Updated: Feb 19
Blind Date from Hell @ Malice Manor - Southern Indiana's Scariest Haunted House 640 Providence Way Clarksville, IN 47129 http://www.malicemanorhauntedhouse.com
Date of Visit: 2/12/22 Reviewer: Lindsay
If you live in or near the Southern Indiana area, you might've heard some unsavory rumors surrounding that crumbling manor lurking over Providence Way in Clarksville. And possibly even more unsavory things concerning the family that once called it their home (and are said to still reside there!). What a lot of people don't realize is that the house patriarch, Lord Rancor, is actually a pretty romantic guy. He's so romantic that for Valentine's Day, he's opened up his own home to couples looking for a special experience to celebrate the holiday of love. How generous of him, right?
...if by "special experience", you mean creeping through the darkened halls of his manor, while his crazy relatives and a bunch of monsters try to hunt down you and your sweetie. Sound like a good time to you? Well, it does to me. And while I may not have a partner myself, I didn't let that stop me from going on a little Blind Date From Hell at the old Rancor home- also known as Malice Manor- this past Saturday night.
Seasonal events are becoming more and more common in the haunt industry, and Malice Manor is among those enthusiastically partaking in this trend. They've hosted shows for Christmas, Summertime, and for a second year now (with a break in 2021), Valentine's Day. However, Malice does Valentine's a little differently than others. Blind Date From Hell is a "blackout" event, meaning some or most of the lights are turned off in the house, and each group is given some kind of glowstick to find their way through. Since this is a Valentine's themed event, the glowstick in question is actually a red LED rose! I've never seen any haunt use those before, and I thought it was a neat idea, especially since you get to keep the rose as a souvenir when you're done.
Admission to Blind Date From Hell is exactly the same as it is during the normal haunt season: $25 for General Admission, $40 for Fast Pass/VIP, and $60 for "Front of the Line" immediate access! There are a few free parking spaces right out front, but if those are full when you arrive, plenty of other lots are just a short walk away. One awesome new thing that's been introduced with the 2022 event is the addition of a wedding package, allowing couples to officially get married in front of the Manor! And of course, there are other goodies included, like photos and admission to the haunt. I was lucky enough to actually catch the tail end of one of these weddings when I entered the queue; I'm not sure who the happy couple were, but it looked like they were having fun! Congratulations to them!
Every show Malice puts on comes with its own special introduction, and Blind Date was no exception. Upon stepping through the mansion's door, I was greeted by a scorned bride, who sat me down and expressed some rather cynical views concerning the holiday. Any affinity she once had for Valentine's Day was dashed when Lord Rancor jilted her at the altar - to please his little girl, Alice. And boy, she made sure I knew just how upset she was over the whole thing. "He loved ME, not YOU, you little brat!" she shrieked angrily at the girl's portrait. Yikes. (Shout out alert: this actor was fantastic! What a great intro!)
Much of the Malice Manor walkthrough remained the same as the regular season, and despite this being a blackout show, it was fairly easy to see for most of the house. I seem to remember the first event in 2020 being much darker. There also didn't seem to be a lot by way of Valentine decor, though you could argue it wasn't really necessary here (would've been harder to notice). However, I did spot some decorations, and I also ran into a few particularly dark areas where I was grateful to have a light.
Despite the freezing winter weather, the haunt had quite a crew of dedicated actors working that night. Each and every one of them deserves a shout out as well, because that couldn't have been easy... it was so cold in there that I could barely grip the glowing rose, but every actor I came across jumped into their role with vigor. Something you should know before visiting Malice Manor is that it's a "light touch" haunt - actors may gently stroke your face or hair, or lightly grab ahold of you, but nothing too crazy is going to happen...
...unless they know you. And a few of them knew me very well, so you can bet I was feeling the Valentine's "love" in there. Not long after entering the mansion's dining room, I was caught by two characters and had heart stickers plastered to my face. (Hey guys, you're supposed to decorate the haunt... not the customers.) An actor in a room housing a grotesque flabby creature insistently tried to feed me a "snow cone" made from said creature's bodily fluids (gross!). Stepping into the butcher shop, I was immediately accosted by a creepy maniac, who wound up squirting me with fake blood! Thankfully, a good wash took care of that when I got home.
As much of a mess as I looked with blood running down my neck and stickers all over my face, the reaction I got upon returning to the merch counter to purchase my photo was worth it. "What the hell is that on your face?! You didn't have any of... that... on you when you got here..." I wanted to tell her that leaving a haunt looking like that was just another night in the life of Lindsay.
Speaking of which, don't forget your souvenir photo(s) on the way out! They're $10 each, and they added a gorgeous border to it for this event; I'd include a photo of mine but it's hard to take good pictures of those printed photos. In all my visits to the Manor, this was actually the first night I even remembered to go back for it... I feel like putting a sign up outside to remind groups (as they're running like hell from the chainsaw guy) about their photos might be helpful. Just an idea.
I always have a good time at Malice Manor, especially when they're putting on these special seasonal shows. Blind Date From Hell was unique and fun, and I do recommend it for any spooky-minded couples seeking a fresh experience when Valentine's Day comes around. (Remember - you can also get married here!) The gentleman at the merch counter let me know they're planning another Summer event, so if you're interested in seeing their haunt, follow their Facebook page for more information.