Louisville Haunted Houses: Deatherage Ice House [Halloween]

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A new haunt has sprouted in Louisville at 6330 Strawberry Ln under the guise of being a former ice company that met a gruesome end. The owner of "Deatherage Ice Company" lost his mind as business declined, causing him to skin his lover and secretary. When his employees found him and tried to stop him, they became victims. Deatherage then met his own death when he exited the building and got hit by a delivery truck.

 
For a first year haunt, this haunt has a lot of potential. I think the tickets are too much for what it curently is. If you're a hardcore haunt fan and want to hit them all and show support to help them grow, you might be okay with the $20 ticket price. The haunt lasts about 12 - 15 minutes.
 
There are a lot of things in this haunt that I hope to see further developed and built upon in the coming years. I like that there is a storyline, and I think the storyline is well done and pretty believable as a local urban legend or even a news headline. The nickname given to the seven employees that find Deatherage skinning his lover (" the strawberry seven") is a nice touch. I like that the haunt is in a big office building with warehouse, and that the haunt takes you through the buliding and down into the basement. Going up and down stairs adds to the disorientation.   I like that the haunt is set up in a way that people can come at you from above. The most disorienting moment I faced that actually startled me was when someone was yelling at me from atop a piece of fencing in the strobe light and as I brought my line of vision back down, a masked person was in my face. It made it seem like the guy on the fence had jumped but severely confused my brain on how it was possible for him to be down so quickly. I'm not sure that was even on purpose. The characters in this haunt do a good job of trailing along with you. This haunt seems to have a pretty big cast.  I also like that you can hear some of the stuff going on as you walked through the fencing walls that you can't see, because the imagination can be far scarier than what you see, but I feel that you hear too much banging.
 
The biggest downfall for me on this haunt was the noise level. My ears still hurt several hours later. It made me not want to return, and not because I was creeped out. Since this is a first year haunt, it seems that  much of the props and make up were kind of thrown together so they relied on "bang startles" that were VERY loud bangs, which is okay. However, They VERY LOUD bangs were CONSTANT for the entire fifteen minutes. It was disorienting but also distracting which made the actual scenes hard to actually take in. The bangs also failed to startle me because there was not quiet in between them.  It annoyed me more than anything and made my ears feel like they were bleeding. I was just ready to leave by the time I was through the haunt. If there had been less banging, I might have actually been startled by more of the characters or been more disturbed by the few sparse scenes. 
 
I was a little confused on how the storyline tied in with what happened in the haunt. I had kind of expected to walk in and see the re-enactment of the doctor killing the different  employees, but didn't see a lot of tie in. Instead of just seeing the insane doctor, it seemed that the employees were all insane and still working after being mutilated. I didn't understand why there were coffins in the warehouse or why people kept yelling at us to "get out". It came off a little more like an asylum.  There was one nice storyline tie in near the end. 
 
The strobe lighting was used well in the right areas to make things disorienting, but I think some lighting could have been used a little better to better utilize the props and make-up that were there. All in all, I think there is a lot of potential, and a lot of this is probably due to a first time haunt. ... but please....maybe not so much constant banging and slamming. There are other ways to scare people.
 
About Jessica Lynn
Jessica Lynn has been writing for Louisville.com since fall of 2010 and has also been published in LEO, Velocity, Voice-Tribune and others after serving as Editor in Chief of The JCC student newspaper, The Quadrangle. She has also served as columnist or contributing writer to an array of online publications.
More articles from Jessica Lynn
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