The American Horrorplex – Full Review

The American Horrorplex is a Haunted Attraction located in Louisville, KY.

2012 Northwestern Pkwy, Louisville, KY 40203
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Haunt Type(s):

Haunted House


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Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Handicap Accessible, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, “Old-School” (Low Tech), You may be touched, You will NOT be touched, Original Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, All-Indoor Attraction

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This attraction was reviewed on October 18, 2019 by Team Zombillies.

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Final Score: 8.27

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The creative minds of the late 7th Street Haunt (RIP) and Asylum Haunted Scream Park have joined forces to create an all-new Halloween haunted attraction for Louisville, Kentucky, and it’s called the American Horrorplex! Now, you can ‘experience Derby City’s home grown terror’ as a traditional walkthrough, or take it to the extreme with their ‘Invasive Surgery’ tour. (We tried both’)

This review is based on the regular show, and although the Invasive Surgery tour is full contact, that doesn’t mean we didn’t get our fair share of frights and interaction within the regular haunt. In fact, we’d say the amount of energy we got was nearly equal between both shows, but the scares came in dramatically different formats.

Join us as we review our very first journey of survival through the remnants of ‘Bracken Hart Institute’

Cast: 8.73

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When fully staffed, guests can expect to encounter over 40 different actors and possibly additional volunteers on any given night. There were only a couple of spots where we didn’t see any actors, but those spots were short lived; these guys were on us like ghosts to an Ouija board! What an energetic crew! We were happy to see some familiar faces (veteran actors from their previous haunt) as well as some newbies trying their hands at horrifying the masses.

With this being a highly actor-driven haunt, we found ourselves progressing a scene or two at a time before being stopped and “experimented” on by the cast. A doctor demanding our teeth, a slew of psychos, neurotic nurses, an excitable executioner (Officer Daniels), and Dr. Bracken himself with his assistant, Hans, all had their ways with us’ or was it just their spirits?

Some of our interactions included taking medicine, evading maniacal patients and doctors, taking part in a cult-like uprising, shocking the sin out of a guy that didn’t want to die, and we got a bit too close to a fresh batch of “poo stew!” With the combination of great vocals (including a few with decent German accents), guttural growls, climbing on the walls, and overall energetic performances, we were wide-eyed and watching our backs trying to absorb everything that was happening’ an impressive feat for a 1st-year haunt with quite a few noobs!

Dialogue was an interesting part of the haunt as well. While most gave us their own appropriate fright phrases, our encounter with Dr. Bracken in his office was debatably the most profound’ which we didn’t fully understand until later, after we “connected the dots” with the help of the haunt’s management (more on this later). On other notes, we became aware of one patient’s butthole-invading ant problem, another’s poo-recycling practices, the need to hang ourselves from the rafters, and how rude it is to walk in on somebody’s dining room without being invited.

Meanwhile, out in the queue area, these actors we’re a bit less chatty’ at least in the “normal” sense. Calm, slow staredowns turned into hair-raising calls for the other actors and gut-wrenching exchanges of bodily fluids! Don’t worry’ they keep it “clean” for the young-uns’ but still disturbing nonetheless.

Costuming: 9.04

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The majority of the costume pieces were created in-house so you will likely see some unique and complete wardrobing. However, the Costuming at American Horrorplex doesn’t just stop at the attire, facial makeup, and masks. The costuming here went well into their hair, up their arms, and down to their grungy little fingertips. Some were wearing colored contacts, too! The multiple vintage, frizzy up-do’s were standouts that really added an extra umph to the characters wearing them – horrifically ravishing, if we do say so ourselves!

The majority of the characters were appropriately wearing makeup vs. masks. The makeup consisted of a variety of applications from darkened and bruised skin to realistic prosthetics and bleeding eyes to a frosty blue, ghastly-looking gal. One was covered and dripping in blood from head to toe! Think of the movie ‘Carrie’ only this chic had way more blood on her than that… and she wasn’t really upset about it; in fact, she was brightly basking in it! The few masks we noticed were unique and worked well for the characters wearing them.

A lot of the attire was what we’d expect to see in an institution and some of it was aptly dated. An assortment of gritty lab coats, patient gowns, a ghillie suit (in the courtyard area), blood-stained clothing, and other pieces helped enhance their appearances. We can’t even explain what one creature that stood out to us the most was wearing. It had layers of tatters, at least a partial mask with an odd nose and what appeared to be medical tape all over its face (poor thing). But that wasn’t the jist of it’ This thing was using crutches as arms to walk on all fours and it could run! This thing is going to haunt our nightmares; there’s no doubt about it!

We also noticed that the zombie-like attackers towards the end had glowing necklaces on. These were probably some sort of containment apparatuses, but we’re not for sure’ at least for this season.

We would also like to mention the costuming for the characters outside. They were all dressed appropriately for the theme as well, but Dr. Hart and 47 stood out the most. They featured layers of stained clothing, 47’s eyes were completely covered in bandages, and they both kept oozing black stuff out of their mouths, all over themselves and the ground.

Customer Service: 9.28

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Our GPS took us right to the street that American Horrorplex is located on. Small strobe lights indicated the parking lot entrance and several friendly parking attendants waved us in. Parking was free and easy to navigate, although we’re not sure how many cars it can hold on busy nights; they may have other plans in place if needed.

From the parking lot, we followed another strobe light to the gated entrance to the attraction. They had good signage and multiple hearses on location so it was quite obvious we were at the right place once we got close enough. The ticket booth was an obvious bright orange stand complete with a decorated TV screen displaying ticket prices. There was also a glowing item vendor’s stand set up next to the ticket booth. Be sure to take advantage of their large photo op booth so you can purchase your group’s photo when you exit the attraction! We had a good time using their props for our picture.

Customer service and safety were clearly important to the folks at American Horrorplex. There were plenty of indoor exits including some that were marked with chickens on white paper. There were a few times when we tried to go the wrong way, but the crazies quickly pointed us in the right direction (go figure, right?). The path through the haunt is flat and easy to walk and they are ADA compliant. In the queue area, they even added some benches for those long waits.

All of the staff that we encountered were friendly, helpful, helpful and eager to show off their (sort of) shiny new haunt! We were also able to find pertinent information for attending on their website. However, they still don’t have a lot of stuff on there yet, such as the attraction’s theme or information about the Invasive Surgery option. After a few quick questions to the staff, we had all the details we needed.

Atmosphere: 7.65

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The Horrorplex is situated within an industrial complex near the Ohio River on the west side of downtown Louisville, KY. As we made our way to the brick buildings, we were quickly greeted by a hearse and a sign, and we walked through a large chain-link fence gate to enter the queue area. We’re sure this gate was once used to prevent escapees from getting too far’ so, you know, that’s not creepy or anything!

In the queue area, we found a wagon filled with real coffins, another hearse, some Halloween decor, decorated wooden barrels in the line, and spooky music filled the air. Just gazing at the building itself had us questioning what was inside. The whole outdoor portion was well lit with a bright parking lot-style light that made it easy for seeing to get around, but we felt that adding some colored accent lights or some other theme-related decor to the building could help magnify the creepy / ‘haunted’ factor.

We weren’t there long at all before we heard a very loud ‘NOOOOOOOOO!’ We looked all around, trying to figure out what that was all about when we spotted a very well-dressed actor standing perfectly still while pointing at someone waiting in line. Come to find out, he was the one that had been yelling and, shortly after, there were 3 more that joined him. One was Dr. Hart (more on her later) and the other three were her experiments. All of them worked very well together, which helped prepare us to enter by giving us a good taste of their acting abilities. As we waited, another character appeared in a window near the queue area. It started playing ‘rock, paper, scissors’ with those in line.

After admiring the outdoor actors and actress for a bit, it was our turn to enter. We were momentarily placed in what felt like a jail cell as we were given the rules. A buzzing doorbell cut the tension like a knife, signifying that those on the inside we ready for us. As soon as the front stained-glass door was opened, we knew shit was about to get real! We could already hear lots of loud noises pouring out the front door, and we knew we had to step inside to face what they were coming from!

Special Effects: 7.81

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Although we were informed that the crew is working on adding new effects to the show throughout the season, at the time of our visit, we experienced more of an actor-driven, old-school venture. If you’re looking for a lot of animatronics, you won’t find those here’ yet. Instead, you will be found by a roster of raging actors that are no longer in their restraints. Some of them have created their own special effects that they may so graciously share with you (especially if you do the Invasive Surgery experience).

It sounded like one cluster f@$k of an asylum after just walking in. We heard so many noises; patients were screaming, one guy was yelling for his cat, they were banging on things, we heard shocking sounds and, at times, the inhabitants were so loud that they were all we could hear! We did manage to catch some very vintage music in one area.

As we narrowly nuanced the hospital, we noticed a number of scenes featuring high levels of detailing and others that had fewer layers of decor and distressing. One of our favorite effects revealed something underneath our feet, so be sure to pay attention to what’s around you. Grungy walls, authentic medical equipment, a nurse’s station for taking medicine, caged animals, a church (complete with bodies hanging from the ceiling), a stuffed toy bedroom and many more areas of the Institute will be waiting for you.

Theme: 8.13

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Although the theme wasn’t described to us upon entering the haunt, they had an interesting way of introducing it to us about halfway through. Although at that moment in time, it really made us think back to what we had already experienced, and it also alluded to some things we hadn’t seen yet. Essentially, when visiting American Horrorplex, you will be entering the remains of Bracken Hart Institute.

After WWII, two German doctors, Dr. Hart and Dr. Bracken, were brought over during Operation Paperclip (which is a real thing). They began researching and developing the experiments that you’ll possibly encounter inside. However, they and their team of scientists didn’t want anyone to know what was going on (you know, top secret squirrel stuff). When one of their patients escaped, the doctors decided to burn the building in an attempt to destroy all the evidence before the escaped patient could contact the authorities. Dr. Hart survived the fire and can be found wandering the premises. ‘Before the building gets torn down due to its decay,’ you have a chance to walk through it. But, you may not expect what you’ll find inside’

Within, the characters all seemed to be off the hook and whacked out of their minds. The fire had really gotten to some of them, as they were giving themselves breathing treatments (with fire extinguishers, no less)! It was pretty obvious that we were supposed to be inside a once-functional hospital. There were common areas of a hospital inside, an electroshock therapy chair, a bedroom, containment chambers, and more.

If you can get the jist of the theme, it will really mess with you. While waiting outside, we were informed by management that there’s a ‘possible’ time shift / paradox of what is real and what isn’t. We were also introduced to Dr. Bracken and Dr. Hart outside as they roamed the queue area. Now, if you’ve been paying attention, we also saw Dr. Bracken inside’ and possibly multiple times (less formally introduced in the former instances). This wasn’t the exact same doctor. Each time we saw him, something was different. Was it his spirit? Were we following a timeline of his experiments over the years? Does history repeat itself? Is the building haunted by the horrific acts that took place years and years ago? We have yet to find out for sure, but we can’t wait to see how this story unfolds in the coming seasons!

Scare Factor: 7.84

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We would have been very hard pressed to pick off all the scares in the institute as there were so many hiding places incorporated into the haunt’s design. The scares were also unique and consisted of things we don’t see very often or, if they were familiar, they and interesting tweaks to them.

Aside from the different occurrences where the actors startled us just from their reveals, they utilized some great distractions. One would have our attention while another would come up and catch us off-guard and they were cleverly able to target the whole group with this tactic. Some of the aggressors were wielding weapons as well. Yes, we see a lot of weapons, but these babies were real’ or they sure looked and sounded like it! We don’t know about you but when we hear metal on metal or the thud of a weapon hitting the floor in front of our feet, we tend to not waste our time getting away from those. Of course, that may have exposed us to more startles from other directions…

We hope you don’t have a queasy stomach either, as they have some pretty effective methods of grossing guests out. Afraid of heights? Check. What about spiders? Doctors? Big, intimidating brutes? All of these will be waiting for you inside, along with other things that might get under your skin’

Entertainment & Value: 7.71

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General admission to take a tour of Bracken Hart Institute will cost you $25.00 per patie’ uhh’ person. For those really busy nights, VIP tickets are available for $35.00, which also includes a souvenir photo. There are directions on their website that can be followed to receive an extra discount.

The interactive institutees kept us within their grasp for a total of 15 minutes. That brings their MPD (minutes of entertainment received per dollar spent) to 0.60 at the general admission price. Although this is quite a bit below the average of 1.0 that we’ve seen most often, the haunt was pretty well action packed for most of the way through. Your group’s tour time may also vary, and it really depends on how much you react to and interact with the cast. We recommend at least sticking around a few scenes to see what they all have to say and really absorb what’s going on around you, instead of running through all of the rooms.

While we waited in line, we did receive some entertainment from the queue actors. There were 4 of them and they did an excellent job of interacting with themselves and the crowd! There were also several decorations and items to take pictures with, as well as music in the waiting area.

American Horrorplex offers 2 differently-styled show. The first one is their general admission as highlighted in the review. The second is their Invasive Surgery – a VIP add-on. We had the vile pleasure of experiencing this show as well and, we will say, if you enjoy ‘touch’ haunts, then definitely consider upgrading to this option (or doing both like we did). Those who choose this option are given a bright, reflective safety vest to wear through the haunt. By purchasing this pass, you’re subjecting yourself to being being touched, grabbed or moved. You may also be split from your group (we were split up multiple times) and / or given something potentially unpleasant to consume! Because we did refuse to eat one particular item, we did suffer some other consequences (In hindsight, we were informed of what this was, and it’s perfectly edible’ and might actually taste pretty good. We just couldn’t bear to try it, given its presentation.) In all, this option resulted in a much more personalized experience for everyone in our group and those that were sent in with us. Oh yea’ we almost forgot. You will likely get dirty so don’t wear good clothes to surgery!

At the end of the haunt, a well-stocked merch and concession booth was available with soft drinks, chips, shirts and other goodies that you can grab on the way out. This is also where your group photo can be purchased and printed.

Although the creators of the show have years of experience putting on haunted attractions, it was quite a surprise to see what they pulled out of their hats this time. We can’t wait to see what else they pull out next season! If you’re looking for some interactive and crazed acting with more of an old-school haunt (as of this writing), then you should definitely try your luck at American Horrorplex!

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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 9.29 out of 10

Talli – 10/10October 28, 2023
The actors were very engaging, allowing for an extremely immersive experience. I could tell that a …show more lot of thought and practice went into the execution of every detail. The storyline was both disturbing and humorous!

Jacob Dinh – 10/10October 31, 2020
Amazing attraction, the cast was very interactive with me and my friends I went with. Made the …show more experience even more enjoyable

Kathryn Bishop – 10/10October 31, 2020
American Horrorplex was such an amazing experience. They took extreme care to maintain social …show more distancing due to the global pandemic and the actors were amazing. Their all original characters and storyline really sucks you in and the environment makes you forget they’re actors. 5 stars. I really enjoyed it.

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Past Awards

2022 Awards

Most Unique Costumes (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Highest Rated Customer Service (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Highest Rated Entertainment & Value (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Quinn - Emily Rain Moss (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Electroshock - Wendy Brinson (Given by: Team Zombillies)

2019 Awards

Grossest Scene (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Most Unique Costumes (Given by: Team Zombillies)

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