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Ohio Valley Haunts
Culbertson Mansion Haunted House
Category:  Professional Venue
Reviewed 10/3/15
LENGTH: - Duration 11½ Minutes 6
ACTORS: - # 42 10
- Costuming 8
- Dialogue
- Interaction 9+
- Intensity/Delivery
SCARINESS: - Ambience
- Fearfulness 8
DESIGN: - Concept 9
- Flow 9
- Lighting 7
- Soundtrack 6
- Changes
PROPS: - Quality
- Quantity/Density
VALUE: - Cost $14 9
ANALYSIS: This year's annual haunted house fundraiser is themed "Asylum," and begins through majestic iron gates protecting a fog-filled cemetery, and climaxes in customary fashion with a surprising casket ride for a randomly selected group member followed by an obligatory chainsaw chase-out.  Highlights include an initial confrontation with a pair of clown-masked villains, first a gravedigger, who does "All the diggin'," and his menacing brother armed with a sledgehammer that, "Does all the Killin'!"  Once they give chase into the carriage house, The Asylum theme gets into full swing, as exploration witnesses the killing of an innocent receptionist at the hands of an insane inmate that's escaped his confinement; crazed, contorted children chewing on visitors' arms; and electro-shock therapy that involves patrons in the action by encouraging one group member to pull the lever that energizes a patient's treatment chair with current! A frenzied atmosphere exists within, as progression exposes hangings, a rubber room that hides a sudden surprise, imprisoned lunatics struggling for freedom, diabolic surgeries removing brains, a neurotic nurse clinging onto a newborn baby that she's ripped from an expectant mother umbilical cord still intact, and a demented dentist that's amputated the tongue from an unfortunate patient whose mouth is still clamped wide-open!

Acting is strong throughout with a number of characters going absolutely berserk, although screaming is a bit overdone.  Brothers provide an excellent beginning, and the element of subtle touching is utilized during the indoor portion of the event to accentuate scares.  Receptionist is killed by a pig-tailed, but bearded slayer that identifies himself/herself as Margaret, bathroom segment is compromised by a nutcase with his arms inside his hospital gown climbing all over the place, who forbids leaving until someone "wipes" him, and shock therapy patient actually enjoys his treatment!  Costuming is adequate but basic as are props, and soundtrack is quiet to non-existent at times.  Moving rubber room wall surprise is appreciated.  This attraction makes the most of a limited budget, and changes things up year after year while still providing legitimate scares, and climaxing with one of the most unique endings (casket ride) in the business.  Lengthening the overall experience, and acquiring more visually impressive props would take them to the next level.

2015 marks their 3st anniversary, and the event is staffed entirely by volunteers with proceeds benefiting restoration of the historic Culbertson Mansion.

Culbertson Mansion Haunted House
914 E. Main St., New Albany, IN  47150
(812) 944-9600
Oct. 2 - 31; Fri/Sat 7 PM - ???
$14 Admission
click logo at left to visit their website