He’s so relentless that he’ll nearly chase you down the steps as you attempt to flee.
The Haunted Hotel has some pretty sick scenes that will play on your emotions. One of the first scenes centers around an animal kennel where dogs lye motionless in puddles of blood. A few dogs even have blood gushing from their wounds. It’s a nasty sight indeed. There are a lot of disturbing scenes inside The Haunted Hotel where you’ll be asking yourself what’s reality and what’s mere fiction. The Haunted Hotel has it’s own live suicide where a jolly hillbilly can’t take the stress of life any more and ultimately decides to end it with a shot gun blast to the head. He obviously loved or hated Creedance Clearwater Revival because it was the final band he would hear as their music is played in the background after he pulls the trigger. I enjoyed this scene, but it wasn’t very realistic and the sound of the shotgun blast sounded like a sound effect instead of a real gun.
The hillbilly suicide isn’t the last you’ll see in terms of bullets blowing heads apart. The Haunted Hotel has one of Pale Night Productions newest CGI animatronics entitled “Zombie Attack”. You’ll see a large window where a zombie can be seen feasting on his victim. Suddenly the zombie looks up and quickly runs towards you when out of nowhere a hunter can be seeing pulling the trigger of his shotgun. The bullet hits the zombie’s head from behind and his brain matter splatters all over your clothes as his head explodes into thousands of pieces. A big blast of water sprays the customer and they think they’re covered in gooey bits of brain.
This isn’t the only innovative prop that can be seen at The Haunted Hotel. You’ll also get to experience Pale Night Productions extremely popular Asylum Door that features one angry mental patient that tries to escape as she bangs on the asylum door with her deadly axe. Dents can be seen in the metal door as she tries to chop her way out. This is the first prop to ever incorporate video effects with animatronic elements. These cutting edge props are show stoppers, but they can also be confusing to customers. Some people are unsure whether to stop and wait for the animation to begin or just walk past it. So, the placement of these CGI animatronics should be considered or it might create congestion in the haunt while people stop to wait for the animation to start.
The haunts that make up The Haunted Network are known for pushing it to the limit and it’s what The Haunted Hotel does best. I can’t name another haunt I’ve been to that had a scene with a nude girl showering behind a curtain or a chainsaw maze so intense that your heart will be racing an hour after you exit. These actors get inches away from your face while you run from their gas powered murder weapons. Haunts across the country have a chainsaw finale, but The Haunted Hotel takes it to another extreme. You can’t escape these sick and twisted souls no matter how fast you run.
The Haunted Hotel might not have the most detailed scenes, but they are pretty damn creative. You might try to find your exit, but you’ll be stopped by murderous freaks and even large prehistoric creatures. The inside portion of The Haunted Hotel is the highlight of the haunt, but the outside is great as well. You’ll enter a vomit inducing vortex tunnel, a green laser light tunnel, you’ll dodge a fast moving car, encounter various animated scares and more. It’s a thrill ride from beginning to end and when it’s over, you’ll be asking for more. There haven’t been many changes made for 2011, but The Haunted Hotel is still as intense as it’s ever been and lives up to its legendary status.
Admission is $17 per victim Thursday-Sunday and there’s a $2 off coupon available at http://www.hauntednetwork.com. Make sure to fill out the form to receive this discount that’s good for Thursdays and Sundays. It can also be used towards Industrial Terrorplex in Jeffersonville, Indiana. $17 is a little high, but this is a quality attraction none the less. The Haunted Hotel is one of the best haunts the state of Kentucky has to offer. You’ll check in, but you won’t check out!
Length-8 Design-9 Props/Animatronics-9 Acting-9 Scare Effect-10
Final Stab: 9.0