Review of The Haunted Hotel KY Haunted Attraction

Review of The Haunted Hotel KY Haunted Attraction

Review of The Haunted Hotel KY Haunted Attraction

The Haunted Hotel KY

The Haunted Hotel KY is a Haunted Attraction located in Louisville, KY.

3000 South 4th Street, Louisville, KY 40208
View All Details

Haunt Type(s):

1HauntedHouse

Links:

The Haunted Hotel KY Haunted Attraction Facebook PageThe Haunted Hotel KY Haunted Attraction WebsiteLouisville Halloween

Contact:

Call The Haunted Hotel KY Haunted AttractionEmail The Haunted Hotel KY Haunted AttractionMessage The Haunted Hotel KY Haunted Attraction on Facebook

Features:

Free Parking, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, Special Events, “Hi-Tech” Attraction, You may be touched, Original Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, Indoor/Outdoor Attraction

Team Zombillies reviewed this Haunted Attraction on October 12, 2018.

Special Note for 2018:

We’ve changed the way we give scores for this year. We are now using a weighted average that puts more emphasis on certain features of the haunt (IE: “How scary was it,” versus “Does the haunt’s location authenticate their theme”). That said, these scores should not be used in comparisons to previous seasons. For more information about this, click on the small “Score Sheet” link at the bottom of this review. We appreciate your understanding. Thanks and Happy Haunting! –The Scare Factor


Final Score: 9.49

Summary:

Just in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few decades, The Haunted Hotel is one of the most impressive and extreme haunted attractions in the midwest. This is a “touch” haunt that’s not afraid to bust your personal space bubble and cut it up with a chainsaw… or three. These guys will interact with you physically – and verbally – and are dead set on welcoming you into their “family” (more on this later). These guys are like stench on a rotting corpse… there’s just no getting away from them! On top of that, with some of the most intricate and hi-tech scenes in the area, pretty much everything is out to get you here, which explains why thousands of customers drive several hours to test their mettle in this spectacular haunted attraction.

This is NOT your grandma’s haunted hayride. This is a highly-intense, interactive and “extreme” haunted attraction. If you’ve got issues with vulgar language, being touched, or are offended easily, just stay home and watch yourself some Dancing With the Stars.

Now, for those of you that are familiar with The Hotel, it should be no secret that this talented crew continues to impress for the 2018 haunt season. Mr. Gribbons (The Hotel’s owner) is pretty much fed up with trying to salvage what little traces of humanity are (or “were”) left in his inherited “family,” and it’s up to you to decide if you’ll be with them… or against them… not that they’ll give you much choice.

To quote Mr. Gribbons himself, “Welcome home.”


Cast: 9.56

It’s hard to argue that The Hotel has some of the best actors around, and you’ll start getting acquainted with them as soon as you set foot on the property. What makes them so believably awesome is that everything they do is at 110% and their actions make the experience feel like it’s natural… well, at least to them! It’s hard to believe they’re faking it when Teddy (one of the roaming actors) goes after a customer and breaks the plastic queue line chain in the process, followed by screaming, “F**k!” as he tries to put the chain back in place… all while hilariously tormenting the guests and leaking black goo everywhere at the same time. Meanwhile, an estranged bellhop randomly “meows” at passersby, a local haunt-actor legend disguised as a sharp-dressed psychopath slowly stalks people with his cordless drill, and a long- and hard-, yet floppy-nosed guy just might try to tuck his nostrils under your coat collar. All in a day, here at The Haunted Hotel; mind you, we haven’t even set foot in the door yet…

We’re sure you’re wanting some more details about how the actors can touch you and all of that “touchy feely” stuff. Well, it’s important to first mention that the cast here goes through weeks of mandatory training before the season even starts. They follow a strict set of rules and, although it may seem like they’ve thrown your “limits” out the window, they’re all very careful about the way they grab you and shove your head into the washing machine (ask us how we know). Don’t be surprised if you leave home with some makeup smeared on your face, too (see pics below). They definitely aren’t afraid to go past the point of “up close and personal.”

Once you get your head wrapped around what type of actors these are, you can really start to soak up the different characters that are on tap. A common stand-out is Thomas Gribbons, who is the “owner” you’ve probably seen in some of their promo videos over the past couple of years. He really lays out the reason as to why all of these wicked beings have congregated here (more on this in Theme below), and executes his opening speech with a very sinister vocal tone. Gustav, his iconic elevator attendant, continues to climb the walls (also literally) during a wild drop to the lobby floor, where another bellhop awaits you, alerting the others, “We have new guests!”

A plethora of other creatures will make you feel right at home here as well. From butchers and cafeteria ladies to a priest and Rahu the Nun, those in the gift shop, laundry workers, shadow figures, a “metal maintenance guy” and the most intense chainsaw-slingers we’ve seen to date, prepare to be unprepared for what’s waiting for you around the next corner. Dialogue ranges from creepy singing to angry shouting, but the words spoken are never generic. There are no “get outs” because these guys (and girls) want you to stay with them… forever! If you’re feeling especially froggy and decide to talk back them, the goons (and goonettes) are unnervingly eager to counter with some ad-libby banter.

In contrast to the vocally pliable bunch inside the house, the monsters outside don’t have as much to say. As you’re running through, dodging the roars of chainsaws that are 3 inches from your face and banging them (and other weapons) on the walls, it may seem contradictory to slow you down for some heart-to-heart chit chat. However, there were a few times between chases when we strolled by some of the pig-like characters that basically stared at us as we walked past… and we knew they could talk because one of them called Tyler a “cutie.” But alas; we’ll acknowledge that not all of them were supposed to be talking, such was the case with the chainsaw attackers themselves and “Jack,” a sword-wielding character that was exceptionally stealthy with sneaking up on us.


Costuming: 9.53

About 90% of the characters here have a nice thick film of nasty all over them. Pretty much every square inch of these dirty denizens have been tarnished and made grungy to wipe away any inkling of a clue that there might be a normal person inside there. A lot of this looks to be accomplished with some form of grease paint, but there are also clear traces of airbrushing all over their bodies that add otherwise-unachievable details, including some old bruising and veinous lines that seem to “pop” under black light. Not only are the costumes here complete but they are scary-looking! Other details include black lips, sharp teeth, lots of colored contacts, some great-looking masks and, sometimes, leather boots and gloves when their characters called for it. We did catch a pretty good look at an all-black morph suit worn by one of the shadow figures in the blackout section and, compared to his calamitous counterparts, he did kindof seem to stand out as one of the less-creative looks of the haunt. With this exception, though, and given the Hotel’s reputation and highly-detailed scenes, anything less than this level of detail would stick out like a sore thumb.

Our only other concern is that there are lots of fairly dark scenes throughout the haunt, which works wonders for scene design and scariness (more on that later), but it also hides some of the stand-out makeup and costuming details that really set this bunch apart from the pack. A prime example would be the bellhop right after the elevator. One person in our group totally missed that he had multiple strands of barbed wire wrapped around his eyes, but another took a closer look and finally realized it when they were about 6 inches from his face. Though, we acknowledge that finding a common ground here is likely a daunting task.

In the outdoor areas, the lighting was quite a bit brighter, so we got some pretty good looks at the characters out there. Masks tended to be of the burlap variety in the chainsaw maze, but they had defined facial features that kept them from looking like they just had bags over their heads. The rest of their attire was very well-detailed, with the biggest stand-out going to Jack… probably for being so much different than his saw-slinging siblings. He was wearing a gas mask with an all-black hooded and cloaked outfit that looked like it could’ve came straight out of Assassin’s Creed.


Customer Service: 9.68

Our trusty GPS pulled through for us again and led us straight to The Haunted Hotel with no issues. Street-side parking is available, but can be very hard to come by… especially on busy nights.

There are a couple of parking lots adjacent to two sides of the haunt. The Hotel was pretty busy that night, so we decided to take advantage of one of them. Though, we do not believe that the people who own these lots have any affiliation with The Hotel, and we were charged $5 for using it. There’s a pretty big convenience factor here, but it comes with a risk that you’ll have to decide to take on your own. We will note that we had no issues during our stay, and the gentleman waving us in was kind enough to make change for us.

The ticket booth, which can be found around the right-hand side of the building, has been recessed into the building by about 20 feet this year! For those random pop-up showers, this will surely be a welcomed feature that’s appreciated by guests just arriving to The Hotel. Most of the queue line was also covered with the help of some portable tents – again, a welcomed feature for those rainy nights (PS: The Haunted Hotel is open rain or shine!)

The roaming actors and sounds of chainsaws and screaming customers coming from the outdoor area are the key sources of entertainment for passing the time in line. There are no creepy movies playing and there’s no room for a live band or any of that stuff… but none of it is really needed. It’s pretty close quarters on the front lawn of The Hotel and, on the night of our visit, there were a handful of actors that spread out and kept everyone on their toes.

The inside of the haunt is about as safe as it can be, barring the occasional step or uneven threshold that “could” catch a foot if you’re sprinting through the place. There’s also a loose handrail on the stairs that lead down to the outdoor maze. However, all scares are deliberately kept away from the stairways to help keep you from falling on them.


Atmosphere: 9.8

By parking nearby, The Hotel’s atmosphere started to kick in before we even got out of our car. The main architecture of the building is decades old and the rooflines were highlighted with red neon lights. With the flickering (also red neon) “Haunted Hotel” sign overlooking the crowd from the second floor, the whole place casted an evil glow on every soul that mustered up enough courage to buy a ticket and get in line.

When we approached the queue area, the first actor we saw actually wasn’t one of the roaming actors; he was a chainsaw guy from the outdoor section that had climbed up the wall and was mean-mugging everyone from on top of it! He was accompanied by loud banging sounds and the screams of customers and chainsaws coming from behind as well – all of which gave us a pretty good head start on knowing this wasn’t a Super 8.

The atmosphere continues to build as you make your way around to the ticket booth. But first, you’ll notice the cop cars and barricaded roadway. Maybe there’s an accident or some construction going on? Nope. They’re just keeping cars from running over people that come sprinting out of the exit… which you’ll get to see first hand before you even walk up to the ticket booth.

On that note, the ticket booth area is well-decorated! The walls have been painted to look all grungy and moldy, and there’s a free-standing banner nearby that disclaims, “You will be touched,” “Vulgar language,” “Grotesque scenes,” and “Caution! Extreme Haunted House. No Refunds!” If you don’t get the idea by now, there’s not much else we can do for you.

After that, you’ll get your chance to mingle with the queue actors before going inside. The end of the line stops you about 20 feet away from – and staring directly at – the front door to The Hotel. As if the suspense build-up isn’t enough already, now you get to stand and look at the spot where there’s no turning back, and on top of that, you just know that all Hell’s gonna break loose once you go in there.

Ready to go yet?


Special Effects: 9.34

The Haunted Hotel falls under our more “hi-tech haunt” label, meaning that there’s a LOT to take in during your stay. We’re convinced that the front room may be actually not decorated at all with as realistic and detailed as it is. The wallpaper looks properly aged and mildewy enough to look like it’s been in dire need of an update for a long time, and even the furnishings look decades old… just like the building itself.

The next scene is one of the most talked-about areas of the haunt: the elevator. We aren’t sure what type of speakers they’re using, but they’re loud and realistic enough that, during the dark ride down to the lobby level, we started to question whether or not what we were hearing was real! Combined with the jarring movement of the room (yes, the whole room bobs and sways like something has gone horribly wrong), the flickering lights and floor selector panel, and other period-correct decor, there’s no question why this is the best “elevator” scene we’ve experienced to date.

This same level of detail and realism is extended throughout the rest of the indoor portion of the haunt. The only exception to this is the blackout area, but even it includes some unique effects that we wouldn’t dare spoil for you. However, we can tell you that this was first time we’ve experienced such an effect in the dark! Aside from that, nearly every square inch of the place is visibly detailed in ways that enhance the scenes and overall experience… even the ceilings and floors and, in a few spots, what’s UNDER the floors! We came across spraying water, running water, an old piano, a rather large rat, air cannons, giant arachnids, and some very effective strobe lights, just to name a few.

The Hotel carries a distinct “look” that, with the help of dim, flickering lighting, makes everything ooze with a true feeling of evil. Despite that, each room is clearly separate from the next. There’s an overhead meat conveyor and a layer of “frost” all over the freezer scene, lots of carnivorous overgrowth in the lesser-travelled areas, and intense music that’s triggered when you reach certain points that intensify these areas. Nasty pots and pans litter the kitchen areas, lots of mutilated bodies are scattered about, and there’s enough nastiness throughout to break HGTV.

The outdoor area takes a slightly different approach. The walls are mostly a dull red color with the path leading through several “open air” (ceiling-less) scenes and a few very well-decorated storage containers. Though, most of these scenes aren’t nearly as well-detailed as The Hotel’s interior, we did find some great-looking sewers, complete with graffiti, vegetation and industrial grating catwalks, amongst other scene variations. Hanging netting and strobing, multi-colored lights along the path provided lots of disorientation, especially when running from those pesky chainsaw slingers, and there were lots of actor cut-throughs that helped them sneak up on us with ease.


Theme: 9.75

This is one of those haunts that (excluding the awesomeness of the haunt itself) we always enjoy going to if for no other reason than to listen to the theme introduction. The first room is where you’ll come face-to-face with Thomas Gribbons, “the owner” of The Haunted Hotel. We won’t repeat exactly what he says – we could never do it as good as he does anyway – but first-time Hotel go’ers and return customers alike will appreciate how he describes the foreboding establishment that lies behind him.

Even though the plot has thickened since last year (according to Mr. Gribbons), it’s vague enough that most of the actors and scenes can skate by while being essentially (but not literally) the same as last year, be changed again next year, and still make sense with the theme (so long as they don’t make any drastic changes… like turning the place into a clown house or something).

To sum up the story, Gribbons keeps watch over the Hotel’s residents. When he recently (a few years ago) took ownership of the place, he explained that the term “Haunted” simply came with the place; he inherited it. Since then, he’s been trying to salvage what little bit of humanity they had left. But this year, frankly, he’s over it. Now embracing an, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” mentality, he gives you the choice to decide whether or not you’ll be “with [him], or against [him].”

What will you decide?

(Hint: They get you either way)


Scare Factor: 9.4

Because we’ve been visiting The Haunted Hotel for many years now, we feel we can safely say that the overall intensity of the haunt’s “touch” aspect has been toned-down just a teeny tiny bit this year. It seemed like they’ve made an effort to incorporate periods of reprieve… IE: times where the intensity is only cranked up to 8 instead of a 10. Though, that’s not to say that you won’t go through and be absolutely terrified. There’s more than one way to scare the crap out of someone, and we feel these efforts allowed for a little more creative freedom to pull off some more unique frights! No less, The Hotel is still very much a force to be reckoned with; our review analysis just happened to pick up on some subtle changes that actually, we feel, made the experience much more enjoyable (while still being scary as Hell)!

In the past, we’ve almost dreaded coming to The Hotel simply because we never knew how hard someone (or someTHING) was going to throw us around or bend us backwards over a table… you know, typical “demon coming after you” stuff. This year’s anticipation was no different, simply because of their track record. We’ve always had a great time at The Hotel, but after this year’s visit, we’re pleased to announce that the “rag doll effect” is much less this year. Mind you, we still know what the inside of their washing machine looks like (not by our choice), and we were still mutilated to the point of trading paint with some of the monsters (which seems to be another trend that’s on the rise for our group here). It just felt like their manipulations were more “strategic” and less “violent” than what we’ve seen in the past, which was warmly welcomed by this review team.

But we digress; the intensity here is still very high because so many things are coming at you from so many different directions. They will attack all of your senses here: sights, sounds, smells, touch (of course) and, if you’re screaming at the wrong time, possible even taste. Those moments of reprieve are just long enough to allow you to catch your breath and realize what just happened, then the sound cranks up to 10, the lights start flickering and all you can do is brace yourself for whatever’s coming next.

Lots of distraction techniques were used, which helped make the scares more difficult to predict, and our group was split up and scattered to the wind in several different scenes. The elevator gets another shout-out here for being one of the scariest scenes we’ve encountered in a haunt to date. Our group size was small for this tour, only consisting of 2 people, but we were each targeted pretty equally. Perhaps the most unique scare of our journey was when the priest slammed his bible closed just inches away from our faces… or maybe it was the cook that stumbled into a scene and spilled a whole pot of water on us…

The last portion of the haunt, the outdoor chainsaw maze, continues to contain the finest chainsaw attackers we can find. Although, it’s worth mentioning that it may not contain them for much longer; they were spinning in circles and slamming their saws on the walls so hard that, at one point, we’re pretty sure we saw one of them knock an entire section of wall loose from its anchors. Furthermore, we saw another saw (<– see what we did there) send sparks through the air when it was scraped across the ground! Other actors out here were banging on plexiglass windows with metal pipes, and Jack used a few methods to demonstrate that his knife was very real as well.


Entertainment & Value: 9.18

The Haunted Hotel offers several different packages to best accommodate their guests. A general admission stay will cost you $25.00 per person. On busy nights when the line goes down the street, Fast Pass tickets are highly recommended and available for $40.00. If you buy general admission tickets and later decide that the wait is too long, rest assured that you can upgrade to Fast Pass at any time! If you’re in a huge hurry and don’t have much time to spare at all and there’s even a wait in the Fast Pass line, immediate front-of-the-line access passes can be purchased for $60.00. All guest services include complimentary assistance from The Haunted Hotel’s bellhop… and he really likes new guests!

In addition to the haunt, The Hotel provides queue entertainment in the form of a rare breed of queue line performers (as mentioned above) to keep guests occupied while waiting in line. There were a lot of them out and about on the night of our visit and we watched them make their way all through the crowd. They, without a doubt, kept our wait exciting and we were also able to take some photos with them (see below)!

Each guest’s stay may vary in length. For those of you that want to bury your faces and run all the way through, not enjoying all the full accomodations of this fine establishment, your time inside may be a lot shorter than ours. Without running from the monsters and including Thomas Gribbons’ intro, our stay at the Hotel ended at around 17-1/2 minutes. Considering the ticket price, that brings their MPD (minutes of entertainment per dollar spent) to 0.7. On an analytical note, the time and MPD rating are both slight drops from last year while the price has remained the same. However, The Hotel continues their trend of being one of the top haunted attractions in the region. If you’re okay with being touched and you’re looking for an “extreme” haunt to visit, then The Haunted Hotel comes with high recommendations from this review team!


HauntReviewScoreSheetButton

Photos from Review Trip:

Click to Enlarge

Promo Images:

Click to Enlarge

Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 10 out of 10

Connie – 10/10
Best haunted house I’ve been too! They do a great job of really scaring people.

Melissa Miles – 10/10
We’ve been coming for several years and bring our marching band kids that date to come every year!! …show more This is my favorite by far!!!

Ania – 10/10
It was very fun and scary, they are really creative. I went to a lot of haunts and this was by far …show more the best. I would definitely recommend this to everyone.

View All

Submit Your Own Review!



2018 Awards

Scariest Scene - The Elevator (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Best Chainsaw Maniacs (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Highest Rated Haunt (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Highest Rated Cast (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Scariest Haunt (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Actor Shout Out - Summer- Teddy Summers (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Actor Shout Out - The Bellhop - Brennen Cabrera (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Actor Shout Out - Thomas Gribbons - Matt Perry (Given by: Team Zombillies)


2017 Awards

Scariest Scene - Elevator (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Best Chainsaw Maniacs (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Hardest Haunt to Escape Alive (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Most Intense Characters (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Scariest Haunt in Kentucky (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Highest Rated Cast (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Highest Rated Fright Effect (Given by: Team Zombillies)


2016 Awards

Scariest Scene - Elevator (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Best Chainsaw Maniacs (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Best Original Characters (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Hardest Haunt to Escape Alive (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Most Intense Characters (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Scariest Haunt in Kentucky (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Highest Rated Fright Effect (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Actor Shout Out Award - "Cricket" A.K.A Kristen Warf (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Actor Shout Out Award - "Edna" A.K.A Bobby Castellano (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Actor Shout Out Award - "Thomas Gribbons" A.K.A Matt Perry (Given by: Team Zombillies)