A Strict Baptist Upbringing Leads Straight to The Devil’s Attic According to Jason Besemann!

Devil's Attic

We interview The Devil’s Attic creator/owner, Jason Besemann, in Louisville, KY.

Jason Besemann, Devil's Attic

The Devil’s Attic at 647 W Hill St in Louisville, KY is celebrating its’ 9th haunting season this Halloween as one of the most theatrically detailed haunted attractions in the region. The rich, Gothic atmosphere found inside the twisting halls of The Devil’s Attic can be attributed to the classic horror sensibilities of creator/owner, Jason Besemann, who admits that the British Hammer Horror films of the late 1950’s to the mid 1970’s were a primary influence on his attraction.

Besemann also admits that his religious upbringing was probably a direct influence on his obsession with horror at an early age, but certainly not the way his parents intended. “I grew up in a really strict Southern Baptist family,” says Besemann. “We did not celebrate Halloween and I wasn’t allowed to watch horror movies. All I had was curiosity.”

“My brother, Brian, however played Dungeons & Dragons and had interests my parents didn’t encourage,” admits Besemann, “and he ended up leaving home early to pursue his own interests, ultimately influencing me to find my own path. Brian was the one who designed all the logos for The Devil’s Attic and did most of the graphic design on the website.”

The Devil’s Attic was constructed inside the old Jobson Printing Company building which was built in 1914 and is rumored to be haunted itself. “It became a bread factory in the 1970’s and a storage for restaurant supplies in the 1990’s,” says Besemann. “I bought it in 2011.” But before Besemann owned his own haunt building, he actually debuted The Devil’s Attic in a much smaller form inside of an empty rented strip mall storefront in Jeffersontown in 2010. “That was tough. I actually built all the frames inside of PODS storage units over the course of three months and then moved everything into the former retail space.”

A Good Haunt Should Be Like A Roller Coaster

Devil's Attic

Right from that first, condensed version of his attraction, Besemann delivered the general concept of his dream haunt intact including the main character, Satan himself, played from that year forward by stand-up comedian, Todd Merriman. Besemann and Merriman developed the character and costume after attending the Transworld Halloween & Attractions Show and were one of the first haunts in the region to make use of the then new technology of silicon masks. The concept for The Devil’s Attic is that Satan, who sits upon his throne and greets each group as they enter his domain, has collected all of the evilest souls throughout history. He stores them in his Hellish attic until he unleashes them upon the unsuspecting public each Halloween season.

Besemann’s first experience managing a haunted attraction was for a small charity haunt put on by the local chapter of the Jaycees in Bowling Green, KY. “At the time I owned a 3,000 square feet eBay store in Bowling Green,” says Besemann, “and I planned on using that building to create a haunt. It had an attic upstairs and I painted it completely red and I was going to call it The Devil’s Attic, so this idea has been with me for some time.”

Although owning his own building means Besemann doesn’t have to tear down and rebuild each season, he acknowledges the need to expand and change things up each year to keep guests coming back. “We add new scenes every year. This year we’ve added a Spider Hallway with a giant spider and two new simulated outdoor scenes,” says Besemann. “I’m really proud of the firefly and lightning effects in the new scene which really feels like you’re outside walking through the woods. We also built a swamp scene where I brought in turf and trees and spread leaves all over the ground.”

“I’ve tried to deliver the kind of haunt that I like,” says Besemann of his haunt philosophy. “I like smaller, close quarters, fast paced, in-your-face haunts. A good haunt should be more like a roller coaster than a stroll through.”

For operating dates, hours, tickets and just more information about The Devil’s Attic, check out the official website at http://thedevilsattic.com/.

The Phantom of The Ville

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