Cincinnati’s Halloween Thrills: Haunted House Reviews


While some appreciate the cool weather and harmless trick-or-treating, daredevils look for more of a thrill during Halloween time.

As October 31st approaches, Cincinnati’s annual haunted houses are reopening for the season. Thrill-seekers wander the streets in hopes to find the best scare around.

In honor of Halloween time, we embarked on the journey of visiting the top 3 scariest haunted houses in Cincinnati. King’s Island’s Halloween Haunt, Dent Schoolhouse, and U.S.S. Nightmare took the top ranks.

First on our list was Halloween Haunt. Pulling up, you could see a completely full parking lot, thick rising fog and a tiny sign that mentions the $20 fee for parking. The overall price for the trip already began to rack up. Because we had our student IDs, we payed $32 rather than the normal admission fee of $48.  .

Was the $52 really worth the trip?

Halloween Haunt offers a variety of activities besides haunted houses, including rides and games. The lines for the rides are oftentimes long, but a good break from the costumed staff who pop out and follow you around.

There are twenty haunted locations around Kings Island, each with a different theme. We personally experienced a 5 minute walk through “The Blackout” with flaps hitting our ankles, and flashing lights coming on then off to reveal a person standing right there to scare you.

Chloe Reavill’s knee after running into a wall in a haunted house. (PHOTO BY PAZ)

“The Slaughterhouse,” located past Snoopy Land, was another 5 minute haunted house. This one had the lights on, and no rope to guide you through… just scary men with meat. These men were taller than 6 feet, and had their arms tucked into their shirts like they had been cut off. They would come up as close as they could without touching you and snort in your face.

We will not say that there were not at least a few tears during our trip, but we did survive and lived on to give this review and recommendation. Mariemont senior, Chloe Reavill also spent time at Halloween Haunt.  Reavill says, “The highlight of my night was Isabella crying a few times, but overall it was L I T.”

The second on our list was the Dent Schoolhouse on Harrison Avenue. The cost for general admission is $20, with an additional cost of $5 if you want to park in the VIP lot.

This abandoned schoolhouse has been recently renovated into a jaw-dropping haunted house. The whole experience usually lasts around 20-25 minutes. The schoolhouse is full of haunted hallways, “possessed” teachers and students, and pop-out actors. There are a total of 60 actors running around within the schoolhouse and the slaughterhouse. 

Outside of the Dent Schoolhouse. (PHOTO BY KROMER)

The schoolhouse also consists of hanging objects covered in blood and actors that corner you against the walls and tight, dark hallways. 

Along the way, we met another haunted house goer named Josh. He said, “This is the scariest haunted house I have been in throughout all of Cincinnati. I hate clowns and they are everywhere in here this year.”

Mariemont senior Daniel Cascella went to the Dent Schoolhouse last year and says he had a pretty scary time. “People get super close to you, following you around with sporadic flashing lights”, he says

If you are an extreme thrill-seeker, this haunted schoolhouse is for you.

The U.S.S. Nightmare, floating haunted house in downtown Cincinnati located on the Ohio River was our final destination. This one has been turned into a haunted gothic jail. The lines to get on the boat can take up to two hours, and the general admission cost is $20. If you are willing to splurge, the RIP Experience is a bit more expensive, ranging from $40-$60, allowing actors to touch you intentionally.

The whole experience usually takes around 30 minutes, but you can set your own pace. There is no hiding in this one, since the entire haunted house is on one boat.

The rooms in the boat are filled with falling objects, body bags, swirling tunnels, and strobe lights. There is no specific guide to lead you around, so you travel by yourself.

The body bags are set on the floor, and when you walk by, people burst out. This is what sophomore JP Normile said was one of the scariest parts for him. “It was definitely very scary, but I would recommend going. Especially in celebration of Halloween.”

Besides constant jump scares, there is a giant tunnel at the end of the tour, giving the illusion that you are spinning around. However, at the same time, people are waiting at the end of the tunnel to scare you.

Charlie Cowart, a junior at MHS, says that he enjoyed his trip there, and would have to say it was pretty scary, and very long.

All three locations offer fun, spooky, and different opportunities for one more night…. 

Now it’s your turn to venture through these haunted houses………if you dare. 


For a closer look:
 Haunted House Video #1

Haunted House Video #2