Blind Date From Hell – Malice Manor

Visit Date: 2/17/24

Visited By: Team Lone Wolf

It’s February, and that means romance is in the air! Tell us – what are your plans? Got a special someone to spend time with, or have you found yourself single this time of year? Regardless of the camp you’re in, a certain haunted house in Indiana has got a little something different in store for you. The head of the household, Lord Rancor, has opened the doors to his mansion- sometimes ominously referred to as Malice Manor– and turned down the lights. He cordially invites all daring couples to go on a Blind Date From Hell to celebrate Valentine’s Day, the holiday of love. Ah, but don’t worry if you’re without a date. That’s actually ideal for the maniacal staff and creatures who call the Manor home… you could say they’re all hungry for love.

Blind Date From Hell is one of three special events put on outside of the Halloween season by Malice Manor, a haunted house that has operated in Clarksville, Indiana since 2019. It’s a blackout show; if you aren’t familiar with this term, it means the haunt either dims their lights or cuts them almost completely out, giving both new and seasoned visitors a more challenging and potentially scarier experience. Ticket prices for these events remain the same as the normal season: $25 for General Admission and $40 for the speedier Fast Pass. Looking for a parking spot? There’s a few right in front of the building, or you can park in a lot nearby and take a short walk over.

One more thing to know before you go: Malice Manor is a LIGHT CONTACT haunted house. No one will do anything too wild, i.e. a full grab or buzzing you with a chainsaw. But a gentle grasp of a shoulder or limb, or grazing your face and hair aren’t out of the question. There’s also a possibility of getting wet; however, because it was rather frosty outside and the house wasn’t exactly warm, no water effects were utilized the night I went.

Walking through the glass doors, I immediately found myself facing a towering skeleton offering his heart to all who entered. Aww, how cute! The lobby’s decor left no doubt that this was a Valentine’s Day-themed event, as evidenced by the cute inflatable dinosaur and big pink L O V E letters to the left. A red glowing heart archway provided not only a grand entrance to the queue, but also an awesome photo op for customers. The heart headbands perched on the heads of the gargoyles were an amusing touch, and more glittering hearts were stacked behind the burning torches. Progressing into the queue next door, I noticed red and pink lighting over the mansion’s grounds, LEDs strung up in holiday-appropriate colors, and more inflatables above the house entrance.

Due to the reduced visibility inside, not much by way of holiday decor was added in the actual haunt. It wasn’t pitch black in the house, but still quite dim and it was nice to have a light source provided. In this case, said light source was the single light-up rose given to each party to help them with the more difficult spots. (Since I was grouped with two nice young ladies, we scored two roses! Lucky us!) A shout out is in order for Malice regarding their choice of light – it’s unique to them. No other haunt in this area does the roses! As this wasn’t my first rodeo with BDFH, and it may not be yours either, I also want to note that they improved the roses they use this year. Instead of the usual silk flowers, we were given sturdier red plastic ones that changed colors while lit. Nice! Another Valentine-themed feature included in this show is the option to purchase a wedding package… I hear the Lord of the Manor is an ordained minister, and spooky-minded couples looking to tie the knot can absolutely do so here. (Trust me, it’ll be an unforgettable night for you and your “boo” – in more ways than one.)

Costuming is always interesting during Blind Date From Hell. For the last few years- 2024 included- most of the actors have worn black cloaks and masks that kind of resemble characters from The Purge movies. I finally thought to ask about them and it turns out there’s a reason for it… that I won’t spoil, but maybe you can figure it out. With that said, there were at least a couple of variations. I loved the cigarette-puffing Lady Cupid who geeted us at the start, as well as one… ah… “special” character (hint: see photos).

As far as victimizing the hapless groups who chose to visit his mansion, it wasn’t a fruitful night for poor Lord Rancor. You could say many of the spirits who inhabit it were feeling peaceful and we were not harassed as much. I was personally warned by the owner prior to going in that it was a “skeleton crew” and we did notice that. Thankfully, this isn’t a common issue with Malice Manor and they are usually fully staffed. I will say every actor we encountered seemed enthusiastic to entertain and scare us as we went through. Another shout out is in order for our Lady Cupid for one fantastic intro scene! They didn’t get the scare, but the actor in the living room immediately following that came at the girls behind me pretty hard.

I received one actor scare, and that went to the cloaked figure with the longer hair who was lurking around the tomb with the skeletons and the underground witch lair. They noticed I was distracted and reached through the mesh to touch my shoulder, prompting an “Oh sh*t!” Then the same actor circled around and went after us in the underground room – I may have gotten marked in the process. And we all seemed to love the actor working the finale, who fooled us into going the wrong way… we wound up “trapped” in a small cave with him. He was so cute though – he finally had some friends to hang out with! We were promised joyful romps through the flower fields and– oh, who am I kidding? We were gonna rot in that cave and all of us knew it. Thankfully, we managed to get out of there.

One last thing: don’t forget to browse the merch counter before you leave! The house exits into that room and you can purchase your souvenir photo, all kinds of apparel, wristbands, and many other goodies to bring home.

Going on a Blind Date From Hell with the monsters of Malice Manor is always a treat, and I live close enough to stop by every Valentine season. If you missed out on this fantastic date night opportunity, fear not! The Manor will reopen in a few months for Summer SLAYcation, so Lord Rancor will be waiting to welcome you again soon.

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