Valentine’s Day SUCKS & BITES – The Haunted Hotel (KY)

Visit Date: 2/17/24

Visited By: Team Lone Wolf

With Valentine’s Day as its designated holiday, is it any surprise that February can be a popular time for weddings? Everybody needs love – even those who turn into hairy monsters under the light of the full moon, or feed on the blood of humans with a mouth full of fangs. Such is the case of one of the most unlikely couples to ever come to town: that of a werewolf and a vampire. And what better place for two monsters to get hitched than the scariest hotel in Louisville?

Unfortunately, not all of the parties involved seem to agree with the union and a battle has broken out for control of the entire property. No matter who wins, one thing’s for sure: all of the unlucky patrons checking in will lose… and no one is going to live happily ever after.

One of the longest running haunted houses in the city of Louisville, Kentucky, The Haunted Hotel has seen a lot of growth in recent years. Once open only for a select few events outside of the Halloween season, they have since branched out and put on shows for even more special occasions and themes, including Easter, Summer, popular horror icons, and video games. Not only are these fun for returning fans, they also help to introduce the haunt to new customers and keep the Haunted Hotel name fresh in their minds for when the full season comes around. Something I always thought would be awesome was if the Hotel did a show based on Valentine’s Day – imagine my delight when I found out 2024 was the magic year! And where most of the haunts under the Sindicate Haunt Group umbrella were going with vampires for their events, the Haunted Hotel decided to up the ante and throw werewolves into the mix as well… so at the Hotel, Valentine’s Day doesn’t just SUCK – it BITES too! (A Valentine show at one of my favorite haunts? Werewolves?! You know I was there!)

As it goes with all of their special events, ticket prices remained the same: $25 for General Admission, $40 for Fast Pass, and for high rollers, $60 got you straight to the Front of the Line! Parking was a mixed bag; you could either hunt around for a free spot on a nearby street, or fork over some cash to park in one of the lots surrounding the property.

One more thing to know before visiting: Haunted Hotel is a FULL CONTACT haunted house. If you choose to enter, you will be touched at some point. The level of touch ranges from mild to wild… anything from an actor grazing your face, to you being picked up and taken away from your group can happen here! Be prepared!

Leaving my chosen parking lot and crossing the street, the first changes I noticed outside were the dazzling golden lights flashing from one of the haunt’s walls, accompanied by soft, romantic music. Similar music played in the ticketing area, which contained a giant heart decoration and was bathed in red and pink to match the holiday – all lovely touches! Too bad things didn’t stay lovely for long… as I strolled up to purchase my ticket, I noticed a dark, shaggy werewolf lurking nearby. I smiled and waved at him, only to wind up with claws clamped firmly around my neck and a rather forceful escort into the ticket line, where he then set upon the poor young ladies who were already waiting in it. Damn, what a greeting! Heading back out front, I noticed The Strangler– looking dapper in his red coat- sneaking up behind unwitting customers and catching them by their necks (safely, of course). “He just wants a hug!” the guy scanning tickets called out to one frightened guest. Yes, grabbing and choking customers is absolutely the Haunted Hotel’s idea of romance – and I was there for it.

When it was my turn to “check in”, I noticed they’d added quite a bit of Valentine decor throughout the house, though there was so much going on that it was hard to pay much attention to. I definitely spotted the cute teddy bears and fanged mouths on the walls, strings of red lights on the staircase, and some other holiday-appropriate additions. The costumes and makeup were awesome and completely matched the event’s theme: the vampires ranged from elegant to sexy (and bloody) and the werewolves looked vicious! There was at least one super bloody victim character, too. I honestly wish I could comment more on things I saw while going through, but…

… too bad the hotel’s sinister staff and, ah… wedding guests… had other plans! Many bloodthirsty undead and brutal werebeasts had completely overrun the building in their battle for supremacy – with this Lone Wolf caught right in the middle of it all. (And if you think any of those wolves showed a shred of mercy for one of their own, think again!) The moment the front door slid open, I was snatched up by big, scary Grippy and hauled inside to face the vampire Mortimer, who got me checked in and asked if I was there for the bride or the groom? It honestly didn’t matter what my answer was; either way, this wasn’t going to end well. Airily telling my captor he was free to toss me down the elevator shaft (!), Mortimer sent me on my way. Said elevator was not fully functional that night, but I got a big laugh out of the two actors inside when they began singing elevator music. Too funny! I also loved the werewolf working the spark table room. They grabbed me, put me up against the nearest wall, and brandished a weapon in my face while frantically demanding I keep their identity a secret. “If the government finds out I’m a werewolf…!”

The most memorable scene in-house was the final guest room, where a handsomely-dressed wolf made me sit in a chair and watch as he and a beautifully bloody vampire tore into their helpless, screaming victim on the bed. (Was this the bride and groom? I hope so!) It was just me and the actors, and something about that whole scene was really unsettling… a sight that just sticks with you. He then pulled me up from the chair, hauled me over to the bed, and kept commenting on how good I smelled while the two of them drew uncomfortably close. All I could think was that I was about to be next! Going through a haunt alone is not without its dangers.

Honestly, they had a very strong cast in general that night. Quite a few actors, and most of them going crazy… I swear, the further I progressed, the worse it got. Many were unafraid to get physical too, which is what I love to see from this haunt! One young lady in the church scene plunked me in a chair and demanded a (wedding?) gift – and there was hell to pay when I was empty-handed! Upon descending the steps and reaching the outdoor portion of the hotel, I noticed it was almost all wolves down there. A tall one in a flannel shirt pulled me close, sniffed me and growled “Smells like Teen Wolf!” And I received one hell of a send off when their chainsaw maniac came storming around the exit and handed me off to my werewolf “friend” from earlier. He promptly tossed me over his shoulder, and with a bark of “She’s mine!” he took me all the way down the sidewalk! I loved it so much!

I wanted to throw in one extra little shout for the darkly beautiful Tempest, the business’ head maid, who appeared to have met the fangs of the vamps that had taken up residence there. She tormented me outside, gave me a firm smack with her paddle for not answering quickly enough at the front desk, then proceeded to stalk me all over the house! Such a fun actor.

Whew, this got a bit longer than I’d planned – but Valentine’s Day SUCKS & BITES was a blast, and a very strong first Valentine event for The Haunted Hotel. (I had a feeling I was in for a treat when the guy running the parking lot said he’d had five groups come up and tell him how much they loved it. Awesome!) I would love to see them go heavier on the re-theming next year, but the costumes and makeup were strong, their cast was even stronger, aaand… they had werewolves. What’s not to love?! If you missed your wedding invite, I recommend following their socials to find out when this hotel of horrors will next have vacancies. (March or April is looking good… I hear that’s when Peter ROTTENTAIL shows up looking for REVENGE on the city of Louisville!)

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