The Thirteenth Hour – Full Review

The Thirteenth Hour is a Haunted Attraction located in Indianapolis, IN.

915 South Shortridge Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46239
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Haunt Type(s):

Multiple HauntsHaunted House

Links:

The Thirteenth Hour Facebook PageThe Thirteenth Hour WebsiteThe Thirteenth Hour Twitter PageThe Thirteenth Hour on InstagramThe Thirteenth Hour on YouTubeTickets to The Thirteenth Hour

Contact:

Call The Thirteenth HourEmail The Thirteenth HourMessage The Thirteenth Hour on Facebook Messenger

Features:

Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, Special Events, “Old-School” (Low Tech), “Hi-Tech” Attraction, You will NOT be touched, Original Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, All-Outdoor Attraction

Most Recent Video from The Scare Factor:

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This attraction was reviewed on October 20, 2023 by Team Zombillies.


About Our Reviews and Rating System


Final Score: 9.11

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Summary:

The time has come. ‘A new chapter awaits.’ Step aboard Cartocker Expeditions, Version 2.0, to be transported back in time. Choose the precise year you’d like to travel to. Think long, think wrong. Tick… Tock! Tick… Tock!

But wait! No matter which year you choose, the clock strikes once past twelve, on the Thirteenth Hour!

In just their second season at this location, The Thirteenth Hour Haunted Attraction unveiled thrilling new additions, like a bone-chilling sacrificial chamber that will have you fleeing! With four haunting attractions in one continuous walkthrough experience, you’ll feel like you’ve become a part of the story unraveling before you.

But that’s not all! Also new this year, they’ve added the Purgatory midway, with refreshments, beer, wine, photo ops, and places to catch your breath from all that screaming!

Embark on a gripping journey to escape eternal doom in 1913 as you venture through Cartocker Expeditions Version 2.0, the Widows Walk Cemetery, the Cathedral of Souls, and Mine No. 13 – but there’s a catch: one of you must make the ultimate sacrifice! Who’s it going to be?


Cast Score: 9.27

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Cast Review:

Lurking throughout The Thirteenth Hour is a cast that will certainly entertain all guests with their unique banter, sounds, and impeccable timing as they reveal themselves. Everyone remained in character. There were interesting conversations, quests, questions, and eerie growls and gargles from those who did not speak. We did not notice any overused dialogue or phrases. The characters popped out of nowhere at times and from all directions! This cast is an outstanding and applause-worthy crew, bringing great energy and frights to Indianapolis haunt-goers.

The great timekeeping Lady Cartocker gave us the honor of traveling in her time machine to the year 1913. It’s a bumpy ride through the portal, landing us directly into a snowy cemetery full of zombies, some of which were not confined. They shook doors at us, chased us, and popped out of holes in the walls, trying to grab us! The Weeping Widow asked us if we’d seen her husband, begging that we send her back to him as she wept. Shortly after, we came across her a second time, in which she was furious with him for leaving her stuck there alone and warning us that The Master wanted our souls. Watch out for the vampire; he was looking for someone to feed on, persisting that it be one of us.

A visit to the Archbishop in his Cathedral ensued. After choosing one of us to become a sacrifice himself, he forced them to the front of our group and sent us on our way. This encounter was another convincing and excellent performance by this character. As we continued, we faced other deathly characters, highly interactive nuns, and a body carrying its own head, asking if we’d seen it (their head). Watch out for the sisters; they don’t like sinners. As we entered a classroom where Sister Eileen informed us that we were tardy, she forbade us from moving forward as Sister Helga had taken one of her legs as punishment! We ignored her warning, and Sister Helga threw a fit since we were tardy, jumping atop the desk and threatening to beat us with a ruler!

Another interactive interaction was with Esther Sharpe. As she circled our group, she reminded us of what was ahead and not to forget our library cards. A run-in with Heinrich Chapel himself (the Weeping Widow’s husband) turned deadly. As we informed him that his wife was looking for him, he told us not to worry about her and focused on the sacrifice before him.
In the mines, characters provided quick startles. A few jumped out at us, told us to get to work, and welcomed us to the mine shaft. A mad miner warned us that there was no air down below. The stand-out actress here was the Spider Queen. As she inched closer to us, we discussed how we didn’t like people and how she was the one who was supposed to eat them so she would know. The Master was also a standout, surprisingly springing forward at us and unexpectedly sending us on routes we wouldn’t have chosen ourselves. The Master spares no one!


Costuming Score: 9.55

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Costuming Review:

The costumes breathed life into the characters, seamlessly blending masks, makeup, and attire with their surroundings. Not a single t-shirt, bright pair of shoes, or mismatched costume caught our eye. The monsters were appropriately clothed in authentic attire from head to toe. At times, the costume designs matched the surroundings so well that we were playing a game of whether it was real or not. Alas, we were the ultimate losers. If it looks like a human could be hiding beneath it, don’t trust it!

When it comes to the makeup, we found ourselves getting lost in a daze, trying to see all the details. Lady Cartocker had gears protruding from her face and gold makeup that glistened in the lighting. Some zombies had paled skin, sunken facial features, and moss still stuck to their skin as if freshly awakened. The sisters’ makeup exuded sinister vibes, sending shivers down our spines at first glance.

Although makeup was the master of design at this haunt, various deceiving masks were also at play. Many of the cloaked skull villains wore matching masks that were also appropriately placed on props. We also noticed a vintage-style devil mask. The most scream-inducing of them all was one of the spider species, with many eyes glaring back at us as we stared at it in horror.

The costumes spanned from elegant ball gowns and custom pieces to rugged yet more basic mine dwellers. Lady Cartocker, the widow, the Spider Queen, and Esther donned exquisite, intricately-layered gowns that stood out. These detailed 1900s-style dresses were a rare and delightful find in a haunt.

Additional noteworthy costumes included Heinrich’s gem-studded necklace and weathered skin, the fully-adorned Archbishop with gloves, the headless woman without mask or makeup, and the towering Master, evoking the grim reaper’s presence.

On our path to the main entrance through the timbered trail, lifelike characters in convincing costumes greeted us, including multiple highly-detailed tree monsters. One even featured exposed bones on its back!


Customer Service Score: 9.61

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Google Maps led us right to the haunt’s entrance into a parking field marked by a haunt sign that was a sizeable reflective road sign, making it hard to miss. Multiple signs and parking attendants made locating a spot in the free grassy lot a breeze. There was some mud during our visit, but staff had taken steps to cover it with straw as much as possible.

Navigating the haunt was easy; the lines at the top of the hill near the ticket booth were marked, and staff at the gated entrance to the wooded path helped answer questions about where we needed to be. Following the path was also straightforward, but there seemed to be a need for more clarity about correctly entering the line near the covered waiting area. Another friendly staff member was handling this area, but we still noticed people wandering into incorrect queues for the ticket types they had.

All other staff we encountered on the property were informative and answered our questions. Inside the attraction, there was a bit of uneven ground; just watch where you’re going and don’t run. Also, be sure to wear proper footwear as a lot of this haunt occurs outdoors.

Before arrival, we looked into some of the information on their site. Their site is easy to navigate and offers what to expect. They had some significant changes this year that we weren’t expecting that could have been better highlighted on the website. If you’d like to get a better idea of their changes from year to year, check out the Fear Blog section on their site.


Immersion Score: 9.01

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Immersion Review:

Thirteenth Hour seemed to focus on this aspect for the season, introducing significant changes to the grounds that we’ll delve into. This attraction offers much to absorb, but it delivers a highly immersive experience that strengthens with each visit. Fencing and lighting help keep guests’ attention away from non-haunt features, such as the pole barn building in which the haunt takes place when it can be seen from within the scenes.

For newcomers, the attraction offers multiple waiting areas. Starting near the parking lot, a series of lines organize guests, leading them through a forested path to the main waiting area. The iron-gated entrance adds a spooky touch, though this section lacks additional haunted attraction cues. Upon venturing into the dark woods, an unsettling atmosphere grew as a dimly lit path, punctuated by unexpected surprises, guided us to the haunt’s entrance. This journey served as an eerie prelude, subtly foreshadowing the thematic experience ahead.

While we waited in the main queue area, a sudden burst of flames sporadically fired off, startling the audience. Several inhabitants from the forest lingered around this portion of the waiting line, waiting for the perfect moment to strike and pose for pictures. As we gazed up at the large, looming clock, we wondered what the Thirteenth Hour had in store for us.

As our group entered, clock-covered walls immediately greeted us with their constant ticking, creating an oddly effective, anxiety-inducing atmosphere. This area would serve as the intro to Cartocker Expeditions Version 2.0, where we would shortly be given a video briefing from Lady Cartocker herself before being permitted inside. We also noticed several encasements hanging from the ceiling that alluded to additional impending encounters, such as an 8-legged creature.

We encountered a series of immersive elements that primed us for the impending time travel experience. Without revealing all the details, we eventually found ourselves in the exquisitely detailed transit bay from the previous season. There, our group awaited our turn to enter the time-traveling machine as Lady Cartocker gave us a staging welcome.

As we ventured through the initial attractions, the storyline grew increasingly evident. Characters consistently reinforced the theme and referenced one another, deepening our immersion in the unfolding narrative. As we narrowly escape the final sequence to the cathedral, we found ourselves in a new section of Thirteenth Hour this year, appropriately dubbed Purgatory, with the haunt’s previous door from their Purgarotry scene greeting us at the entrance.

This new Purgatory area marks the mid-point of the Thirteenth Hour. Here, you can let loose for a moment, have a refreshing beverage, chit chat, or partake in some of their larger-than-life-sized photo ops. Bluegrass remixes of familiar songs filled the air. However, don’t let your guard down too much; there’s still much more to face!

We entered another waiting line to enter Mine No. 13 that routed its way through the midway area. Keep in mind that this is a midway, and once you exit it, there is no getting back to it. Upon completing the last sections of the attraction, the exit brings those who weren’t sacrificed back out to a final goodbye from Cartocker Expeditions, in Bay 5, where groups are sent back out into the main queue area. At this time, there still isn’t a gift shop for guests to stop by for some memorable swag, but we liked the addition of the time machine ride attendant asking how our time travel was! Seriously, we need a: “I traveled through time at The Thirteenth Hour” or “I sacrificed my friends at The Thirteenth Hour” shirt design, stat!


Special FX Score: 9.13

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Special FX Review:

The Thirteenth Hour was aesthetically pleasing in every way! We greatly appreciate the thought and care put into every detail – even when we could see through holes in the walls into other areas!

The walk up to the main entrance was lined with a path of flames through a dark and secluded area. The entrance had a strong steampunk vibe with all the clockwork and gears and theatrical lighting outside and inside the building. As we entered, we realized we were inside a large clock with gears and bolts around us, as well as other well-placed clocks decorating the walls.

Candles dimly cast illumination throughout the building and lined many walls. We were led into a sci-fi spaceship (it felt like) where a monster spewed a “contaminate” onto us, requiring us to endure the decontamination chamber before we could enter the time machine. There were additional surprises here; one was super powerful, but you’ll have to experience it yourself! The time machine transported us through a portal of lights, fog, and sound, spitting us into a 1913-styled cemetery.

Lighting and sounds were the leading contenders here. The sounds were realistic throughout and featured very little overflow noise from the other scenes. The sounds and noises were well-contained with high ceilings, which remains an impressive feat. The music volume was low, lingering as we walked through. In the cemetery, water was heard from the fountain, low singing voices, and church bells echoed in the background.

It began to snow briefly, creating a light dusting on the crypts and stones of the cemetery. These features were textured and weathered, and iron fencing lined the path. It was a beautifully creepy place to be.

Inside the cathedral, we were greeted by a red-illuminated glow, low-lying fog swirling at our feet, and additional candles on the altar of various sizes. Many crosses were on display. The halls were lined with eerie photos, dim lighting, skeletons that seemingly popped out of nowhere, and robed props. A ghostly bride also appeared from thin air!

Although we’ve seen these before, the new and heavily slanted bell tower made us feel very disoriented while passing through. We actually had to hold onto our surroundings to make it through this area! The way this feature was constructed earns significant recognition and praise! The remaining scenes were all-encompassing, including the school rooms with antique desks and blackboards and the library with moving books! Even the dangling bodies weren’t as they seemed!

Upon finding Heinrich Chapel inside the Sacrificial Chamber, we were so amazed by our surroundings that we found ourselves majorly distracted. This newly built scene features a giant skeletal face with glowing red eyes, impeccable scene details, lighting features, and sounds that will haunt your dreams! Seriously, we’re still talking about it!

In Mine No.13, the scenery quickly changed. We found ourselves surrounded by a walkway full of lit jack-o-lanterns. Realistic crow caws and other bird sounds ensued as we trekked the walkway that led us to a dark, dim mine. At one point, a mossy hallway shrank, forcing us to bend down to continue. Eventually, these more narrow passages led to the Spider Queendom. There are some gigantic spiders and many cobwebs in every direction here. Watch out, or you may end up dangling from the ceiling like the others!

The Master’s den was another grand area, with blacklights illuminating the walkway and their voice projecting great and loud over a speaker system. This scene is what nightmares are made of, making it perfect for a sacrifice! As the Master opened the door, fog rolled out from within. From there, effective strobes and fog took over. The use of white mesh-like walls and dividers mixed with disorienting lighting made for an exciting escape to the finale.


Scare Factor Score: 8.76

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Scare Factor Review:

The scaring begins along the creepy walk to the haunt as characters stalk and jump out from trees and other dark parts of the secluded scenery. Even in the waiting line, scares continued as the cast snuck up behind us, and a sudden burst of flames gave us a startle.

The scares varied from silent stares and actors hovering above us to realistic animatronics that truly challenged realism. We constantly tried to figure out if things were IRL creatures or props. This cast was among the best at providing shocking scares and thrills. They had impeccable timing and blended in well with the scenery. They knew when to attack their prey, sending us jolting into the sky!

The frights here were not traditional; expect them to come from all directions: above, below, from the sides, and you may even be grabbed at from behind the walls. This is a no-touch haunt, but that does not matter. The creatures here do not need to touch to terrify. They excel at mind games and trickery instead. Many characters reiterated that a sacrifice must be made when meeting the Master, which added to our dread and anxiety throughout the entire experience. We quickly realized that, whether or not there was a single sacrifice or many, none of us would be spared; we were all targeted at The Thirteenth Hour!

The music and sounds were strategically placed in all the right areas to cause an overall chilling vibe. Hair-raising moments kept our adrenaline up, even from the sounds, such as a thunderous storm that we could feel through our bodies. Blasts of air erupted, secret passages were found, and we traveled from lighted areas to darker paths, keeping us on high alert. We couldn’t find our way out of rooms multiple times, making us feel trapped and helpless!

If you carry any sort of fear, prepare to have this part of you exposed! We faced some of the most enormous spiders we’ve ever seen, a violent vibrating floor, horrifying pictures that come to life, intimidating encounters, tight spaces, complete darkness, extreme fog, death, falling bodies, sparks, loss of legs as punishment, group separation, sudden gusts of liquid, a human-eating plant, disorientation, and the constant sense of the unknown and being watched. It is difficult for haunts to instill suspense, but The Thirteenth Hour has successfully figured it out in more ways than one!

Many effective hiding spots, a giant skeleton trying to grab us, and an encounter with The Master sent us trembling to the next scene. The Thirteenth Hour was a harrowing haunt to find our way out of; yes, we said FIND – and the finale is one you will not expect!


Entertainment & Value Score: 8.81

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E&V Review:

The Thirteenth Hour offers many ticketing options, from Instant Access, season passes, Fast Lane, a family four-pack, and more. Prices may vary. To get the most up-to-date ticketing information, visit their website. Note: Purchasing online saves you $5.00 or more from box office prices, but service fees exist. They also utilize timed ticketing.

General admission tickets were $29.99, and we enjoyed around 30 minutes inside the haunted attractions, including the intro, decontamination chamber, and debriefing. This duration translates to an MPD (minutes of entertainment per dollar) per our preferred standard of 1 minute per $1 spent. However, the exceptional acting, set design, and overall quality make this haunt stand out. The entertainment value for the ticket price was the icing on the cake, making it absolutely worth the cost.

Also note that tickets purchased on-site are cash only, as well as the Purgatory bar, but there was an ATM on-site. They asked us where our library card was, and although we’re not sure how much those are, we will be sure to purchase one if the opportunity presents itself.

This year, more entertainment was included with the ticket price within Purgatory. We made sure we took pictures with the free photo ops. Music was also played at the ticket booth, the main waiting line, and, as mentioned in Purgatory, to help pass the wait (although some may find that the bluegrass choices make them want to progress their succession to the other side).

Earlier this year, they hosted their first-ever off-season haunted event, Love is Blind. We’re hoping for a return!

Thirteenth Hour, a haunt we eagerly anticipate each season is ever-evolving. It’s not just a haunted house; it’s a theatrical, spine-tingling production that transports you to another realm, compelling you to engage with its features and creatures. If you have any doubts about visiting, simply put, don’t hesitate. This remarkable haunted attraction is mind-blowing!


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Past Awards


2022 Awards

Best Makeup (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Best Dialogue (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Highest Rated Costuming (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Spider Queen - Chelz Harvey (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Lady Cartocker - Sarah Barrett (Given by: Team Zombillies)


2020 Awards

Most Believable Haunt (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Best Outdoor Scenes (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Best Introduction Scene (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Best Finale (Given by: Team Zombillies)


2019 Awards

Best Use of Fog (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Most Immersive Haunt (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Best Outdoor Scenes (Given by: Team Zombillies)



Past Awards


2022 Awards

Best Makeup (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Best Dialogue (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Highest Rated Costuming (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Spider Queen - Chelz Harvey (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Lady Cartocker - Sarah Barrett (Given by: Team Zombillies)


2020 Awards

Most Believable Haunt (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Best Outdoor Scenes (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Best Introduction Scene (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Best Finale (Given by: Team Zombillies)


2019 Awards

Best Use of Fog (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Most Immersive Haunt (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Best Outdoor Scenes (Given by: Team Zombillies)


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