Baxter Avenue Morgue Review 2013

The Baxter Avenue Morgue Presents Butch Patrick (AKA “Eddie Munster”) and Delivers a Haunt Worthy of “The Munsters”!

The Baxter Avenue Morgue has always been a unique Highlands neighborhood haunt. Located at 451 Baxter Avenue, just down the street from the crumbling ruins of Eastern Cemetery and a couple of blocks from Cave Hill Cemetery, this haunted attraction was built underground in the basement of the old Vanderdark Morgue. Tunnels and passageways twist and turn in the catacombs of the Morgue’s basement with pipes and plumbing overhead in some areas while other areas open up into vast underground crypts.

On the night of my visit, Warren Vanderdark was out “working” (most likely grave robbing to collect new props for the Morgue), and so the tour was hosted by his lovely wife, Lillian, who apparently has the power to walk through walls! She would mysteriously disappear and reappear in room after room during my trip through the Morgue.

This year the Baxter Avenue Morgue is hosting a special weekend with Butch Patrick, the actor who played Eddie Munster in the classic 1960’s TV show, “The Munsters.” Patrick will be acting as Grand Marshal in the Caufield’s Halloween Parade this Friday night, October 11th at 7PM, and afterwards he will be appearing at the Morgue from 9PM until 1AM. Patrick will also return Saturday night, October 12th from 8PM until 1AM.

The appearance of Eddie Munster seems completely appropriate for the Baxter Avenue Morgue this year, as the wonderful set design inside has been amped up with a “Munsters”/”Addams Family” vibe to it. Elaborately designed wallpaper and flickering candelabras adorn the walls this year, giving the haunt a sort of Disney’sHaunted Mansion” atmosphere. In fact, the addition of several new props and set pieces really pumps up the Gothic flair this year, and I think this might be the Morgue’s best season ever. This opinion was seconded by the group I went through with.

In one room filled with covered bodies on the slab, there lies a wriggling half zombie trying to get loose that looks exactly like the one in “Return of the Living Dead”! In another room, I found a completely custom built animatronic character; a skeleton playing a pipe organ. This was no flimsy puppet either. This grim, grinning skeleton was passionately tickling the ivories to the music.

At the climax, you’ll walk straight through an upright coffin into the grave, and you know that can’t be good for your chances of exiting the Morgue alive.

The Baxter Avenue Morgue allows the actors to touch you, but the tone this year is much spookier and much less aggressive than last year. Most of the touching comes by way of light fingertips brushing up against your hair or the back of your neck. Some of the vampires in the huge cave-like crypt sequence will get very close to you, but no one will grab you or physically threaten you other than expressing the desire to drink all your blood, of course.

The Baxter Avenue Morgue is open through November 2nd, including Halloween night, from Thursday through Sunday. Operating hours on Thursdays and Sundays are from 8PM until 11PM and on Fridays and Saturdays from 8PM until 1AM. They are offering extended hours on the last two weekends, Friday and Saturday of October 25th and 26th and November 1st and 2nd from 7PM until 1AM.

A local dance troop is presenting continuing performances of Michael Jackson’sThriller” as line entertainment. Don’t miss this unique haunt this year. This is the Phantom of the Ville, and I will return very soon with looks at The Devil’s Attic, the Haunted Hotel, Fear Fair and more!

The Phantom of The Ville

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