Love is Blind at The Thirteenth Hour Haunted Attraction

Date of Visit: 2/10/24

Visited By: Team Lone Wolf & Team Zombillies

Weddings – what a lovely occasion! And one to be expected during the month of February: the season of romance. You can almost hear those wedding bells ringing at Cartocker Expeditions, the fabled time travel business tucked deep within the woods. They’ve cordially invited visitors to roll back through time and witness the union of Heinrich Chapel and his wife-to-be, Agatha. But is this really the joyous occasion one would assume? What are Heinrich’s true intentions for his beloved bride…?

Whatever the case, there’s only one way to find out. Allow Lady Cartocker and her staff to send you back to the time of The Thirteenth Hour, one of the most high-tech and story driven haunted attractions in the city of Indianapolis… where you’ll truly find out if, as they claim, Love is Blind.

Previously open only during the Halloween season, The Thirteenth Hour officially entered the ring of “off season” haunt events in 2023 with Love is Blind, a Valentine-themed blackout show where the lights were dimmed, the characters and scenes got a fresh look, and… for those brave enough to explore it… a new chapter of the story would unfold. The event was enough of a success for it to make a return in 2024 – with new scenes and scares! Tickets were sold online only, with ticket prices depending on the option chosen. And there was a ticket option for just about everyone, whether you were going in a group, with your partner, or all by yourself. My partner for this adventure was Alicia, a newly inducted member of Team Zombillies, and we went with General Admission tickets. Mine included a flute of champagne to toast the “happy” couple, which ran $41.99 with fees. Parking was free and they had quite a bit of it on site.

Carefully making our way through the looming gates and down the silent wooded trail, just reaching our destination was spooky in itself! Upon stepping out from the trees, we were soon faced with a tent full of pulsing lights and upbeat music… along with the immense clock facade that made up the entrance to the Cartocker facility. While I’m not going to spoil the whole opening sequence that takes place once you step inside, the queue was impressively immersive and had a good amount of Valentine’s flair – including the Love is Blind event name displayed on the screen behind the facility’s front desk.

The scenery in the Cartocker Expeditions waiting room was seriously impressive. As we hung out among the stalls, I noticed the lighting was appropriate hues of red and pink to match the holiday. Decor was everywhere: hearts, shiny garlands, and other neat Valentine stuff. After the Lady herself sent us through the portal and into the past, the heavy use of Valentine scenery continued through the two attractions open for this year’s event: Widow’s Walk Cemetery and Cathedral of Souls. (Mine No. 13, the third haunt, was closed. Renovations taking place, I’m sure!) Overhauling a haunt to match a holiday theme can have mixed results; some don’t feel a need to add much, while others almost turn it into a whole new attraction. In this case, I loved what I saw and I think Alicia did too.

Another nice touch that made a comeback for 2024: the option to imbibe some liquid courage before the show. Beer, canned mixed drinks, and champagne were all available at a cash bar for customers to enjoy while they waited. I’m not sure what champagne they use, but it sure is good!

In addition to being a tribute to Valentine’s Day, it’s important to remember that Love is Blind is a blackout event. If you’ve never been through this type of show at a haunt, it means that most or all of the lights will be dimmed or completely cut off, making the walkthrough more challenging and, for many people, scarier. Let’s just say we ended up needing the candle the Cathedral’s Archbishop handed to our reluctant group leader later on…

Something that remains consistent with The Thirteenth Hour, no matter what time of year they’re open, is their cast. Not only do they have several people working each time I’m there, but they also put on a strong performance and seem to love what they do! And the improv I’ve witnessed is awesome – their actors are always clever and quick in their interactions with customers, and often witty to boot. The… doctor? Staff member?… in the lab coat who got us boarded on the elevator was nothing short of hilarious, as was the Archbishop, who always seems to find someone to pick on in every group! The two beautiful ladies who hung out with us in the waiting room were a pleasure to speak with and made us feel welcome. We got a giggle out the feisty- and kind of flirtatious- nun just before the classroom, and she might’ve had a few things to say to Alicia. Ha! During our adventure, we also encountered the cutest Valentine gnome (yes, I’m serious), blowing us kisses and providing a bit of comic relief amidst the haunt’s dark, gloomy vibe. (This is something Thirteenth Hour has on everyone else who does Valentine’s: no other haunt has a gnome!) With that said, not everyone we met was cute and funny… there was still a spooky story to be told here, and let’s just say poor Agatha was more than aware of the nasty fate that awaited her. Not all love stories have a happy ending.

Although the Mine being closed was a small bummer, the actors working in the shack with the jack o’lanterns were a blast to interact with before we cut through the woods and headed back out front. The scarecrow in particular was fascinated by my shiny, shaggy black “wolf” coat and wanted to know where I got it. Sadly, Internet wasn’t a thing in their time period. I’ll have to bring them one on my next time-traveling adventure.

I’ve always enjoyed visiting The Thirteenth Hour for any occasion, but seeing a first timer experience it was even better. Alicia had never been to this haunt before and she seemed pretty impressed by the work put into their production – she said she would like to return for haunt season. We were told the show did better crowd-wise this year, so it is my hope they will continue to bring it back for years to come.

Until they announce otherwise, Love is Blind is the only off season event The Thirteenth Hour puts on… so if you missed out on the wedding, you might have to wait until September or October to see how the rest of this story unfolds. But we promise it’s worth the wait – and rest assured, Cartocker Expeditions will have quite the adventure waiting for you when you get there.

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