The 7th Street Haunt (Fort Harmony’s Revenge & The Experiment) Review 2015

Louisville Halloween explores the possessed town of Fort Harmony and discovers the dark secrets of one of its most notorious residents in the 7th Street Haunt’s brand new attraction, The Experiment.

Former guests of Fort Harmony in the 7th Street Haunt at 2900 7th Street Rd next to the Expo Five complex are in for a shock. Owner/operator Travis Boling’slittle haunt that could” is no longer a little haunt, and on opening night four years ago I fondly referred to it as Louisville’s “old school” haunted house. Everything was built by hand with blood, sweat & tears, but certainly not with an excess of dollars. It had a charming, retro quality that recalled the infamous WAKY Haunted House of the 1970’s.

But the 7th Street Haunt’s original attraction, “Fort Harmony’s Revenge” isn’t just an “old school” haunt anymore. It has graduated to a whole new school of fright machine!

If you haven’t taken the Fort Harmony tour in a couple of years, you probably won’t even recognize the quaint little town it once was, and if you’ve never experienced the 7th Street Haunt, this is the year to take the plunge into madness. It’s longer and much more detailed than ever before. Each room is packed with wall to wall eye candy. Much more attention has been paid to the ceiling structures and overhead lighting, creating a much more immersive environment than in previous years. More fog, more atmosphere and even a few new animated pop up effects!

“Fort Harmony’s Revenge” has also seen a major upgrade in character acting. The returning characters have upped their game to match the growing pace of this all original attraction, and many new characters have been added to the 40 plus member cast.

Special mention must go to Justin Sinkler who plays a cave dwelling creature that recalls a blend of Gollum from “The Lord of the Rings” and the bat creatures from “The Descent” (2005). He rolls, summersaults and pounds the ground one minute, only to be climbing the walls the next in one of the most frightening athletic performances I’ve seen in a haunt actor since Gustav, the elevator goon at The Haunted Hotel.

Veteran haunt actor, Lucian Tomes Jr., who used to grace billboards across the city as the nefarious Warren Vanderdark of The Baxter Avenue Morgue, also shines as a carnival barker in the circus scene which includes high wire clown surprises. The new Voodoo scenes also feature a terrific actress playing the Voodoo Priestess wielding her witch doctor stick.

The 7th Street Haunt has doubled in size this season to 25,000 square feet thanks to a new, high tech attraction called “The Experiment” which introduces one of Fort Harmony’s most notorious characters, Dr. Jenkins. Years ago, Dr. Jenkins’ purchased a warehouse on the outskirts of town to conduct mysterious experiments and one day his own daughter got lost inside the factory, never to be seen again. Her disappearance drove the doctor mad and the warehouse closed its doors forever. Now lights and strange sounds have been reported at the warehouse and it’s up to you to investigate.

The Experiment is the creation of long time Halloween fanatics and haunt prop collectors, Todd Stephens and Dr. Jim Phifer, who have amassed a staggering collection of professional haunt industry animatronics, sets and special effects. These two maniacs were responsible for the unnamed haunt that mysteriously popped up right before Halloween last year in Middletown. You can take a look at some of the types of animated monstrosities and special effects in their collection that you might encounter in The Experiment in our look at their Haunted Warehouse show from last season here: http://www.louisvillehalloween.com/there-is-a-secret-haunt-in-middletown-offering-one-last-great-halloween-scare/.

The Experiment is much more reliant on animatronic zombies, specters and other monsters than Fort Harmony and thus is lighter staffed with actors, but the actors are well trained at using the animated props as visual distractions to generate live scares. As a higher tech haunt, The Experiment offers a nice balance to the more actor driven scares in Fort Harmony and in tandem they become the perfect evening’s horror double feature.

In The Experiment, you’ll explore Dr. Jenkins’ living doll factory, St. Mary’s Hospital and its subterranean tunnels & morgue, and ultimately the children’s ward finale that will hit your nerves with multiple animatronic surprises. It’s quite impressive how well programmed and precisely placed Stephens and Phifer’s animatronic ghouls are used to get right in your face, sometimes even temporarily blocking your way forward, as if they were living creatures interacting with guests as they pass through each room.

Boiling and Stephens have employed a small army of tech crew that scramble about, constantly in radio communication, that stealthily monitor and repair all of the mechanical aspects of the haunt, making sure everything is working properly for each group that enters the abandoned doll factory. During my visit, everything was working like a well-oiled machine.

The 7th Street Haunt will be open every weekend in October on Friday and Saturday from 8 PM until 1 AM and Sundays from 8 PM until 10:30 PM. Tickets for Fort Harmony’s Revenge and The Experiment are $18 each, but I fully recommend the Combo Ticket for $25 for a full hour plus of haunted thrills. You can get $5 off admission with a work, school or military ID.

The Phantom of The Ville

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One Review for “The 7th Street Haunt (Fort Harmony’s Revenge & The Experiment) Review 2015”

  1. Avatar Mallorydidit says:

    Went with a few friends to this place 2 weeks ago. It was great. Very scary bit also humorous in places. The people were super nice and helpful.
    We had coupons so it was only 20$ each to do both. More than once I almost jumped out of my skin.
    Only peed on myself once. Haha.
    Thanks haunters. It was awesome. See you next year.

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