This brand new haunted attraction in Shepherdsville has opened its doors to the ghosts of the past, and they’re back from the grave to torment the living!
There is an abandoned hotel in Shepherdsville that was built in the late 1940’s, but closed in the early 1970’s when a murder investigation discovered a number of bodies buried beneath the floorboards. This Halloween season, the Dead End Hotel at 495 South Lakeview Drive in Shepherdsville has reopened its doors to new customers, but it seems that something evil from the past is still lurking within its walls.
At the end of a desolate road, behind a chrome 1950’s style Denny’s in Shepherdsville, you’ll find Jason Weber’s latest diabolical spook house. Weber, who also owns and operates Nightmare Forest in Otter Creek Park, apparently decided his weekends in October weren’t already busy enough, so he decided to double down and give Louisville another terrifying haunted attraction in 2013!
When you first check in to the Dead End Hotel, you’ll be sent to your room only to discover a grisly murder has taken place there. With the killer still possibly in the area, you’ll have to quickly exit out the back door in search of help. Racing down the hall past the ice machines to find the manager, you suddenly realize you’ve become lost in the maze of dreary hallways. One more turn brings you to a hallway with severed heads hanging from the ceiling. Is this real or have you begun to hallucinate due to the mounting stress?
You’ll find a secret passageway behind the walls of the dilapidated building that will take you to the wine cellar and eventually the kitchen area. This “employees only” passage also leads to the secret gambling suite of some notorious gangsters. If you survive your accidental encounter with some of Al Capone’s cronies, you’ll pass the haunted nursery area and finally head upstairs to discover the secret behind one of the Dead End Hotel’s unsolved murders.
Like most haunts in their first year of operation, the Dead End Hotel had a few bugs to work out during its opening weekend. The sets and props were all solid, but the cast needed a little work to get their timing and performances up to par. Weber and his team worked hard to get everything ironed out for the second weekend, and now everything seems to be running like a well-oiled scare machine.
Among the things that impressed me the most were a couple of really well timed pop up scares, and one actor who practices parkour (free running) in his free time that delivers an extremely athletic scare. Another actress is an actual contortionist who bends her body into seemingly unnatural knots before your very eyes.
The Dead End Hotel also delivers the best Pepper’s Ghost illusion I’ve ever seen in a local haunt. For those unfamiliar with this classic visual trick, it involves using a plate of glass and special lighting to create a transparent ghost within a scene. Probably the most famous use of the Pepper’s Ghost illusion is in the ballroom scene of the Haunted Mansion in Disney World.
Period costumes and props add to the atmosphere and help create the illusion of a hotel lost in time. The focus in the Dead End Hotel is in creating a time and place with distracting visuals while delivering scares from unexpected places. There aren’t really any high tech scare props here; it’s mostly old school haunt techniques. While the actors are certainly there to give you a jolt, they won’t touch or grab you. There is a strict “hands off” policy enforced by Jason Weber and his staff.
The Dead End Hotel is open every Friday and Saturday in October from dusk until 2AM. Advanced tickets can be purchased for $18 online at https://tix.extremetix.com/Online/?siteID=3735&cartID=4b335675-69c5-4228-9f28-1e040dfb8b35 or for $20 at the door. Speed Passes can also be purchased for $22 online or $30 at the door. There is also an UNLIMITED Pass option that allows you to go through as many times as like on a single night for $30 online or $35 at the door.