Clown Invasion at Necropolis Underground Haunted Attraction

Date of Visit: 6/8/24

Visited By: Team Lone Wolf

As we creep through the shadows of an underground city, my friends and I are all too familiar with the sights we encounter. They’re the same as those seen on our previous visits: a house infested with nightmares, a cemetery consumed by ruin, an old bed and breakfast, and a hospital hiding some dark secrets. (You could say we come here often. I know, we aren’t too smart.) Despite the familiarity, there have definitely been some… changes. From somewhere unseen, a sharp cackle pierces the darkness. In the distance, we can hear music akin to what would play at a circus. Streamers stretch above our heads and colorful balloons scatter around our feet. These festive decorations feel strangely out of place in such a seedy location; a hint to new horrors that have arrived – if only for this night.

Clowns! It seems like everyone’s got an opinion on ’em in the haunt industry… in some places they are both loved and demanded by the public; in others, they’re considered overused and reviled. Indianapolis’ Necropolis Underground, one of the largest and oldest haunts in the city, is certainly no stranger to them. Although clowns haven’t been much of a thing there for years, it would seem a takeover is imminent. The grungy, run down atmosphere of the haunt has suddenly turned considerably brighter. Fun, upbeat music can be heard anywhere you go. Yes, a true carnival of carnage is coming to the City of the Dead… June is here and has brought with her the Clown Invasion!

Necropolis is among the many haunts who enjoy reopening throughout the year for various events. Sometimes they match popular holidays and seasons; other times, they go with something completely different. For 2024, the haunt has scrapped their usual Halfway to Halloween show to try something new – and so the clowns have made their chaotic crash landing in this spooky underworld! As always for these events, ticket prices are the same as those offered during the Halloween season: $35 for General Admission, $50 for Fast Pass, and $75 takes you straight to the Front of the Line. Parking is free on site, with several spaces out front and many more around the complex the Underground calls home.

(Middle pic is me – I got my own clown makeover for this event! MUA: Holly Crisler)

The clown craziness began the moment my group made our way downstairs. Balloons and ribbons were on display in the lobby. A little clown was perched on a trapeze beside the ticket counter. The big photo op of Necro’s monstrous mascot got a makeover in the form of a squishy red nose and… googly eyes? We thought that was funny. When we got our tickets and headed into the queue, we noticed similar decor, with the addition of string lights and more balloons laying everywhere wearing both happy and horrified faces!

If you’ve never been here before, make an effort to arrive early so you can get through security, buy tickets, and secure your place in line. Each night, Necropolis gets the crowd fired up with a preshow featuring many members of their creepy cast. A couple of clowns were already roaming when we got there, but we found ourselves overrun by a whole crew of them once the opening hour hit! Right away, the Ice Cream Man went sliding across the ground before our eyes. My attempt to record got me a face full of blue-haired Psycho, who not only seemed to be wearing someone else’s face (!) but was also carrying another clown’s severed head! We were happy to see Twitchy visiting from popular Ohio haunt Face Your Fears – and donning a ridiculous number of glow bands. One clown in a fancy coat and top hat was making balloon dogs and swords for lucky guests. I got a chuckle out of the black and white clown staggering about and taking swigs from his bottle of “Funny Juice” while he played a tiny guitar for the line. Perhaps it was making him a little too funny.

With that said, where there are clowns… expect clownery. The entire crowd got showered with confetti not long into the show. Actors set off poppers with more confetti and allowed our group to play with a few. And because I’m stupid and like to run my mouth on social media- knowing the actors at these things isn’t always a positive- I received a heavy hosing down of clown sploo… excuse me, Silly String. Apologies to my poor friends; at least one ended up wearing some of it herself. (Who was the culprit, you ask? I won’t mention any n(P)a(SY)me(CHO)s.)

The Dead City that is Necropolis has four attractions, each with their own story: Nightmare House, Cemetery of the Damned, Dead and Breakfast, and The Bunker. All of them had some amount of carnival decor similar to the exterior portions of the complex. (Missed opportunity: the werewolf in Nightmare needed a clown nose. Or at least a rainbow poofy wig.) Most weren’t super heavy on the extra stuff- they still gotta clean it all up afterward- but it was enough that any customer could tell what kind of event they were walking through.

My personal favorite addition was the ball pit they created in the transition point from the hotel to the hospital. Those actors looked like they were having a blast! Such a creative idea.

necropolis underground ball pit clown invasion

In addition to the haunt itself looking great, so did the various clowns that had overrun the Underground. Almost everyone was true to the theme and we noticed few characters who weren’t clowns or weren’t related to the circus in some way. We saw clowns with deformed, monstrous faces. Clowns wearing other people’s faces. Black and white mimes. Lady clowns wearing dresses and tutus. Clowns in jumpsuits and special clown suits. Some wore latex or silicone masks, while others had makeup, and I remember seeing at least one pair of literal clown shoes! If I had to pick, the best makeup job was on the roller-skating clown who roamed the building. She had what looked like sprinkles under her eyes – cute! And I thought the most creative use of masks came from the character roaming the halls of the bed and breakfast, who had happy and sad drama masks on sticks and switched between the two at will.

We can’t be sure of where they came from, but there was no question that a complete carnival of crazies had taken over this haunt complex! It’s honestly hard to name many who stood out because they were all going bonkers in the way only clowns can. I’m not 100% sure they were a clown, but whoever was trying to go stabby stabby on us with a knife through the wall in Nightmare House was certainly scary! Geez! Walking into the kitchen, we caught a hangry clown with their head stuck in the fridge – they quickly slammed it shut and started bellowing over a lack of food! We were quick to point out the (nasty) corpse on the table that they could eat… before they decided we were the food. Eerie Erich, looking deviously dignified in his ringmaster outfit, gave us a playfully ominous greeting at the gates to the Cemetery of the Damned. In there, Noxious was among the more enjoyable characters we met; they had green hair and spoke with one of the best clown voices we heard all night. I personally got a laugh out of the banter between another clown further in the house and a member of our group. He invited her to play and got this justified response: “Define ‘play’… if you mean playing with my innards, I’ll have to pass!”

Making our way out of the Cemetery to the Dead and Breakfast, we noticed our concierge was quite witty. Upon informing them we wanted a room without any scary clowns in it, they turned to the posse following us and barked, “You heard them! F**k off, clown!” We encountered more guest actors here, including HotWire and Fluffy from Louisville’s Haunted Hotel… paddling might’ve ensued. Checking out of the bed and breakfast and moving on to The Bunker, we dodged even more horrifying harlequins, including one who wanted to play a twisted game of Whack-A-Mole in the Surgery room and a vicious clown that accosted us with a knife and wanted to put a smile on our faces! No thanks!

Clown Tunnel at Necropolis Underground haunted attraction

So we were an extra lucky group that night. A trio of clowns we took to calling “The Entourage”- Psycho, Twitchy, and a tall, long-haired clown whose name eludes me- chose to stalk us the whole way through the city. Like, the entire thing from beginning to end, creeping on and trying to scare us around every turn. Although we didn’t always appreciate their “company”, they definitely made our night a memorable one! Thanks for the extra scary love, guys.

Escaping the clutches of the clowns delivered us to a very special place: the Dead City Festival! This is the Underground’s spacious indoor midway, where groups can grab a drink, play escape rooms, throw axes, and participate in other fun activities. We noticed the haunt has moved their merch sales to a separate booth – conveniently placed closer to the exit to make it more noticeable to customers. Nice!

In our experience, Necropolis Underground never disappoints with any show. But true to its name, the Clown Invasion was a barrel of laughs (and shrieks) from start to finish! The shenanigans were nonstop while waiting in line. We saw a wide variety of creative characters; most of them clown or circus-related and a few unique ones. Decorations were everywhere and they never allowed us to forget we were experiencing a clown haunt. They had plenty of actors to cover every attraction, along with several roamers, and everyone seemed to be having as good of a time as we were! I’m really glad Necropolis took a chance on this new event – they killed it, and I hope it will make a return in the near future.

Miss your opportunity to clown around? The Underground has one last event planned before their gates close in preparation for haunt season: Slaughter in the Summer on July 6. Make sure you check it out for one summer vacay you won’t forget… or survive… anytime soon!

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