Anderson Hotel Haunted House – Full Review

Anderson Hotel Haunted House is a Haunted Attraction located in Lawrenceburg, KY.

118 South Main Street, Lawrenceburg, KY 40342
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Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, “Old-School” (Low Tech), You will NOT be touched, Movie Characters, Original Characters, Indoor Waiting Line, All-Indoor Attraction

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This attraction was reviewed on October 25, 2019 by Team Zombillies.

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Final Score: 8.43

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The Anderson Hotel Haunted House is a 2nd year, all-indoor attraction for 2019 that’s located in the heart of downtown Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. What was once operated as an actual hospitality business (the Lloyd Hotel) is now a very unique haunt that cleverly blends the worlds of the paranormal with that of the classic scare attractions that we all know and love.

As we talked to Troy, one of the Hotel’s owners (who is actually the Mayor of Lawrenceburg!), he informed us that 13 deaths have been recorded in the building since its construction’ and you know what happens in buildings with deaths, right? They’re usually haunted! That said, a lot of paranormal activity has been recorded at the Hotel, including multiple investigators that have been bitten on the property! When asked, Troy did confirm that, despite his prior 31 years of service as the local Sheriff, he’d seen some things in the Hotel that were pretty difficult to explain.

Now, as guests tour the Anderson Hotel, they begin by venturing through a newly-opened and less-occupied portion of the former hotel as the ‘bad side.’ This is the paranormal side where you’re sure to see some pretty strange apparitions. A few placards indicate some of the various incidents reported in each room, and the small lantern that’s used as the only source of light during the investigation’ may just prove to be less than trustworthy. Next, you’ll enter the 2nd (longer) portion of the experience, which is where the actual haunt resides and the true horrors within the Hotel are revealed’

‘Your room is ready”

Cast: 8.5

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The Anderson Hotel utilizes about 40 volunteer cast and crew members on any given night, and most of the voids in the 2nd half of the haunt were filled pretty well. As mentioned, the first part of the haunt – the ‘bad side’ – is left intentionally vacant’ save for a couple of stray apparitions that you ‘may’ cross paths with. To say that we let our guards down here would be a bit of an understatement. Although our interactions in this first section were relatively short (compared to the 2nd half), Giggles the clown certainly gave us an eye-opening intro to the crew’s familiarity with the scenes and the energy levels we could expect to see during the 2nd half.

Speaking of the 2nd half, the intensity that we saw here absolutely rivaled (if not exceeded) that of any other haunt we’ve visited to date! When we’re going through haunts, we do our best to look around and take in all of the details, but that luxury was not afforded to us. Nearly everyone was in our faces, shouting their demanding dialogues, and otherwise capturing our attention with such authority that we left wondering, ‘What the hell just happened in there!?’

One of the actors told us he likes to play with his food, and then asked us if we wanted to play. Of course, we had to ask, ‘What are we playing?’ His response of, ‘Get in the closet and I’ll tell you,’ got some pretty wild glares from us, for sure! The couple in the bedroom with the fetus fatality were exceptionally believable, and their reenactment of the suicides that had actually taken place in that room was quite unnerving. The dynamic duo that excitedly proclaimed the arrival of ‘fresh meat,’ the voodooist, the priest, Pennywise and Georgie, and the Joker-looking guy that wanted to throw a Christmas party delivered stand-out performances as well. The latter met us again at the end, after narrowly escaping a sinister ‘Satan Claus’ catastrophe, and asked if he could get a ride outta there. When we told him to come with us, he hesitated because he hadn’t been outside in years, but then said he’d be out in 5 minutes right behind us. We’re still waiting’

Creative dialogue wasn’t their strongest suit, but creating conniving surprises and creepily getting into our personal space was! Some of the denizens claimed the spirits of the Hotel were talking to them, others begged for help, Pennywise gave us a tormenting task, and the voodooist had an interesting surprise for us!

Costuming: 8.48

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The costumes at Anderson Hotel were just as ghoulish as the characters wearing them. A mixture of masks and makeup were used throughout. We noticed some really good masks that varied in detail all the way down to the plain, white, emotionless Slenderman mask. Did we mention that he (Slenderman) was also about 7 feet tall!?

Makeup also varied greatly with some very elaborate designs to a minimal – yet very realistic – woman that appeared to have just been struggling through giving birth and weeping over the loss of her child. Pennywise, however, was the undisputed best-looking makeup and costume of the tour! With colored contacts, the full (new-style) costume, and vicious-looking teeth across his face, we’d by lying if we didn’t say a bit of panic sank in as we tried to escape his grasp. The Pope-like priest, Freddy and Satan Claus were a few close runner-ups.

Customer Service: 8.93

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The Anderson Hotel Haunted House is pretty easy to find, as it’s located right on Main Street and our GPS took us right there. Free parking was available in a nearby lot across the road, and additional spots are typically available on the street as well. However, there was a local event taking place on the night of our visit, so Main Street was blocked off, which forced us to use the parking lot across the street. This was hardly an inconvenience, and the Hotel’s staff were gracious enough to provide us with easy directions before our arrival.

Once we got to the front door of the waiting area (next to the Hotel’s haunt entrance), ‘Anderson Hotel’ signs and banners confirmed we had arrived and friendly staff members welcomed and directed us to where we needed to go. The waiting area is completely indoors. Everyone that we spoke with here was as friendly as they come and they were happy to answer any questions we had. They are basically a big family, some even by blood, and they clearly enjoy putting on this event!

Navigating the attractions was easy and staff members are in place to help wherever the possibility of confusion could arise. There was a step down in a darker area inside, so do be mindful of where you’re walking. We also had to traverse two sets of steps and crawl at one point. The steps were lit well. Staff did guide us with the crawling to ensure we had a safe transition from the bad side.

Once there, green arrows were placed on the floor that marked where we needed to go which was a good thing as we totally would have gotten lost in there.

We really couldn’t find a whole lot of information online about the attraction, but the most pertinent details for visiting (prices, hours, and ticket pricing) was easy to find on their website.

Atmosphere: 7.3

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Again, the Anderson Hotel is located in the middle of a historic part of town on Main Street with several adjacent buildings. Though, once we laid eyes on the beautiful, multi-story brick building with a large, green, vertical ‘Hotel’ sign on the front, we knew we were in for a treat! We couldn’t get in there fast enough’

In the queue line, there were many articles and information from the original hotel to behold. For those that love haunted history, they have the hotel’s most recent certificate of occupancy that was given to them the same year they were shut down (1978), and it’s framed and hanging behind the ticket counter. You can also see it in one of the pictures below. They also had real, old room keys on display and some original check-in cards among other pieces of history. Also behind the haunt’s ticket booth was their ‘quitter’ wall, showcasing a quantitative display of all the souls that just weren’t brave enough to finish their tour. Although we didn’t hear it, they informed us that every time someone quits, they let off the sound from the Hunger Games’ indicating that yet another poor soul didn’t make it.

Next to the queue line was a large screen with a projection displaying haunt information and rules. There was also loud rock music playing in the waiting area to keep the crowd entertained.

Special Effects: 8.43

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This is an old-school, actor-driven haunt with some authentic and unique special effects sprinkled in. First of all, you’re inside a historic and (at least formerly-) abandoned hotel. They even informed us that they have the actual ‘suicide bed’ mattress encased in plastic, and it’s still in use in one of their scenes! When you get to the room revolving around a suicide, you can let that little bit of info sink in’

On the ‘bad side,’ we were equipped with a single lantern to light the way through the paranormal happening area of the hotel. That’s not creepy at all’ right!? As we made our way through, loud and demanding sounds messed with our senses. What was that? Did you hear that too!? On this side, a lot of features of the actual hotel are still in place, and they definitely give off some creepy vibes! We walked through legit, old hotel rooms complete with mattresses, furniture, closets, and kitchenettes. Although it’s hard to get a good look at everything with the small lantern, what we did see was as authentic as it gets’ and the lantern itself has some inherent surprises of its own.

Also, if you pay attention as you make your way through, they have marker boards throughout the rooms with information on some of the 13 deaths that took place inside the hotel. Guests are technically free to take as much time as they like in the bad side, but the haunt does ask that folks keep a respectable pace when going through.

On the other side, the sounds continued to intensify and, at times, they totally took away our sense of hearing. There were points where it was difficult for us to get a good look at everything around us, simply due to the stars of the show: the actors. But, we still managed to see a variety of decor and abnormal parts of scenery, such as walking through a coffin door. A mirror hallway left us searching for our next attacker, a variety of dolls stared at us, a train nearly ran us over, there were body bags, effective strobes and fog, a TV, a very bloody baby, an upside down cross, a giant dollhouse, and more!

Theme: N/A

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Although they embraced some areas of the hotel, and it does have one grueling past, the Anderson Hotel offers more of a larger variety of phobias and characters to get embedded within everyone’s skin’ you know, the stuff that causes goosebumps! We went from typical rooms of a hotel to a Christmas party, and a voodoo area to seeing several iconic characters including Slenderman and Freddy Kreuger. You just never know what’s going to be haunting your nightmares at this hotel!

Scare Factor: 8.74

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So we’re just going to be up front here. We didn’t know what to expect at all, except for the haunt is recommended for ages 13 and up (as seen on their Facebook page). They had some very unique scares inside and there were definitely some more-intense, ‘oh shit’ moments! We don’t want to ruin all the surprises, but trust us when we say they had some tricks up their sleeves – or right in front of us and we just didn’t know it.

Although this was our fault for assuming, we ASSUMED the ‘bad side’ would only consist of ghosts, like the paranormal ones. AAAAA! Wrong! We mean, those might have been ghosts, but they were more scary than any ‘spirits’ we think we’ve come across (*knock on wood*). We don’t need or want something following us home to prove us wrong by any means. Remember that single light source we were telling you about? Well, it goes ‘blinky blinky’ at some pretty inopportune times, we can tell ya that. Well, it was more like an ‘Onnnnnnn, OFF! Onnnnnnn, OFF!’ So yes, at times it was pitch black in there, and it was just us to fend for ourselves against who knows what in the darkness. You’re mind will play tricks on you and, as noted above, the sounds only make it worse.

On the other side, we faced some gore, irate and intimidating inhabitants, sudden loud noises, and multiple weapons that may or may not run on gasoline. Okay, some of them do, but some of them didn’t either, such as multiple-sized baseball bats. We also came across some common phobias including bugs and tight spaces and’ the hiding spots. Oh, the hiding spots! Good luck trying to pick them off before they get you! We did not succeed at that.

At times, due to room design, we would enter and not immediately know how to get out. A little bit of panic set in on several of these occasions, and the actors took full advantage of it! We can’t stress enough that these maniacs will get in your space. It’s not yours when you enter, anymore; it’s theirs. There’s also a section where you must complete a task to get through a door. While we were working on said task, two characters stalked and taunted us (Pennywise and Georgie). Needless to say, this didn’t make the task any easier! We were informed that the hotel staff had to make this puzzle more simple because so many people were getting freaked out and they couldn’t complete it at all.

We would also like to note that, right before it was our turn, the staff had to handle a group in front of us that was ‘laying on the floor.’ They had gotten so scared that they all fell to the floor and apparently weren’t getting back up. We’ll leave you with that’

Entertainment & Value: 8.36

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General admission tickets to experience this lesser-known hidden gem of a haunt are priced at $15.00 per stay or $30.00 for fast pass admission. It took our group approximately 10.5 minutes to experience both the good and bad sides of the 8,000 sq. ft. Anderson Hotel. Although your tour time may vary, that brings the MPD (minutes of entertainment received per dollar spent) to 0.7. Although this is below the average of 1.0 that we see most often, our journey was nearly devoid of dead space! When purchasing a ticket, you’re also supporting multiple local charities as the haunt gives back to the community each year. Also be sure to check their Facebook page for information on possible coupons at local businesses.

There was quite a bit of information lining the walls in the queue area to read up on while waiting. We do recommend reading as much info as possible, as it can help make the haunt even creepier! The Hotel does have a gruesome past, and this only makes the haunt more realistic, so take it all in! Although we didn’t see any queue actors, we did notice a large screen and projection that displayed additional haunt information for guests to watch. Loud rock music filled the waiting area as well which helped in passing the wait.

This was our first visit to the Anderson Hotel Haunted House, and we sure hope it won’t be our last! This is a truly unique and authentic show. There were plenty of thrills, chills, scares, and old-school surprises within. With such a DEADicated crew and energetic actors, we can’t wait to see where future seasons take them. This was quite an impressive walkthrough for being year two! As soon as we exited, we were ready to go through again.

We’re pretty sure that, once you attend, you will never really check out; they say the Hotel will mentally remain with you’ forever!

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Past Awards

2019 Awards

Scariest Clown - Pennywise (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Best Use of Blood (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Most Authentic Location (Given by: Team Zombillies)

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