Louisville’s Danger Run is a one-of-a-kind experience that stays with you throughout the year. There is not another ghost run in any other city in the world. I’ve driven (well, ridden) through Danger Run for the past two years, at least, and I usually go multiple times in a year, because they have three different locations with 12 different clue books. The point is to follow the clues to get your mileage spot on; it’s not a race. People come from out of town to get into the experience every year, the furthest coming from Washington State. Yes, a bunch of college students road tripped to Louisville KY to experience our very own Ghost Run. That should tell you why you should come and do this yourself.
It was suggested to me to write this in limerick form, but unfortunately, I am not as talented as the three owners of Danger Run. They spend 10 months of the year working on Danger Run, preparing for the six weeks of 15,000 people going through their gates. How do they create these intricate paths filled with twists and turns, mix ups, and fun, you may ask? They use commercial grade mapping software to plot the courses, test drive them, record them in HD video, and use the video to create the clues. Danger Run is meant to be challenging, but solvable. Once the clues are completed, they send out Danger Run newbies to test drive the clues to make sure they can be figured out, and there aren’t any mistakes. That’s a lot of work, isn’t it? Well, these three guys care about Danger Run quite a bit, and want to make it fun for everyone.
Something else to note is that last weekend they had Miracle Weekend, where $1 of every ticket was donated to Children’s Miracle Network. They will be accepting donations all month long.
So, how does Danger Run work? Well, I drove up to Lowe’s on Hurtbourne Lane, and went through the simple paperwork. $18.95 gets you on the road, which is a steal. Included in your ticket price are two haunted house tickets (which would normally be $20 each – I checked when I got there), a Dairy Queen coupon, fangs, and my clue book. Mostly, the important part is the super cheap haunted house tickets. It’s worth going through the process just for those.
You’re almost guaranteed to turn the wrong direction at some point during Danger Run – we just happened to do it more than once. More than twice, even…probably more like 10 or so times. The best part of Danger Run is the arguments you have with friends, so, the more, the merrier. Especially since you get a $10 gas card if you have four in the car.
One of my favorite lines was
“I read about humping, but for me there’d be none.
With a left then a right as those signs on this Run.
Then with a right at the “T”
It’s a third hump I’d see,
But I’d turn and not hit it…No, not even one.”
This translated into, “don’t cross any speed bumps. Turn left when you see the first “speed bump ahead” sign, then a right at the next “speed bump ahead sign.” You’re going to get to the end of the street where you can’t get street. Turn right there. You’ll see another speed bump, and avoid that one, too.”
Pretty tricky, huh?
After passing landmarks like Hooters, Lynn’s Paradise Café, and La Bamba, we eventually made it to our first haunt. No, I’m not going to reveal that secret, but let me tell you, it’s worth it. The quality of the props and costumes alone is stunning. You’ll just have to go and see for yourself.
Of course, we got hopelessly lost before even hitting the first haunt, so it was definitely time for a break. There were 7 Dairy Queens along this path; we made a pit stop to use our coupons.
We were right on our way again, and I began to wonder how they made the choice on which haunted houses to use? Upon further investigation, I discovered that the owners visit each local attraction in Louisville every year, and determine whether the haunts could provide enough parking for the potential 1,500 Danger Runners every. Another aspect they look for is to make sure that each haunted house can usher the Danger Runners through the attraction in a reasonable amount of time; there are two haunts on a Run, after all, and no one wants to wait in line.
After passing through all of Louisville, crossing the river, and crossing back again, we ended up at the final haunt at about 2am – it took us a whole 4 hours to complete the Danger Run! Definitely plan on this being an all night event. The second haunt was as fantastic as the first. Another hint: both haunted houses had multiple attractions, so make sure to bring some extra cash if you want to upgrade your tickets to see everything.
Overall, I survived Danger Run, and it was worth it!
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