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Ohio Valley Haunts
Waverly Hills Sanatorium
Category:  Professional Venue
Reviewed 10/16/15
LENGTH: - Duration 19 Minutes 8
ACTORS: - # 51 10
- Costuming
- Dialogue
- Interaction 8
- Intensity/Delivery
SCARINESS: - Ambience 10
- Fearfulness 8
DESIGN: - Concept 8
- Flow 6
- Lighting 8
- Soundtrack 8
- Changes 8
PROPS: - Quality
- Quantity/Density 8
VALUE: - Cost $20 (+ $5 Parking) 8
ANALYSIS:   Loud, spooky music welcomes this season's annual fundraiser into the most haunted place on Earth, and down a lengthy hallway to the traditional photo-op.  The adventure itself gets underway past a mysteriously levitating woman, and immediately into green, laser-lit confrontations with a rabid, "Hound of Hell" dog, and The Devil himself setting the stage for a variety of atrocities that are about to unfold.  Enraged fiends armed with murderous axes invite progression through skull and skeleton-lined walls as thunder and lightning engulf the surroundings.  Advancement interrupts some sort of diabolical laboratory experiment before continuing past drop-panel startles, and eventually into a slaughterhouse of squealing pigs where an innocent victim's been chained up against her will by a maniacal butcher armed with an enormous knife!  Random scenes follow including a foggy jungle-like excursion, a bloody-mouthed girl being tormented by an evil dentist, and a gigantic table saw savagely cutting a man in two while a girl holding onto a Raggedy Ann doll cheerfully celebrates the poor man's demise.  Spinning vortices and triple-threat claustrophobia initiate a lengthy 3D clown-infested segment through colorfully painted, visually-enhanced stimulants such as an old-school polka dot surprise before surrendering the special glasses to a nurse having a noose around her neck transfers the route into the midst zombie-like asylum patients just outside of a frightening morgue that houses a masked, mentally-compromised pathologist holding internal organs and hearts!  On the horizon, a vampire's crypt of upright coffins, delivers a ranting religious fanatic preaching an intense sermon, followed by a near-lethal encounter with Lizzie Borden offering free cosmetic surgery with her murderous ax!  Hangings escort continuance into an unholy ceremony that witnesses a seemingly possessed girl speaking in undiscernible tongues!  Pure white crawlers straight out of The Decent reside within a forthcoming cave that yields to a laser-lit mirror maze, the escape from which evokes the wrath of some crazed goon going berserk and slamming a pole up against a chaperoning fence before turning the corner harvests a path-blocking encounter courtesy of a viciously snarling, stooped-over demoness rolling her eyes back in her head.  A life-and-death battle with a T-Rex dinosaur is still to come, as is a sand-bagged machine gun assault that harvests a subsequent chainsaw chase-out of The Waverly Hills Sanatorium Haunted House

Almost nothing compares to setting foot inside Waverly Hills, and the annual haunted house serves as a major fundraiser towards restoration of the facility.  The event is above average from a duration standpoint, and boasts far more actors than nearly all of its competitors.  Costuming is adequate, featuring a lot of hospital-attire early on, then diversifies.  Pure white crawlers, butcher, preacher, possessed girl, demoness, pathologist, and Lizzie are among the most memorable.  Many characters deliver enthusiastic performances, although dialogue and interaction could be improved upon.  Scenes are extremely random in nature, and jump around seemingly at will. Table saw would be better suited for the slaughterhouse, and while 3D section might be popular due to its uniqueness, it doesn't really fit anyone's expectations of Waverly, and is seldom scary.  The attraction's performance could be significantly strengthened by focusing on the site's well-known, storied history, and developing scenes and scares around those tragic events.  Eerily-lit unholy ceremony is this season's best scare by far, with repeated recitations of "regina satonicas" literally giving you the creeps as you approach.  Several unique props are contained within, highlighted by this year's arrival of a T-Rex dinosaur, an enormous table saw, a talking head projection leading up to the photo-op, the addition of vacuum form panels to supplement décor, and a levitating woman that floats up off the ground right before your very eyes!  Attention to detail is appreciated, exemplified by toe-tagged cadaver on a gurney, pig squeals heard in slaughterhouse, and bags surrounding the machine gun, etc.  Lighting is proficient, and soundtrack, while not scene-specific, is loud and sinister, except in the morgue where it inexplicably dons an almost cheerful melody.  Cost of admission remains at $20, which is consistent with area standards.  A new VIP experience is being offered for $60 this year consisting of a 30-minute tour of some upper floor "hotspots" at Waverly, and front-of-the-line access to the haunted house.

Last season's impressive light show that earned OVH's Best Pre-Haunt Entertainment Award in 2014 by treating guests to some magnificent projections unfortunately wasn't working due to rain on the night of our visit, but is definitely worth seeing when it's up and running.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium
4400 Paralee Dr., Louisville, KY  40272
(502) 933-2142
$20 (VIP $60 includes a 30 min. mini tour of the upper floors & Front ot the line access to haunt)
Sept 25 - Oct 31; Fri/Sat 8 PM - Midnight 
gates open 7:30 PM; Parking $5
click logo at left to visit their website