Ohio Valley Haunts
Reviewed 10/10/08
Loveland Castle
12025 Shore Rd.
Loveland, Ohio
(513) 683-4686
$8 Admission + $1 Parking
click photo (left center) to visit their website
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 body’s 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 basement area.
Props - 7, Lots of static props decorating the rooms inside and out, but most of them are part of the primary Castle décor.
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 Chateau Laroche shouldn’t be missed.