|LOVELAND CASTLE SCARY KNIGHT TOURS:
Flames spew forth near the top of the intimidating Loveland Castle.
Spooky music plays, as the darkened tour of Chateau Laroche begins
in the presence of the King of the Castle. Promising an adventurous
evening, a servant rather impolitely encourages visitors onto a stone block
staircase that ascends into a Red Cross triage unit. Evil spirits
have assumed control and had their way with many intruders, evidenced by
bloody patients seen lying on gurneys - one still alive even though his
been severed in two! Majestic suits of armor decorate the halls as
you embark upon the French Ballroom, then onto the Chapel of
The Knights of The Golden Trail. The excursion progresses onward
to the self explanatory Armor and Round Rooms, the latter
of which offers “delicious” delicacies like pickled tongue, ghoulish goulash,
and even a Bloody Mary! Back downstairs, fog dominates the surroundings
hiding a couple of startling surprises en route to an area of beheadings
that exits out into the courtyard area. There, an uncomfortable exchange
takes place with a strange ghoul displaying one of her many knives that
leads to a few more unexpected surprises including a vicious, smoke emitting
electrocution, and immediate chainsaw chase-out of The Scary Knight
Tours at Historic Loveland Castle!
Length - 7, Right around 10 minutes.
Actors - 5, Dialogue from initial scene is
too weak. Round Room characters need coaching, and knife girl
just stood there. Electocution victim broke character by charging
out and saying, “ Hey, how you doing?” Glass enclosed Jason and half-bodied
Red Cross patient were best!
Scariness - 6½, Mood music, downstairs surprises,
and intimidating Castle itself are the primary scares.
Design - 6, Somewhat short, in need of supplemental scares,
and an unchanged course for a consecutive number of years. Additional
scenes need to be developed along the lines and quality of those in the
Props - 7, Lots of static props decorating the rooms
inside and out, but most of them are part of the primary Castle
Value - 6, $8 and just too short to score any higher
given the compromised quality of acting, plus there’s a parking fee.
Final Score: 6, Would potentially score
much higher if the Castle were utilized to its fullest extent, with
a lengthier course, and additional frights and characters. The venue
is the perfect place for a haunt with its authentic architecture, arched
doorways, creepy-looking staircases, etc. It’s still nice to revisit
this classic Cincinnati haunt, but gone are the days of those infamous
adventurous bus rides that used to shuttle patrons to The Castle
from the school parking lot years ago. The value of the attraction
lies in the actual exploration of the Castle itself, with some seasonal
scares tossed in for good measure. The opportunity to see and tour
Laroche shouldn’t be missed.