Team Zombillies reviewed this attraction on September 9, 2016.
Final Score: 8.87
For the 2016 season, The 7th Street Haunt brings us two haunts under the same roof: Ft. Harmony’s Revenge and The Experiment! This is a very unique venue that, to our knowledge, is the only one of its kind in the Louisville area that offers two totally different, indoor attractions! In Ft. Harmony’s new twist, dubbed “The Order of the Fly,” you can be “part of the sacrifice and join the town” as you experience the many hand-crafted scenes and effects of this actor-driven environment! In The Experiment, you will travel through the “Nevermore Doll Factory” and “St. Mary’s Hospital” as you take in a diverse assortment of eye-candy and animatronics along your way! Many new characters, scenes and sounds have been added to both attractions at 7th Street this season, along with new twists and turns; if you want to visit one or the other, you can, but we believe the combo ticket to both attractions is the better way to go. Our review group enjoyed several different sections of each haunt and, if we had to choose just one, it would be rather difficult. If you and your group are looking for an eerily-enjoyable evening out, add The 7th Street Haunt to your list… they are all ready for you!
Ft. Harmony’s Revenge: 8.81
The Experiment: 8.93
On an average night there are 100 total crew members at 7th Street Haunt. The two haunts cover 25,000 square feet together, so that’s a lot of haunting space to fill. Both attractions had quite a few actors and actresses in them during our visit, but there were still some empty spaces where it seemed like someone could be. We will note, however, that it was very warm in the building on the night we went through and we were told that the absence of several crew members was due to health concerns (one had to leave by ambulance, we hope they are okay). Look for the actors’ intensity and numbers to increase as the season progresses and the evenings start to get cooler!
Ft. Harmony: 8.91
Molly the Mayor welcomed us with a cheerful and believable performance right off the bat, which was echoed by Lilith, the goat-faced cult member and the witch throughout the rest of the attraction. We must, however, mention the performance of one of their characters, “Azrael” (the cave dweller), who proved to be the most believable character at this venue. His voice was demanding, he was very energetic and his performance was just over-the-top! One second he was down on the ground, in our faces and the next he was high above us warning us, “This town is [his]!” And just when we thought he was gone, he would reappear again! Unfortunately, his exceptional performance was unrivaled by many of the other residents in the town, although many of them were still verbally interactive with our group. Underwear Gary had us sniffing panties as usual (redheads you better look out this year), a freaky-looking creature intimidatingly blocked our path and another bent over backwards and led the way towards the exit of the attraction.
Upon entering Experiment and walking through a few scenes, the overall energy level of the cast had increased and continued to stay rather high until we reached the end. Many of them were frantically looking for things, slamming a newborn fetus against a window, warning us of what the doctor would do to us and referring to dolls, which helped reiterate this attraction’s theme. Overall, the dialogue was demanding and vengeful as some explained to us what they did to others. We ran into an ex-sheriff from Ft. Harmony who was very believable while he explained what “they” did to him and told us how scared he was in a very low tone as if he was truly frightened. We were asked to “play” several times in a row, but they wouldn’t tell us what we were playing when we asked. We could see one mental patient slamming her head against the wall in the distance and, once we entered her room, she quickly jumped on her bed and continued her madness, never skipping a beat (now that’s “DEAD-ication”)!
The costuming at 7th Street continues to get an overhaul each year! We were told that all of the costumes are custom done by one of the haunt’s own, who adds necessary distressing, aging, airbrushing and his own unique touches to each piece, so you shouldn’t see these anywhere else. The makeup crew generally consists of between 6 and 7 talented artists who have started using some new techniques this season, which also added an extra dimension to their makeup this year.
Ft. Harmony: 9.13
In Ft. Harmony the first thing we noticed was the Mayor’s classy dress… but don’t let that fool you! Her true side shows when she turns around and you notice a four-limbed creature protruding from her back! Sharp teeth, colored contacts and razor-sharp nails added a sense of extra realism to the characters wearing them. Masks, when used, seemed to fit the characters using them, but the cloak-wearing cult member with the goat mask was the most memorable to us… although that may have actually been its face…?? A few of the costumes didn’t make as much sense with their surroundings, such as a black leather jacket with a skull face mask but there were many others that stood out to us as being highly unique and superb during our visit! These included the many pages of the dictionary, a belly surprise, “Lilith,” the “Spider Queen” (her mask, particularly), the biting mermaid and “Azrael” who looks like a real, sharp-toothed and -clawed cave dweller from the depths of Hell!
In the Experiment, costumes ranged from elaborate dresses, lab coats, patient gowns and other pieces that matched their respective scenes rather well. We did notice that one of the medical staff wearing a long, eerily-decorated lab coat with a matching face had tall, clean, white tube socks and tennis shoes visible, which seemed a bit odd (given his grungy, bloody scene). In contrast, another costume in a different area blended in so well, we would have sworn it was just a prop! The lady in the lovely, maroon dress complete with striking makeup and veil debatably had the most impressive costume we saw in this attraction. Due to the ‘experiments’ occurring here, the makeup ranged from minimal to grungy with blood and wounds, depending on that particular subject’s level of progression.
Customer Service: 9.45
A sign on the edge of Expo 5’s fenced-in area directed us towards the free, large, graveled parking lot for 7th Street Haunt. Be sure to stop by the ticket booth located near the front corner of the parking lot before making your way to the waiting line. Portable restrooms can be found near the ticket booth so you can reduce the likeliness of losing any bodily fluids inside. A concession trailer was outside and, inside, you can purchase other snacks, drinks, candy and all kinds of Halloween decor and goodies! A professional photo op booth is located between the haunt entrances so you and your family can have some fun there and pick up your photos later for a separate fee. They now offer two casket rides, so don’t miss out on your chance to experience what it’s like to get a thrill ride in a real coffin! A fellow with some quirky magic tricks did come up to us and give us a mini show of some of the things he will be doing at the haunt on busy nights. We did visit the haunt on their first night open and, while there wasn’t much going on outside the haunt during our visit, one of the owners informed us that they would be adding many things as the season continues, such as a large sign by the road, many banners with info, a bridge that allows for more convenient access, burlesque dancing, a stage for live performances & a radio station on most Saturdays, DJ and more! Exceptionally-friendly staff members can be found inside the ticket booth, at the entrance of waiting lines, at the entrance of each haunt and in the concession areas if any questions or concerns are to arise.
As mentioned above, we were informed that many things will be added to the waiting area of the attractions as the season progresses, both inside and out… including upgraded, exterior sound equipment. Similar to last year, the haunt’s hearse, yellow-illuminated sign on the front of the building, skulls, a creature and distant sounds echoing from within let us know we had arrived! Once we were inside the atmosphere quickly changed. The Experiment’s new, towering facade greeted us into the complex and was eerily satisfying to look at, while Ft. Harmony’s facade appeared to be a wood-sided building where the Mayor greeted visitors to her malevolent town. The casket rides received a makeover and you may notice the appropriately-distressed shades accenting the lighting that overhangs the concession area as well. As we waited in line, screams, laughs and other alluring sounds helped in preparing us for our decent into these two very dark worlds!
Special Effects: 8.78
Ft. Harmony: 8.81
Traditionally, 7th Street’s “Ft. Harmony” attraction has tended to be more of an “old-school” attraction with very few of the high-end electrical and/or air-operated props that you may find at other places. Instead, Ft. Harmony has focused on adding several brand-new scenes, increasing their scene detail and upgrading their sound system to create a more realistic and immersive experience than years past. Each of these areas of focus were easily noticed by our review team and each of them made noticeable improvements to the ‘feel’ of the attraction! Some of the new effects include the new ice cave scene, the greenhouse/plant shop, the witch-burning scene and various other scene alterations, along with a “boom stick” and customized audio in each of these areas that intensified as the haunt progressed!
Right off the bat, one of the most noticeable changes to The Experiment was its new entrance; the towering, aged and overgrown facade serves well to greet customers into this crumbling couple of facilities! A new, hidden passageway through a bookcase started us into our tour of the doll factory, where many life-sized (and life-LIKE) dolls were present, along with flowing water, a haunted mirror and an ‘underground’ transition to St. Mary’s hospital. Here, we encountered multiple zombie surprises (some more realistic than others), a voice enhancer, some lively morgue doors, a large, spinning saw blade and ample amounts of blood and gore from all of the “experiments” going on here! You may or may not notice that most of the props in The Experiment are triggered by “step pads,” which helps with the timing of prop-induced scares, but can sometimes be distracting from the realism of the scenes and may not work at all if you don’t happen to step on all of them. Regardless, The Experiment’s scene detail is very well done, although we did come across a few areas that seemed rather spacious and open.
There are two totally different themes to experience at 7th Street, although we were informed that the two facilities in The Experiment are also located within the town of Ft. Harmony. With this collaboration of themes, you may notice some familiar faces from the town as you make your way through The Experiment.
Ft. Harmony: 9.22
Ft. Harmony is one wacky and kooky little town filled with many indescribable beings. We were also informed this year that some new folks have arrived, such as the cult known as “The Order of The Fly.” The Mayor told us they don’t speak of what they (the cult) do, but we had a feeling it couldn’t be good! We were a bit confused on the entire theme throughout the haunt but the owners enlightened us that, come October, there will be a video/documentary that will explain some of the town’s past and what is going on so everyone can understand what’s happening in the haunt. We will add that the stories you will witness have developed from the town’s past and the events leading up to present day, which explains why you’ll see so many new and returning characters. To name a few of the scenes in this town, we made our way through a jail, a flower/plant shop, an ice cave, a carnival, wooded area, a church and more, so it’s no wonder why we were welcomed to “the town that truly dreaded sundown!”
The Experiment contains two facilities that are both owned by Dr. Jenkins: The “Nevermore Doll Factory” and “St. Mary’s Hospital,” which are connected by a secret passageway in the sewer system. We discovered that the Doctor uses the hospital as his cover to conduct brutal experiments and doll transformations on his victims, so you may see some very strange ‘concoctions’ in the works here! The characters and surroundings did a good job at reiterating this theme throughout, constantly referring to one another, the dolls and the Doctor.
Fright Effect: 8.01
Fort Harmony: 7.67
We will start by saying that by no means is Ft. Harmony like any other town you’ve been through before! This town is full of so many indescribable things and abnormal folks that you might find yourself saying, “what the hell?” and then, yep, they did it… they just caught your attention long enough to sneak a surprise in there! The added scene detail made the whole place basically like one big distraction for us and, with the way several of the scenes were set up, it made for some rather effective hiding spots! The Carnival area excelled at this with the Barker showing us his various displays, when an actor would suddenly come out of a very well-concealed hiding spot (we’ll let you figure that one out on your own). Other actors in the rest of the haunt came at us from overhead and from other nooks and crannies that we didn’t expect, so keep your eyes peeled! Scares ranged from gnarling stares, low, threatening dialogue and creepy laughs to other common phobias, a demonic expulsion and more.
The Experiment: 8.34
This attraction cranked up the intensity a few notches in comparison to Ft. Harmony during our visit. The special effects and larger rooms seemed to give the actors a few more distractions, hiding spots, and other things to work with for ultimately delivering their scares. Some of these tactics included multiple VERY life-like dolls, animated zombies, a ‘ghostly’ mirror, banging doors, and enough blood and gore to make you NOT want to be a part of any of the ‘experiments’ going on here! Fright levels ranged, depending on if they were coming from the animatronics themselves, the creepily-stalking actors or their (sometimes) high-intensity displays of aggression. Ultimately, the overall feeling of the haunt left us with the impression that The Experiment’s “fright effect” was notably higher than that of its neighboring counterpart this year due to the intensity of the actors and special effects.
Both attractions at 7th Street utilize a common hallway for their finale. While being adorned with hanging body bags, a large monster and laser lights, we were told that there’s ‘normally’ a chainsaw attacker in this area as well. Although we didn’t see him for ourselves, we were informed that his absence was due to an emergency medical condition. Therefore, we’ve given an N/A for the finale question on our Score Sheet and his absence has not affected the overall score for this category.
Ticketing options at 7th Street Haunt can go one of two ways. You can either purchase admission to one attraction for $20.00 or see BOTH attractions for $28.00. So, if you’re on the fence about going through both haunts, it’s quite a bit cheaper to buy them together. If you present a work, school or military ID, you will receive a $4.00 discount (applies to on-site, single-haunt ticket purchases only). Tour times will vary per group but here’s the results from our visit:
Ft. Harmony = 20 minutes
Experiment = 14 minutes
Total = 34 minutes
We scored this category based on the combo ticket price since that’s the cheapest way to visit both of the haunts at 7th Street. That being said, the total length of 34 minutes with the $28.00 combo price gets a result of 1.21 minutes per dollar (MPD). Due to the slight price increase this year and the total length of both attractions being about the same, this is a slight decrease from last year’s 1.4 MPD and puts 7th Street at just below the 1.5 MPD average (“average” is based on the results of our 2015 season findings at all of the other attractions our Team visited). However, we can still highly recommend visiting 7th Street if you’re in the area, as they’re a very unique attraction to say the least! The 7th Street Haunt was also voted #20 on our nation-wide “Top 31 Voted Must-See Haunts” list for 2016 by their fans!
*At the time of this writing, 7th Street’s website has not been updated, so their ticketing information, dates open, etc. were not accurate on their site. However, we did confirm with the owner that the pricing options in this review are correct.