A Frightful Night

By CHRIS HUMPHREYS
Contributing Writer

With just over three weeks left until All Hallow’s Eve, your time to pay strangers to scare the living daylights out of you is quickly coming to an end. To help you narrow your choices down from the dozens of haunted attractions that Kentuckiana has to offer, I grabbed my better half and drove from Jeffersontown to Valley Station and made a couple stops in-between to check out a few of the most talked about haunted houses around town.

Grim Trails

What Makes Grim Trails different?
“Grim Trails is different than most haunted houses. It’s not slash and gore. It’s not buckets of blood.  We don’t even have a chainsaw. It’s based on fairy tales and nursery rhymes – which were actually creepy. They were written as precautionary tales for kids, so we took the more scary and spooky aspects of those and developed them. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons we have kids day. They can pan for gems and have the opportunity to trick ‘r’ treat throughout the haunt while there’s nobody jumping out at them.” – Andrew Coombs

Fear Factor: 5/5
I don’t scare easily. In fact, I jumped more at Grim Trails than I did at all the others combined. From the screams you hear when approaching the start to the dimly lit paths, even when you know that at any moment someone is going to jump out at you, the actors still manage to terrify you in ways you never expect.

Special Effects, makeup and set design: 4/5
Each outdoor “room” transports you from one beloved story to another, including favorites such as “Alice in Wonderland,” “Little Miss Muffet,” and the newest attraction  – “Maleficent,” dragon and all. The sets are gorgeous and the makeup is spot on. I do however wish the stories the actors were portraying would have been interactive.

Boo For Your Buck: 5/5
Grim Trails is just plain fun. At $15 this is the least expensive of the few we tried and our journey from the lands of Grimm took about 20 minutes to complete, making it the best option if you don’t want to dedicate a few hours in the woods.

Asylumn Haunted Scream Park

Why should people come to the asylum haunted scream park?
“One thing we care about is making customers happy and making sure they get a good value for their money. With a lot of haunted houses, you spend 20 bucks, go stand in line for two hours and get 15 minutes going through the haunted house. This year we’ve changed our ticketing so it’s now an all access pass. One haunted house is close to a 45 minute walk depending how long you get stuck in the maze. Another is 30 minutes. Another is 15-20 minutes. So you’re coming for an evening of entertainment. And with our fourth attraction, The Carnivale of Lost Souls, you’re being entertained even while you’re in line.” – Richard Teachout

Fear Factor: 4/5
We started off with the 42 acre “Darkness Falls,” which has plenty to be scared of. From a beautifully constructed church that’s filled with frightening ghouls to a room filled with clowns that leads you down a slide into a dungeoun filled with spiders, scary things flying over your heads via zipline in complete darkness – the long walk through the forest is not a boring one. “Zombie City” is a treat that’s more entertaining than scary. An interactive town filled with angry militants, crazy doctors, explosion-happy Russians and of course enough flesh eating zombies to take over most of Louisville. Last but not least there’s “Xterminate: Zalien Attack.” Ever wonder what it’s like to shoot down a horde of zombie-aliens? This is your chance to find out. Spoiler: It’s awesome.

Special Effects, makeup and set design: 4/5
While “Xterminate” keeps it simple in a nearly 18,000 sq. ft. warehouse filled with traditional looking zombies that are hidden around constructed fences and walls, what really shines is “Zombie City” – where you’re immediately immersed inside what feels like a town you’d find in AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”

Boo For Your Buck: 5/5
The entire adventure took us around three hours from start to finish. While the lines can take a while, the entertainment provided by the Blue Moon Circus make time fly by. With coupons available online to knock the $28 price point down a few bucks, Asylum Haunted Scream Park will keep you on your toes all night.

The 7th Street Haunt

What can people expect from the 7th street haunt?
“It’s Louisville’s old school haunted attraction – ‘Fort Harmony’s Revenge.’ Fort Harmony was a town that once existed in the state of Kentucky in 1809 but has since been erased from history. No one is alive to tell the tale of what happened. This town’s evil secrets are starting to manifest through the people that are inside these walls. We thrive on being an old-school, classic haunted house. No movie characters at all. This is all original. You won’t find Jason or Michael, it’s all original ideas inside.” – Travis Boling

Fear Factor: 3/5
Besides being next to the terryfing dirt mall that is the Derby Park Flea Market, I found this to be the least spookie of the places we visited. Which might have been because we were at the tail end of a group, so we missed the initial scares that occur when entering a new room. The actors stayed in character even when we were trailing behind, which helped still make it a memorable experience.

Special Effects, makeup and set design: 4/5
What we missed in fear, the 7th Street Haunt made up for in interesting scenes and unique characters that you won’t find at other haunts. If you pay close enough attention you’ll even notice a story from Fort Harmony that takes place over the whole house.

Boo For Your Buck: 2/5
Our exploration of Fort Harmony only took us about 15 minutes and didn’t have any entertainment while waiting in line, which made it the quickest of our visits.

The Devils Attic

What Makes The devils attic stand out from the rest?
“What we put on is a live theatrical production, so we integrate a lot of elements of theater, lighting, actual dialogue and full development from our characters. Most of our actors are cast specifically for their roles so they take on that role the entire season and they own it. So in our opinion it makes for a better performance, a better show, more consistency. We also add a level of intensity to the show here that we feel rivals some of the best haunted attractions in the U.S.” – Jason Beseman

Fear Factor: 4/5
The scares start in the parking lot with a scarecrow and demon that like to frighten you when least expected. The panic upgrades inside when you’re introduced to “The Devil’s Attic” by the devil himself, and continues to get scarier with every room you visit. Keep an eye peeled for dark corners and the creatures that lurk in them.

Special Effects, makeup and set design: 5/5
Hands down the best looking haunt. The makeup and sets are on par with most Hollywood productions you might see on the silver screen. Vampires, Pumpkinhead, scenes from “The Ring” and “The Exorcist” and even a German Christmas demon in the form of “Krampus” are just a few of the realistic nightmares you’ll encounter.

Boo For Your Buck: 3/5
Along with the ghouls you encounter while waiting in line, you’ll also be entertained by a horror film playing on a projector and live music while you wait. If nothing else, come for the high quality and stay for the scares.