The Dent Schoolhouse, Cincinnati, OH
Fear Fair, Seymour, IN
The Haunted Hotel, Louisville, KY
The Devil's Attic, Louisville, KY
USS Nightmare, Cincinnati, OH
Culbertson Mansion, New Albany, IN
7th Street Haunt, Louisville, KY
Stillwell Manor, Anderson, IN
Land of Illusion, Middletown, OH
Wilmington Haunted Hollow, Wilmington, OH
Asylum Haunted Scream Park, Louisville, KY
Indy Scream Park, Anderson, IN
King's Island Halloween Haunt, Cincinnati, OH
Overall Score – 4.2/5
(all ratings scored out of 5)
Curb Appeal – 3.7/5
Scare Factor – 4.3/5
Actor Enthusiasm – 4.8/5
Creativity – 4.7/5
Overall – 4.4/5
Donna - The seventh Street aunt is a fairly new haunt only five years old. It is a converted tobacco warehouse and it is huge on the inside. There are two haunts and the combination of both make it seem like you are inside for at least an hour. The first haunt is a combination of actors and animatronics. You won’t see Freddy or Jason in here. All of the rooms are fresh creative and the actors are over-the-top engaged with their character. You will be slightly touched but no manhandling in the haunt. The scares just keep coming everywhere you turn we were very impressed with the level of terror in this place! The combination of make up, attention to detail with the room settings and general creativity was very impressive for a haunt that is only five years old. This is going to be one of The premier haunts in Louisville and I highly recommend if you are anywhere near the area to visit the seventh Street haunt.
Teresa - This was my first time at this place. It doesn’t look like much from outside, but when you step inside, it is really cool. We were met outside by some clowns who were lots of fun, albeit a bit disturbing. Do make sure to catch their act. We kept seeing them running around inside too. We went through The Experiment first and I was very impressed. The decor was very good, the characters were super-creepy, the design was creative, and it was very long. There were some really unique surprises. One of which, while I won’t give it away, I have been just waiting for someone to implement in a haunt, and they actually did it! I was way too excited about that. However, the best part of this one hands-down, were all the fabulous animatronics. I’m not always a fan of too many, because you see the same ones over and over, and they often aren’t very scary. This was easily the best use of them I’ve ever seen. And lots of them were unique. I went first, so I kept setting them off. If you like jump scares, definitely go first! There was a hallway of slamming doors that was really cool. The live actors were very impressive too. They had great movements, creepy placements, and really enthusiastic acting. At one point there was a girl, up high at the end of a hallway, backlit, just waiting for me, and it was like something out of a movie. I don’t think I’ll ever get the dolls out of my head, either. I loved this one. I’d like to go through it again before the season is over.
Gayle - This was a new haunt for me, and I’m so glad we were able to go!! This place is HUGE, but you don’t realize it until you’re inside. The actors outside are so very engaging and entertaining and had us all laughing before we even went inside! This haunt has two distinct haunts, both are equally amazing, each with their own style. The Experiment was full of greatly designed sets and perfectly timed animatronics. Some of which I’d never before seen in all the haunts I’ve reviewed. These were triggered so well, the lighting was perfect, and it had a very modern feel. I was very pleasantly surprised here! There are so many details to take in as you’re walking through, and the startles just kept coming. It was a non-stop spooky, scary good time!!! Very well done!!
Bill - It was my first time at 7th Street Haunt, it won’t be my last … from Chaos the Clown (and I really, really hate clowns), who kept me laughing to the perfect timed animated props throughout. I really loved everything about this haunt. I was nervous going around every corner, and got great scares throughout.
I can’t wait to see what they do next year!
Gus - The experiment is an animatronic heavy haunt that delivers. Typically, I find animatronics to not be as scary as live actors, but this haunt proved me wrong. 7th Street Haunt must have spent a great deal of time getting every sensor in juuust the right spot and timed everything to maximize the scares. Often times the animatronics would popup to within inches of my face – and it was like that room after room. Sprinkle in a few dedicated actors who climb all over the place and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a spooky good time. This was my first season visiting 7th Street Haunt, and I look forward to coming back again! If your in the area, drop in and tell Khaos the clown we said “Hey!”
Todd - This is one of two haunts within an enormous structure that would make any haunted pressed for space extremely jealous. The Experiment is also the more modern of the two attractions with a great mix of current animatronic technology with old-school sets.
The most impressive thing about this haunt was the near-perfect execution and placement of of everything. The animatronics, for example, are less sideline eye candy and more so used as scare tactics. They’re positioned around corners, out of distant sight and right in your face.
Many areas force you to get up close and personal with the props, environments and actors. The spacing between each of them is planned out well so there’s never too much or too little in any one area.
The actors were very energetic and fairly invasive, without actually touching or grabbing you. This haunt is a prime example that even with money well spent on automated props, it’s really the creative use of them that makes everything stand out.
Ft. Harmony’s Revenge
Curb Appeal – 3.3/5
Scare Factor – 3.7/5
Actor Enthusiasm – 4.7/5
Creativity – 4.7/5
Overall – 4.1/5
Donna - This particular haunt was old school with no animatronics only actors but it still was very scary due to the actors staying in character and being very convincing and their roles. The haunt is very long and at times dark but the scares keep coming around every corner. The use of lighting was very impressive along with the excellent sound system. Altogether the atmosphere was creepy scary and one of the best haunted houses I have been to all year.
Teresa - Ft. Harmony’s Revenge is more decor and actor-driven, with fewer animatronics. It is more of a classic-style haunt. It had some really unique spaces that I really enjoyed. There were creepy plants, and there was one cavern-like room with what looked like molten rock in the walls. Pretty cool. This one is also very long (and handicap accessible, FYI). Again, I’d say this one is more fun in the front of the group though. I’m very intrigued by the Institutionalized Challenge, which we didn’t get to do. I’ve never heard of anything like it, and would try it in a heartbeat. This is a really well-done haunt. Plus, there were Halloween items for sale, photos to buy, and a casket ride which we didn’t have time to do. I really want to know what that experience is like. I had a lot of fun here and would love to come back and do it again.
Gayle - The haunt had more of an old-school feel to it, which was utterly amazing!! As you’re walking through, the attention to detail, the amazing sets, the actors enthusiasm was all fantastic. You can certainly tell how passionate the owners are about these haunts…it came through clearly! There were so many creepy, eerie things to experience here, and I honestly can’t say enough about how much MORE is added when the actors are really into it. And these actors were. Both haunts were incredible and WELL worth the 2 hour drive from Cincinnati. I can’t wait to go back next year!!! Great job guys!!! Loved every second of it!
Bill - It was my first time at 7th Street Haunt, it won’t be my last … from Chaos the Clown (and I really, really hate clowns), who kept me laughing to amazing actors and intricate room designs. I really loved everything about this haunt. I was nervous going around every corner, and got great scares throughout.
I can’t wait to see what they do next year!
Andy - While the Experiment was chock full of robotics, Ft. Harmony’s Revenge has a home grown feel that makes it more unique. My favorite scenes included hell-cracked landscapes, and the Reba rooms. Each scene is richly detailed and compelling, and the actors fit each scene well. I’m looking forward to seeing this one again.
Todd - Ft. Harmony’s Revenge is a more traditional / old school style haunt that features a fictional town and its eccentric inhabitants. Although this haunt is more low tech, for the most part, it does not lack in creativity.
There are MANY different styles of scenes in this haunt. Some are conventional “old creepy house” scenes while others are entirely unique. One that stands out in my mind is a room that looks like the walls are cracking with red-hot lava. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the Reba McEntire room…it’s not scary….it’s just kind of random in a WTF kind of way.
This haunt demonstrates the creativity, time and effort that those with the love of haunts can produce. The other attraction (The Experiment) is scarier, but the abundance of unique creativity is found in Ft. Harmony’s Revenge.
With plenty of room to expand, I’m eager to see what’s next.
(all ratings scored out of 5)
Curb Appeal – 4/5
Scare Factor – 5/5
Actor Enthusiasm – 5/5
Creativity – 5/5
Overall – 4.8/5
Paul - Wow! I think Fear Fair is one of the most fun trips through a haunt I’ve ever had. The sets were constructed very well, the actors did an outstanding job, the animatronics were extremely well-done, costumes were great; I’m not sure I could compliment this haunt much more.
Fear Fair is in an industrial area of Seymour, IN which is between Louisville and Indianapolis off of I-65. When you approach the site you’ll notice the big spot light shining into the shy and there is an undead DJ playing music on the second floor of the building with a full light show going.
Once inside, this is a full-contact haunt. The actors can grab you, push you, jump on you, and they will! At one point I had one actor who jumped on my back and 2 more grabbing my arms. Intense! The actors has great costumes and make-up as well. I was also really impressed by the sets; they had amazing detail but weren’t cluttered up with trinkety junk like you see in a lot of haunts. Just enough to make everything feel very real.
I really have nothing but good things to say about Fear Fair. We drove over from Cincinnati and it was WELL worth the trip. This is a haunt I can’t wait to go through again!
Teresa - I was a little apprehensive when we arrived. Fear Fair is in a warehouse district and parking isn’t very clear. We got there right at opening time and the lines were already long, particularly the line to get tickets. However, there was a live DJ cranking out tunes and occasionally throwing out T-shirts. The crowd was definitely into it. I saw a couple of wandering scare actors, both of whom were rather intimidating. They were really playing their characters to the hilt. There were also a couple of fire-jugglers. Then, they took our picture for the website and we went in. As for the haunt itself, I think it was outstanding. The sets were creative, well-done, and detailed, but not cluttered. You start out in a post-apocalyptic bunker-like building with a run-away elevator. From there you go through all kinds of great scenes, including a fantastic New Orleans swamp and cemetery, and a pretty creepy Silent Hill set. The actors were all very professional and some of the best I’ve seen. Their costumes were incredible and the actors were quite scary. I was very happy that this is a full-contact haunt. And boy, do these actors give it to you! We were grabbed, pulled, caressed, separated, bear-hugged, tackled, and piggy-backed on throughout the haunt. And we loved it! If these actors had really been their characters, we would have been doomed for sure. I had so much fun! I can’t wait to come back to this one to see what they do next year. If you like to be scared, this is a must see!
Todd - Well folks, I think we finally found the competition for The Haunted Hotel!
This haunt came out of left field for us. We were asked to come up on short notice for Halloween weekend and fortunately, a few of us were available. The 4 hour round trip didn’t seem so bad and now I can say it was undoubtedly worth the drive!
I’ll start by just stating a few opportunities we encountered upon arrival. First, evidently you can park anywhere nearby. Fear Fair is located among a lot of commercial buildings. People parked pretty much wherever they could – grassy areas, other businesses’ lots, etc. The problem is this wasn’t really indicated anywhere upon our approach so it’s not really clear where you can or can’t park.
Also – the ticket booth (or in this case, truck), is very small and appeared to only have one window. Even before opening the ticket line was pretty long and with only one, maybe 2 windows, for sales a lot of time is spent just waiting in that line. However, there may not be much of a rush because the lines to enter were substantially longer. On the night we went, they got off to a late start (it happens) so the line was backing up. Surprisingly, the VIP line was pretty long too. If I recall, the VIP price is only $5 than the standard price. So, while going VIP doesn’t break your bank, it may not necessarily decrease your wait time substantially.
Don’t fret about the line unless you’re pressed for time. A live DJ is there to entertain you while you wait. Free t-shirts were being thrown out every so often as well to those patiently waiting.
To our surprise, we were honored with first entry of the night upon arrival. This was our first visit so we didn’t know what to expect other than it was full contact. We’ve encountered two different interpretations of full contact in the past. The hardcore shoving, throwing, grabbing kind and the “”here…I’m going to slowly poke you or caress your back”" kind. Fear Fair is very much the former and HOLY SHIT is it intense.
Contact is made throughout and the haunt is a decent length. There aren’t too many spots where you aren’t being toyed with so your nerves wont get much of a break .
The theme changes a few times throughout the haunt. It starts in an underground cavern, then winds up into a New Orleans-eque area with the most amazing outdoor (but indoor) street scene I’ve seen short of being at Disney. This “”room”", while not scary, completely stands out in my mind because I remember being absolutely flabbergasted at how well done it was. If we had an award for most authentic scenery, it would win.
You’ll also go through a pretty lengthy zombie infestation. This area by far has the most contact involved. At any one time there may have been 4 people grabbing me, damn near on my back and it felt like they were really trying to pull me to the ground or back from where I came from. I’m a little surprised my shirt didn’t rip. Yes – they were that aggressive (and fantastic)!
There’s also a smaller Silent Hill area which is very impressive. Both the scenery and characters looked great. I was pinned to a wall by my throat by Pyramid Head and it was amazing!! The hot, faceless nurses weren’t bad either.
Another scene I really loved was an exorcism scene within a church. The steeple had actually crashed through the ceiling and the possessed girl was not conveniently tied down to a bed. The priest and her were in full combat, pushing each other against walls while they fought for her soul. As he aggressively prayed for her, she would respond yelling “”F*CK YOU PRIEST”" and such. She’d also grab us in the midst of the struggle. Very cool.
It’s not without it’s lacking details, however. As we went through, a sizable Tesla coil that would have been great to see was not working. In a bayou area, there’s an alligator prop that slides out and only half of it was constructed. The rest of the missing body could be better masked.
It’s hard to point out little things like this because overall, Fear Fair totally impressed me. It had a LOT of unique takes on subject matter commonly found in haunts. For example, the possession. A lot of places have some sort of exorcism scene, but this is honestly the first one I’ve seen where the priest is physically fighting the demon. It’s definitely the most hands-on haunt I’ve been to, to date. I mention Haunted Hotel in Louisville because they are infamous for pretty intense contact. Therefore, I can only really compare my experience at Fear Fair to that and I must say, Fear Fair was much more intense with their contact. These two haunts are not apples to apples in theme and other aspects so please do not take this as my trying to compare them exclusively.
Final verdict – LOVED IT. It was an absolute blast. Those who don’t like to be touched are best to skip it all together. It’s invasive. The quality of the sets is some of the best I’ve seen. We WILL return!
The Haunted Hotel
Curb Appeal – 4.7/5
Scare Factor – 4.5/5
Actor Enthusiasm – 4.7/5
Creativity – 4.2/5
Overall – 4.5/5
Teresa - I love the Haunted Hotel. This is full-contact, in-your-face, manhandling-scary. It is in a creepy old house, which is decorated like a rickety old, nightmarish hotel. From the first room, you are made to feel very nervous and uncomfortable. Then, you enter the scariest elevator you’ve probably ever been in. The effects and acting in there are not for the cowardly. Then you walk through, dreading whatever might be in the next room. Going in first is scary, but being last is also horrible, as they may not let you go. And don’t think you’re safe in the middle. This place is scary. The acting is extreme, and they will grab you, pick you up, hold knives to your throat, drag you, force your face in a “toilet”, and intimidate you as much as possible. The decor is good, but it totally takes a backseat to your fear of the actors. And don’t get me started on the chainsaws. Very plural. And this section is very long. And very aggressive. If you are scared of chainsaws, this would be a nightmare. I love the Haunted Hotel actors and their costumes. Especially the ones you have time to talk to. I feel like I was manhandled and intimidated a little less this year though. I’d like for them to step it up just a little more, and for them to add a little more creep to the chainsaw maze. I’m not as terrified of chainsaws as most people and would like to see more variety there. But keep in mind, I’m saying that about the scariest place I’ve been. And maybe, just maybe, it is too scary for the average haunt goer. I hope not, because it is so much fun. Just hang around and watch the people being chased out of the exit.
Gayle - What can I say? This place is hands down my favorite haunt. Not only is the house itself creepy, but the atmosphere and energy felt just waiting in line is beyond measure. There are actors who interact with you while waiting to check in, and all were fantastic. The costumes were terrifying, and the anticipation for that bang on the door letting you know you’re next, is gut-wrenching. From the crazy elevator ride in the beginning to the horrifying chainsaw chase at the end, this place is a non-stop, in your face, eerie, creepy, and exhilarating raid on your personal space. The actors are fully engaged, all over you, and every second of it is frightening!! This is the haunt I look forward to each year. It is unlike any other in that it’s full-contact. You will be touched, groped, shoved, tossed against walls, picked up, carried off, and in the best most amazing way possible! This one is top-notch when it comes to scaring the living crap out of you. Definitely a must see, definitely worth the 2 hour drive, definitely will continue to come year after glorious year! Well done!!!
Donna - The haunted hotel is always The highlight of our visit to Louisville. This year was no exception. When we arrived around 11:30 PM the area in front of the hotel and on the side of the hotel was filled with people waiting for their turn To be scared and terrified within its walls. As you enter the hotel the first actor there tells you that you can expect to be touched and manhandled on your trip through the hotel and that there is no hope for you to ever escape it’s walls. As you continue to walk through the hotel scene after scene creates a sense of terror And you find yourself walking faster and faster just trying to escape from this nightmare. The actors are relentless in chasing you down and getting into your face pushing and shoving you and creating a sense of helplessness as you wonder from room to room. I found the chainsaws at the end were The loudest and most terrifying part of the haunt. This is a great haunt if you’re in the Louisville area please stop by and pay it a visit. You may enter the hotel but you may not leave in one piece!
Bill - I really love the Haunted Hotel, all of the employees are into giving you a right good scare, and as always they did just that. With eager anticipation, I entered the haunt and was given fright after fright, traveling through the maze, waiting to be mauled and man-handled.
It is an exceptional haunt and the nightmares will carry me through until I get down there next year.
Gus - Before you make plans to visit the Haunted Hotel, just bear in mind that it is an “extreme” haunt. The actors can and will touch you. If that is not your cup of tea, you may want to look elsewhere. However, you’d be missing out on one of the greatest haunt in Louisville. The actors are professionals, my experience is always that when you get touched, it is not in a sleazy way, it is in the spirit of the scene, and to break that safety barrier and to get a reaction. This season, things seem to be more tame than in previous years, but its still a great time.
Todd - In some ways, The Haunted Hotel is in a league of its own. There’s an energy within that just isn’t easily felt at other haunts. I’ll admit, I am obsessed with this place. It’s become a damn-near annual holiday…Haunted Hotel day! I look forward to it probably more than anything. The only problem now is, has the Haunted Hotel not met up to my expectations…..or are my expectations just too high?
If you’re not familiar with this haunt, there are not many around that offer a similar experience. The actors touch you, grab you, threaten you, chase you, etc. Many of the rooms are cluttered, with little room to maneuver and the hallways can be especially tight…a fantastic setting in the pitch dark. The interior is dark, dingy, filthy and chaotic in the best way. Don’t be fooled by the exterior either – it’s longer than it appears from the outside.
The outside (the final area) has been changed up. From what I experienced, it sure seemed longer. Considering there are chainsaw-wielding crazies throughout, if that sort of thing bothers you, prepare to get some exercise. And Holy Hell…the noise out there is deafening! .
So here’s where my disappointment comes in….don’t get me wrong – I love this place. I’ve come to know some of the great people that make it happen and I appreciate everything they do. For me, this year felt a little tame. I don’t know if that was intentional, they had to step it back a bit or maybe it was just the timing. I’m not saying it was all rainbows and hugs in there – my throat was grabbed twice and I was shoved against a wall. That’s a lot more than I’d get anywhere else…but it just seemed more PG-13, not R. In years past I was held down over a table while rotary tools were used to spit sparks near my face…I was bent over backwards while a knife was held to my throat…it was these extreme actions that I sickly have come to crave at The Haunted Hotel – none of which were present this year.
The contact that did take place felt more lethargic than usual. However, as I previously stated, perhaps my expectations are getting too high. I mean, I don’t want to come out of there bleeding and limping but it just felt much more tame this year and I admittedly was disappointed. To be clear – I was disappointed with the full contact part, but all other aspects of the haunt were fantastic.
For the typically haunt attendee, this place no doubt still enough to make someone absolutely terrified, but for veterans like us, we want the hardcore experience. Hint, hint – for next year.
(all ratings scored out of 5)
The Devil’s Attic
Curb Appeal – 4.7/5
Scare Factor – 4/5
Actor Enthusiasm – 4.2/5
Creativity – 4.2/5
Overall – 4.3/5
Donna - Devils attic is a must see if you are in the Louisville area. The devil speaks to you when you enter the first room and tells you what is in store for you as you go through the labyrinth of terrifying rooms. Each room has its own theme and it’s own creepy characters. This year was a bit different from last year and the fact that they added a few more anima Tronics and changed up some of the rooms however the theme remains the same and it’s a good one. We look forward to the Devils attic every year and this year was no different. Great haunt wish it was a bit longer but we enjoyed ourselves .
Teresa - If you love horror movies, this is the place for you! First off, it is in a creepy old building. Second, there are some very bizarre and devilish characters wandering around outside. At some point while you wait, this devil appears on the balcony, and asks his minion to bring him fresh meat, at which point, someone is meticulously selected from the crowd and carried, kicking and screaming, inside. The best part of this one is that every scene inside is from a popular horror movie. It is so fun seeing them in person. They are so professional. And the costumes are magnificent. I like how they tease each scene before you enter it. I looked up and saw the quickest flash of an evil face, and recognized it instantly as being from The Exorcist. Subtle and creepy and awesome. I liked the sets even more this year. Especially memorable are: The Exorcist, Hellraiser, and 13 Ghosts. Not that I don’t love them all! I’m also very excited to hear they are doing something called CHAOS this year, which will be full contact, and one night only. This would definitely kick the scare factor into overdrive. I would love to come back for it! I highly recommend this to all horror fans!
Gayle - Well…our group visits The Devil’s Attic every year, and with good reason. This place is unique in that every room is modeled after a horror movie! The great thing about it, is they change it up every year, so the annual visitors get to experience something new and different each time they come. The costumes are impeccable, the attention and level of detail in each set is superb, the actors are on point! It’s so much fun to walk from room to room and identify rather quickly (at least for a horror movie buff) which movie is being replicated! Pinhead and the Cenobytes are so perfect (and my favorite), but much props to 13 Ghosts, The Exorcist, Texas Chainsaw, Urban Legend, and the many, many others that make this a MUST SEE in the Louisville area!! Such a well-run and exciting haunt to visit. I love it!!
Bill - The Devil’s Attic is an amazing haunt! It is the best “movie” themed haunted attraction I know of, where they take pride in recreating scenes from famous horror movies. The makeup and the props are exceptional, and there’s a great scare around every corner.
Gus - The Devil’s Attic has an interesting theme going. The Devil has collected all your favorite horror movies forces you to re-live them. You name it, its in there. Hell Raiser? Got it. Headless Horseman? Got it. Psycho? Got it. Evil Dead? Got it. Each scene is more detailed than the last. Horror fans rejoice!
Todd - The Devil’s Attic has a challenging task – living up to your preconceived expectations. Why? Because many parts of the haunt are recreations of the most iconic scenes and horror movie characters. Horror fanatics know these characters in and out – what they look like, how they behave. Imagine the disappointment you would experience if a haunt had Freddy Kruger and the actor was wearing an all red sweater. You’d cringe. This is a basic example of the detail that The Devil’s Attic crew maintains when bringing the characters to life.
I’ve said before and I’ll say it again – their Hellraiser scene and characters never fail to simply amaze me. They are simply f*cking spot on. Even the mostly-reconstructed Frank is pretty cool looking…but the Cenobites…Wow.
This haunt has also established its own icon – the devil himself. As you enter this haunt you’re greeted by Satan himself – a very impressive looking character. While one cannot really trademark Satan, this haunt’s version has a memorable look that has maintained consistency over the years.
There have been some changes this year, but the most memorable areas were still there from last year. That can lend to some predictability within the haunt which can be stale over time. However, there’s a dilemma. If you switch up and go with some older, classic scenes, will the younger generation get it? Go to more modern movies and well, you run the risk of it being lame (let’s face it…90% of horror movies in the past decade are awful).
The Devil’s Attic may be better suited to start migrating to more original scenes to stay fresh. If they could build a hell to match their caliber of their devil, I can’t imagine it not being great. We’d of course still want to see some of the classic scenes. After all, we all know those within wouldn’t be in heaven.
(all ratings scored out of 5)
Curb Appeal – 4.7/5
Scare Factor – 3.7/5
Actor Enthusiasm – 4/5
Creativity – 4.3/5
Overall – 4.2/5
Donna - The USS Nightmare is a one of a kind haunt that’s located on an iconic boat moored at Newport on the Levy. Since the theme stays the same every year it is a challenge to change the haunt and keep it scary and yet stay with the haunted boat theme. Every year the creative geniuses in this place knock it out of the park this year was no exception. When you enter the haunt a creepy looking man tells you about what is in store for you and a little bit about the history of the haunted bone. You then enter a huge elevator and listen to the sounds from the Ship’s radio talking about the boat breaking loose and running into the bridges on the Ohio River as the elevator shakes violently and lights flash off and on. This was a new addition to the boat this year and it really set the mood. The characters in the boat are creepy and in your face and always appear from the most unexpected places. The haunt is very long and well worth the price of admission. This is a really fun haunt to go to and it just keeps getting better every year.
Gus - U.S.S. Nightmare is a staple of the Cincinnati haunt scene, the anchor if you will. It continues to be a high quality scare experience. This year the story is the spotlight with an extended introduction with a few surprises in store. Don’t let the outside fool you, this haunt is a long one. You will wind through what seems like every inch of the the space. Our trip took nearly 30 minutes. I highly recommend making sure you include this in your schedule for haunt season.
Todd - The USS Nightmare is a haunt that always stands out because if its inherent uniqueness. The boat itself just looks disturbing – it’s dirty, dark and wrecked. If it weren’t an obvious attraction, it’s the kind of vessel no one in their right mind would voluntarily scope out, based on appearances.
This haunt’s theme takes full advantage of its home, sticking to a story about a shipwreck and the aftermath. This year, more than ever, visitors are exposed to the history and in some ways get to re-live the moment of the tragedy.
The most stand-out addition this year is the very first room you’ll enter, which is fairly spacious, lined with wood paneling and historical photos. The captain, your narrator speaks to you via speakers and walks you through the events of the shipwreck. As the story turns chaotic, so does the room. Lights will flash and the room itself violently shakes and jumps. Many haunts have elevator props of a similar nature, however this one is much larger and shakes you around a lot more.
There were a number of other changes in certain areas, but nothing that stood out completely in my mind. All of the same highlighted areas remain – the captains quarters, the clown area, the experimental sciences, etc.
Regardless, the props and the environment are all top-notch, primarily because the haunt takes full use of the boat’s real inner-workings. The actors are energetic and while not always, scary, they’re always entertaining.
This is a good haunt. In recent years I feel it’s become slightly predictable but the fact that it has such a strong atmosphere and identity that you can’t find many other places, it’s always worth going to.
(all ratings scored out of 5)
The Dent Schoolhouse
Curb Appeal – 4.9/5
Scare Factor – 4.6/5
Actor Enthusiasm – 5/5
Creativity – 4.9/5
Overall – 4.8/5
Bill - What an amazing haunt… it has everything! Waiting in line in the “corn field” with scarecrows attacking you, a pumpkin threatening to cut your throat and a “beautiful” witch eating a mouse and wondering what a cell phone is all about. From there the props, scares and actors were amazing. I never knew what was around the corner. One of the best things was the fact that they kept the schoolhouse theme throughout. It was also a very long haunt, where you never had time to get bored as the scares were around every corner. I can’t wait to see what changes next year.
Teresa - The attention to detail in this place is mind-boggling. There are so many things to look at in every room and hall. There are some seriously creepy props. The school theme is strong throughout, from the lockers, lunch room, theater, study hall, library, and showers, to the creepy basement right out of a child’s nightmare. And there are tons of actors, with some great costumes (bug man!) all of whom are pretty fantastic. I always get a little rush when I finally find Charlie, the janitor. You just know he’s going to pop out somewhere. They’ve added some great new rooms. I love this place so much, I always leave wanting to go through again. And I want some of these props for myself! Creepy larger-than-life dolls…check. People with faces carved like jack-o-lanterns…check. Humongous mutant toys…check. Some of my favorite characters are outside though, while you wait in line. And this is one line I actually like to wait in. The scenery is great and there are plenty of wandering characters to surprise and entertain you. I’m always excited for this one and they didn’t disappoint.
Gayle - This is still one of my all time favorite haunts. Not only is this expertly ran, but the enthusiasm and passion of the owners of this haunt, and the efforts made by the actors is top-notch. The obvious care to the attention of detail in each room is noticed and appreciated, the level of safety for their patrons, the way the history and integrity of the building is upheld, to maintaining the representation of their iconic “mascot”, Charlie is simply awe-inspiring. These guys know how to run a classy haunt. They listen to the feedback from their patrons, and put ideas in motion. This year the haunt was different, better, longer than before. There were new rooms, new (and extended) exhibits, more chainsaws, and an unbridled excitement felt by absolutely everyone involved in making this haunt the nationally recognized place to be for Halloween frights! There are literally scares around every corner, the props are amazing, some over 19 feet tall, the animatronics are freaky and cool, the actors roaming around outside are interactive and engaging which make waiting in line equally entertaining. I love this place! Kudos…and thanks for the scares!!! LOVE IT.
Tammy - The Dent Schoolhouse never disappoints! This year was was top notch! The Dent is a classy haunt all the way through. Spending time with one of the owners prior to entering the haunt was great – learning about his passion for haunts that started as a kid and all of the time, energy and commitment that has gone into this haunt is amazing!! This is my favorite haunt to wait in line. The fall festival area is spooky, fun and entertains you while you wait. My favorite character was the creepy pumpkin head man making his way through the crowd. The addition of the giant pumpkin animatronic is awesome! The old schoolhouse is the perfect location and atmosphere sets the mood for a great scary haunted house. The attention to detail is flawless – every prop is precisely placed and each room has an abundance of props that fit the theme perfectly. Some of my favorite areas through the haunt include: the doll room (super big, super creepy), the talking can monster (shows the fun and creativity of this haunt), the toy room (can’t go wrong with giant creepy toys!), the Chef area (combines scary and funny perfectly) drop down windows with scary actors popping up all over and the gigantic skeleton animatronic is amazing! And it wouldn’t be complete without Charlie somewhere spooky in the house. The lighting throughout the haunt is spot on! The Dent is scary, fun, great characters wandering the grounds. I think it’s the best haunt in Cincinnati! This is one to go check out for sure!
Andy - I always look forward to The Dent school house and this year in my opinion was by far the best I have seen it in years! There is always something going on, always something new. This year there was a lot of new. The giant new props are awesome! I cant even imagine the amount of work and thought it took to get those into the haunt. The attention to detail that the folks at Dent put into this is truly amazing. Listening to Bud tell us how he got started and hearing him talk about how passionate he is about it really shows throughout the haunt . The animatronics throughout the haunt are really wild. The actors all did a great job, they all stayed in character and they were everywhere. Super great time, never disappointed.
Gus - The Dent Schoolhouse is a Cincinnati horror treasure. The atmosphere is creepy, yet festive and there is a buzz in the air. There are plenty of actors out front for some spooky selfies, or to sneak up at unsuspecting patrons too engrossed in their smartphones. This year, instead of exiting Dent and getting in line for the Slaughteryards out back, you are funneled right in. The impact is amazing and feels like Dent is twice as long.You have not time to stop to collect yourself before getting terrorized again. Good stuff. Make sure the Dent Schoolhouse is on your list to visit this season, it is worth every penny.
Todd - Is this the best Dent Schoolhouse we’ve seen yet? If you ask me, the answer is undeniably – YES!
The Dent Schoolhouse remains the champion in maintaining authenticity in all of its scenes. Last year when the basement was remodeled, it looked as if it had been that way for a hundred years. In suit, every prop fits the aged decor throughout; the dust and spider web looks as if not a soul has been inside in decades. Every lighting fixture looks as if it remains from the building’s original construction. This is one of the few haunts that has museum-quality aesthetics. The staging, lighting, sounds and smallest subtleties will suck you into this horrid schoolhouse, masking any signs of the outside world. It’s gorgeous…in haunt terms.
The Dent Schoolhouse succeeds with a high percentage of scares due to excelling at every angle of terror – jump scares, creepiness, grossness, gore; they’re all here. Giant monsters have been added this year which fit PERFECTLY into their areas. There are also new remains of Charlie’s spare-time hobbies in the basement which are very disturbing (and therefore, awesome).
The actors are vigorous and and those set in primary scenes play their role well, adding life to the experience. There’s a fair amount of interaction with the more key characters as well, especially in the kitchen where we were able to partake in some cannibalistic diet (Chef was serving ’00 teenager).
The short of it – The Dent Schoolhouse is a mandatory stop this year. It’s always good, but this year it’s absolutely fantastic!
Queen City Slaughter Yard
Curb Appeal – 3.7/5
Scare Factor – 3.7/5
Actor Enthusiasm – 4.4/5
Creativity – 4.0/5
Overall – 4/5
Bill - The slaughter house, had quite a few scares in it, it just didn’t seem as polished as the schoolhouse. Lots of hanging meat and rats around, and some truly amazing props. The actors did a wonderful job of keeping you on your toes, and getting chased out at the end with chainsaws never fails to scare someone.
Teresa - The slaughter yard is vastly improved over the last time I was there. It really does look a lot like a slaughter house now. I really like how you go straight into it after leaving the schoolhouse. It makes the whole experience seem longer and it’s nice not to have another line. I loved the kids in the vintage Halloween masks in the cells at the beginning. From there it is chock-full of actors with chainsaws and other murderous implements who make you feel like a piece of meat. And they know how to use those chainsaws (and who to use them on). Just ask the teens who ran by us and then had to come back to rescue their friend. Good times.
Gayle - This one is twice the size of last year! So many amazing things to see here. The actors are very interactive, there were far more chainsaws (terrifying), the chicken coop was disturbing in the best way possible, the squeals and screams and chaos every step of the way had my heart jumping! Great work guys! Excellent!!!
Tammy - This section of the haunt has greatly improved. By not having a separate waiting area – you go directly from the schoolhouse into the slaughter house. This gives the feeling of an even longer haunt. This section is now twice as long as it used to be, more actors were inside this area having more interaction with those walking through. Additional props, good costumes/actors and of course chain saws! This section has definitely improved and has made this haunt even better.
Andy - I’m pretty sure that this year was the first time that I went into The Queen City Slaughter house. With the transition from the school house right to the slaughter house, it really adds a lot of length to the haunt. With the two combined it seems really long, which is good. The slaughter house reminds me of a old school haunt. No animatronics and lots of chainsaws!!!! Great time!
Gus - As I mentioned in my Dent comments, this is now part of Dent, no separate lines. This is a most welcome change, but it’s not the only one. The scare factor has been taken up a notch. The rooms are much more detailed and themed and there are a ton more actors. Several times, there were members of other groups that caught up with our group because of chainsaw wielding lunatics chasing them ahead of their group.
Todd - I’ll start by stating the obvious – The Queen City Slaughter Yard lies in the shadows of The Dent Schoolhouse and likely will continue to for the foreseeable future. If you’ve never been to Dent before, you may not even know it exists. It certainly is not the main attraction.
Now for the surprising – it no longer feels like a incomplete side project. The concept for this haunt has slowly improved over the years, but 2016 brings it leaps and bounds ahead in every facet. While the concept isn’t new, the recipe of narrow pathways mixed with hanging sides of beef, pork (and human), with a lot more actors than expected, this haunt finally stands on its own two legs.
Although QCSY (for short), is still mostly a bare-bones structure, its length has easily doubled this year. The walking time is still by far shorter than Dent, but it looks and feels more relevant than ever. Fair warning – after coming out of the schoolhouse which looks like every haunter’s wet dream, QCSL will appear very basic in comparison. The environment is fairly plan and simple – a lot of lumber, hanging lighting, meat hooks, etc. It fits the theme though, which I think is important to keep in mind.
Most of the scares in QCSY are heavily reliant on the actors who are energetic and agile and typically armed with a chainsaw or some other contraption used to extract meat. They do a great job and certainly breathe life into this haunt. The scenery itself, while gory in parts, isn’t going to make many people feel uncomfortable.
QCSL has built a great foundation this year which I think can be injected with even more disgusting contraptions for those looking for more eye candy. The pathways can be narrow at times which could be enhanced to prey upon people’s claustrophobia. Also because of the tight quarters, if the owners ever wanted to try a hands-on haunt again, this would be a fantastic venue for it.
Queen City Slaughter Yard is better than ever…that’s easy to say. It’s just not quite “”there”" yet. However, based on this year’s progress I have no doubt it could become another staple on the Dent grounds.
Attraction Overall Score – 4.4/5