Okay, I have a lot to say here. So stick it out, I promise to deliver!
We have reviewed the Haunted Hotel for years, back when it was me and Aly and now with me and Michala. We've seen a lot of scary shit in this haunt. We've seen the good, the bad, the ugly, we've had good times, we've had bad times, and we've seen a lot happen inside Louisville's longest running haunted house, and every year there are new things to see and new fears explored. Let's breakdown what happened when we checked in...
Okay, so if you've even accidentally walked or driven by this haunt in late September through October, you'll see right away that this is a popular haunt and no cost is spared to make it extravagant. There's cop cars, lights flashing, a parking lot with people waving little lighted sticks at you to stop and park even if you don't want to...lol. It's a sight to behold, but when you get closer and actually stand there waiting, it can be intimidating. We KNOW (sort of) what's waiting for us on the other side of the doors. We still get bouncy with nervous anticipation because there's enough mystery and tension building up to the moment you're ushered inside the doors that you can't help but feel the jitters. Well, I can't.
This year the first change I noticed was the missing bellhop, and I was sad. That guy...damn. He got me every year. The new guy though had an interesting purpose and it kinda set the tone for the rest of our visit. He is more of a storyteller, being the original owner who's returned to fix what all the other employees "fucked up." Which makes you wonder...where are they, what did they fuck up, and what the hell is waiting beyond that rope you're moving and ushering us to follow you past?
Hell was exactly what was waiting for us. We got on the elevator - mind you, we KNOW what's coming. We've played this game before. The door closes and without even hesitating I grab Michala's arm and we hold each other in fearful anticipation of what's gonna happen next. Well, Gustav's incredible acrobatics showed that we can't be prepared for his world. Then his velociraptor-like wail...omigosh, I think I can still hear it! How that guy still has a voice left is beyond me!
Okay, don't hate me for this, but I can't remember a whole lot between Gustav and the end. The reason isn't a bad one, we were just tossed from one weird ass effed up situation to another and eventually the fear became all consuming. I can remember the horn. I went a little deaf. And the fire effect coming out of the floor...wow! Impressive! There were a couple of sections that were barren, and that was a little bit of a drag, but I don't feel it really had a BAD impact on the experience. If anything, it just kinda made us wonder when and where the next scare was coming from, leaving us clinging to one another in that anxious anticipation again.
The end...oh wow. Okay, 99% of all haunts end with a chainsaw guy. Well, this one has a twist and a half. Hell, it has a dozen twists! I'll openly admit I'm rarely if ever affected by chainsaws. They don't get me. Ever.
They got me. Bad. Seriously, there was one point where the guy was just on one side of the wall, we rounded a corner, and he was just chilling, waiting for us nonchalantly at the end of the path, and while it was comical, it was unnerving. Then he was behind us. Then beside us. Then ahead of us, then behind us...the effect was dizzying and disorienting, and I was thankful to see the end of the maze finally in sight. Then here he comes again...There were at least 3 guys wielding chainsaws, but I suspect the ghosts of several more decided to play that night.
We narrowly escaped with our lives, although a part of us was left behind, locked forever within the terror-inducing walls of the Haunted Hotel.
The effects were amazing, and the props and scenery were impressive. You can see that although some scenes were mostly the same, most of them were totally gutted and reworked. The owner and the ones pouring their blood, sweat, tears, and souls into this haunt have really surpassed my expectations. There really wasn't much I can complain about, apart from the empty rooms. I give Haunted Hotel a 9/10, only because there was one haunt that literally had me crying this year, and there were those empty rooms. Excellent job guys, there's no question as to why the Haunted Hotel is the longest running haunt in Louisville!