As visitors move through The Asylum House, they’ll notice the detail and hard work put into each room– even while being terrified.
Mr. Pat Greathouse, owner of The Asylum house, has been in the business for 25 years. He created the haunted house as a fundraiser and has continued it ever since.“My older brother was the head of culinary arts at Ivy Tech State College 25 years ago. Three years after that, he caught a lung disease and died. So the alumni association and I sat there and said, ‘let’s do a fundraiser,’ I suggested a haunted house, and they thought it was a great idea. 25 years later, it’s a full blown business,” he said.
Many of the props and decorations are handmade by the crew.
“They raised money doing that, and I’m an artist and had fun doing it. I also used to be in the parade float industry here in Indianapolis. I got to build props and stuff, and there’s not a lot of difference between that and what I do for the house,” Mr. Greathouse said.
One of the most unique parts of the asylum is the references to past and current pop culture. One room includes different famous dolls, like Annabelle from The Conjuring franchise and Chucky from the Chucky franchise. Another is based around IT and includes multiple different nods to the classic Stephen King novel. At one point, the gas station from Texas Chainsaw Massacre is recreated in great detail. The idea is to ensure anyone will be scared by the house, no matter what they are scared of.
“Movies are always good inspiration. We try to keep up-to-date with movies and keeping with some of the classics, so the haunted house is more geared towards a little bit of everything for everybody. Anybody who visits will recognize at least one room,” Mr. Greathouse said.
The house has been well received, both by those attending and by professionals. The asylum is located at 6611 Bluff Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46217.
“We were voted last year Number One in the state by the state fire marshal. They see everybody in the state, and the Children’s Museum came in second. We’re pretty proud of that,” Mr. Greathouse said.
The actors are one of the most distinct features in the house. They do not shy away from scaring visitors, something that distinguishes them from other haunted houses. The interactive portions of the house create a more immersive environment, one that inspires genuine terror. At different points, visitors will be chased by famous horror characters and even some historical figures. This makes it hard to remember that what is happening is not real; the atmosphere is filled with true fear.
The asylum is a perfect blend of props and actors. Many of the props are interactive and leave an element of surprise. While visitors almost always know what to expect with an actor, the props leave a constant element of surprise. Each new prop is different than the last. Every decoration throughout the house is there with purpose- it just might not be known yet.
Overall, the experience is memorable. The house opens at 8 p.m on Friday and Saturdays, and is a 45 minute experience. One ticket is $24, and the FastPass ticket is $30