At 36 years and counting, St. Rita’s is the nation’s oldest haunt east of the Mississippi River. This season is one of its best, with virtually every area being changed or revamped. A large cast insures that each room is filled with multiple characters, each with professional-level costuming and makeup. The dripping cavern in the basement and the filth encrusted restroom (almost as bad as your average gas station) will have you believing it’s the real thing. Traditional scenes include a torture chamber, electric chair, Freddy Krueger, a meat locker, Vortex Tunnel, a science lab, hillbilly shack and a cannibal’s feast. There’s an extensive clown area and the exit features a well-done graveyard swarming with zombies.
There are some basic animatronics and effects (notably the longtime favorite “collapsing floor”), but it’s the actors who carry the show
. They’re a lively bunch who give their all performing their assigned roles. Characters also interact with the line and a laser light show plays outside on a regular basis. Containing virtually no blood or gore, St. Rita’s is an excellent traditional haunt for families, especially those with young children (who can request a “flashlight tour” with friendly monsters).
THE WAIT: Lines average 15 minutes, and the tour takes about 15 minutes.
DETAILS: Open 7-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 7-10 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays (also open 7-10 p.m. Oct. 31) through Oct. 31. 1720 Glendale-Milford Road, Evendale, 513-771-1060, www.srsdeaf.org/events/hhouse/hhouse.html.
THE DAMAGE: $10, with $6 group rates available; $3 coupon available on website, as well as the special “Dark Combo” deal for dual admission to St. Rita’s and the USS Nightmare, only $20 for both; discounted group combo and express rates available as well. $2 for children’s matinees 3-5 p.m. Oct. 29-30.
CITYBEAT RATING: PG-13