The Haunted Hotel Review 2015

The Phantom of the Ville checks into The Haunted Hotel for its 25th Anniversary season!

Back in my college days, I remember a theory a friend of mine had about Rock and Roll fans that went something like this: As kids who were mostly exposed to Pop music, they eventually moved on to listening to harder Rock and Roll music in their preteens, then Punk Rock and Heavy Metal, eventually graduating to Hardcore, Thrash and Death Metal. If they made the journey all the way to that last category, there was nowhere else to go. Nothing less would give them the adrenaline fix that they needed and there was no going back.

I have a similar theory about fans of The Haunted Hotel. Once you’ve graduated to the extreme physical and psychological assault delivered by the depraved maniacs inside that house at 3000 S 4th Street, there’s just no other haunt that can give you that shell shocked fix.

I’ve never sugarcoated my opinions about owner/operator Kevin Stich and manager Kristen Warf’s extreme haunt tactics and after a trip through The Haunted Hotel last night to experience their 25th Anniversary version of this legendary haunt, I’m not about to soften the blow.

The Haunted Hotel will put you through a 25 to 30 minute gauntlet of theatrical abuse. Huge, hairy masked psychopaths will grab, pull and shove you through a non-stop series of grungy, bloody sets until you’re left breathless, running and screaming out the exit pursued by a legion of sadomasochistic chainsaw wielding maniacs.

It all begins when you check in at the front desk and are escorted into The Haunted Hotel’s infamous elevator for a jarring descent into the bowels of the building and an encounter with one of the Hotel’s most infamous characters, Gustav the elevator operator. Before I even got in the front door last night, Gustav emerged with a group of six, pale and shivering guests who weren’t able to make it past the second scene.

That’s 14 quitters tonight so far,” Gustav proudly declared to the awaiting crowd outside before he disappeared back into his lair.

I went through with a small group of guests that included one six-foot-two, 250 pound guy and two girls. You might imagine that the actors inside would quickly target the girls, and they certainly did, but the big guy honestly bore the brunt of the physical assault. Some even bigger maniac grabbed him by the throat the minute we exited the elevator and this poor guy was rarely given a break throughout.

One of the girls was picked up and carried off at one point, rejoining our group when we got to the next scene. Next, it was my turn. A gore drenched girl in the Butcher’s Room grabbed my shirt, pushed me down on a counter table and held my head back over the other side as a brute with a cold, slimy meat cleaver put his blade firmly against my throat and made slashing motions.

Luckily, they let me go and I rushed into a completely dark, twisting hallway trying to catch up with my group. Later, I was assaulted by a topless woman/man (?) who assured me, “They’re real,” while rubbing up against me as I pressed against the wall, sheepishly trying just to get away.

Yeah, this is no kiddie haunt. You have been warned.

Kevin Stich and Kristen Warf have done an amazing job this year on The Haunted Hotel’s interior, tearing down old scenes and renovating every room to make the entire building consistent with the original hotel theme. All the maniacs inside are also original characters. You won’t find Michael Myers or Freddy Krueger vacationing in The Haunted Hotel. Most of the twisted masks worn by the psychos inside were created in house by Stich and Warf’s Sinister FX mask making company.

In its 25th season, The Haunted Hotel retains its reputation as Louisville’s most intense haunted house.

The Haunted Hotel is open Thursdays through Sundays through October 31st, Thursdays and Sundays from 8 PM until Midnight and Fridays and Saturdays from 8 PM until 2 AM. General Admission is $20 and VIP Skip the Line Tickets are $29. Be sure to pick up one of The Haunted Hotel’s new 25th Anniversary t-shirts!

The Phantom of The Ville

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