It's the haunting season and Jason Besemann's The Devil's Attic continues to be my favorite local way to celebrate. The haunted house is psychologically disturbing and fun thanks to their masterful use of lighting, props and costuming, which have increased this year. The haunt has added new scenes, increasing the amount of time it takes to go through, and I am continually impressed with their eye for detail. The artist in me wanted to stop and really take each scene in, but the human in me was too busy moving away from the spooks.
The fun starts outside with a few characters, a contest and food stand. Orlock (portrayed by Lee Drake) continues to be a gracious host, keeping people entertained while they wait in line to go through. His character is still oddly erotic as his piercing blue eyes hypnotize and he flirts with all the people arriving. He lands somewhere between dashing and crotchety old man. It was hilarious to see him flirt and make fun of a group of teen girls simultaneously. Beyond flirtations, it's just eerie seeing his devilish silhouette when he starts walking through the parking lot. While Orlock has the eerie flirtation down pat, the Haunted Harley inspires awe. The Devil's Attic is giving away a Harley Davidson Sportster motorcycle and $500 gift card to Harley Davidson Louisville, and it sits on a trailer next to their hearse with ambient lighting. Raffle tickets can be purchased for $1 at the same counter as admission tickets or they can be won by listening to 93.1 the Fox through October 26.(Must be 18-years-old to enter). The drawing will take place October 28 and you must be present to win. Part of ticket proceeds go to The Humane Society. The haunted house is also giving away an X-Box 360 with Saw game that you can win by listening to 98.9 until October 31.
The story behind the Devil's Attic: the devil has gathered many horrific souls in one place. Think about some of the scariest movies out there and you'll recognize the characters as you move through the haunted house. The Ring, The Exorcist, 13 Ghosts, Saw, Hellraiser and many more stories are featured as you walk through the haunt. You get to be in the middle of these scenes - as if it wasn't scary enough seeing them on a screen. You're welcomed by the Devil (wonderfully portrayed by Todd Merriman) in his throne room before moving through the rest of the maze of horror. I have to say the mad scientist (Matt Clayton) this year really made me laugh because he was on very high speed pointing this way and that saying "yeah, yeah, yeah, heart, eyes, fingers...dead guy....yeah yeah, move along..." as he pointed at jars on the wall and then the other way at something else, listing more contents. I still laugh thinking about how he nonchalantly and speedily showed you around his lab.
I get pretty tense in haunted houses, so I think I put holes in my guy pal's jacket with my nails as I clung to his back and pushed him through. Everywhere I saw an opening where someone might pop out, I turned him like a human shield to defend me. I wasn't the only one who jumped and squealed. The guys in my group each had their turn being startled. There was a marsh monster (Pumpkinhead) that came out of nowhere with such a fantastic mask of epic proportions that my human shield was momentarily unavailable because he was startled out of the way. Beseman said he had the mask and costume custom made. The girl from The Ring was bent into an odd shape, so I was surprised that they found an actual contortionist. The actors eat it up when they find a girl who's squealing, so at the end, one in particular made it a point to stay right on top of me begging the guys to "leave her with me". There is a lot of noise and a lot of strobe light use, so I would definitely not recommend this to anyone with PTSD or epilepsy. All in all, this team of terrors goes out of their way to make sure you have a great and ghoulish time.
The Devil's Attic is located at 647 W. Hill St near the intersection of 7th St and Hill Street. Off-duty police provide security on site. Tickets are $17 and children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult due to graphic scenes. Last ticket sold will be at closing time but they will remain open until all ticketed guests have been through. Hours of operation are all Friday and Saturdays in September; all Friday, Saturdays, and Sundays in October. They are also open Thursday October 25 and Wednesday, October 31. On Fridays, Saturdays and Wednesday October 31, they are open from 8:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Thursday and Sunday hours are 8:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Don't miss this Halloween fun. Visit their web site for more information.
Photo by Jessica Lynn: The Orlock torments a teenage girl, confusing her with her own story.