The Haunted Hotel: Checking into Terror for 23 Years!

Louisville’s Longest Standing Haunt Has Some New Blood!

Other than the long lamented WAKY Haunted House from Louisville’s Silver Age of Haunted Houses, no other haunted attraction in the Ville has yet earned the right to be considered “legendary” other than the one and only Haunted Hotel. The WAKY Haunted House, which was my first haunt experience as a wee Phantom, built a schoolyard reputation that no haunted house built of ordinary brick, papier-mache and black plastic could ever live up to. There were lunchroom rumors of gouged out eyeballs, tales of kids that went in only to never be seen again and one outrageous story about a trapdoor that dropped unsuspecting visitors fifteen feet onto a bed of foam nails!

I don’t remember much about my single trek through the WAKY Haunted House. My eyes were sealed firmly shut most of the way through, as my poor dad dragged me forward by my Mighty Mouse jacket collar. But I do remember fragments of the first of my many expeditions through The Haunted Hotel, which still sits alone at its original 3000 S. 4th Street location 23 years later. Strobe lights; Boney fingers grabbing my bell bottom pant legs; Caged maniacs on both sides of me, clutching at my clothes; An escaped werewolf threatening to rip my throat. Terror incarnate.

The Haunted Hotel was the true successor to the WAKY Haunted House’s crown, and it has held the title of Louisville’s Favorite Haunted House for 23 years with a number of memorable gimmicks and themes. Who can ever forget the tunnel of thousands of live roaches? Or the year when visitors came face-to-face with infamous urban legends? This year, as usual, The Haunted Hotel offers some unique and unusual thrills created by its new owners, true “Brothers of Blood,” Kevin and Brian Stich!

Before I checked into the Hotel this year, I went to see Kevin and Brian to find out more about what they had in store for this iconic building on 4th Street. “You’ve got to see our Nazi room!,” boasted Kevin. Uh-Oh. The Stich Brothers were the former owners and operators of Wolf Creek Haunted Forest in Shepherdsville. They’re both looking forward to not having to deal with the unpredictable problems with weather that can plague an outdoor haunt, and they’re both very happy to be getting a crack at running one of their favorite haunts growing up.

“It was really Danger Run that made us want to get into making our own haunted house, and back in the day, The Haunted Hotel was always part of Danger Run,” says Kevin. “It was our love of horror movies too,” says Brian. “My favorite horror movie is ‘Silent Hill,’ but I love ‘The Amityville Horror’ too.”

Soon enough, Kevin and Brian handed me my room key and sent me off to the check-in desk. I was put in with a group of three cheerleaders from Eastern High School (SEE PHOTO), so I already knew I was in deep trouble. There’s nothing crazed haunted attraction actors (especially chainsaw maniacs) enjoy more than terrorizing cheerleaders, so of course, we were savagely assaulted right from the first room all the way through the longest clown and chainsaw maze ever to occupy the outdoor section of The Haunted Hotel.

Touring the Hotel is like slipping into a favorite pair of house shoes. The building’s structure is familiar, and many of the classic rooms remain, but there are plenty of new gags to surprise even the most experienced fan. For some reason, I’ve always loved climbing the stairs to the second floor and this year there were snapping plant monsters chomping at our heels as we raced to the top. Actually there are quite a few impressive animatronic monsters in the haunt this year.

The dreaded “Nazi Room” is something I just can’t spoil here. It’s something that has to be seen to be believed. It’s sure to frighten some and offend others, but it certainly can’t be said that the Stich Brothers have not pushed themed rooms to their limits.

The Haunted Hotel will be open September 28-29th from 8PM to 2AM, and will be open in October from Thursdays through Sunday nights. Thursdays and Sundays hours will be 8PM to 12AM. Fridays and Saturdays hours will be 8PM to 2AM.

The Phantom of The Ville

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