Updated: Feb 19
Date of Visit: 7/23/22 Reviewer: Lindsay
We are deep into the month of July, and this is the point in the year where a lot of people are looking for some summer fun to get into! Activities like pool parties, grilling out, spending time on the beach, and weekend vacations are commonplace - most probably wouldn't add "go to a haunted house and get the crap scared out of me" to that list. But Summer's presence also means we're in the home stretch towards a far darker time of the year, and the denizens of a certain city of the dead- lurking just under Indianapolis- are celebrating early with a little summer "fun" of their own. (Hey, even monsters need a vacation. Right?)
It's become a huge thing for haunted attractions to put on special shows outside of the Fall season, and Necropolis Underground is among those that seem to love opening throughout the year. With three events under their belt so far for 2022, they're now indulging in some fun in the sun with Slaughter in the Summer, the haunt's latest Summer-themed event. Ticket prices for these shows remain the same as they are during the full haunt season, ranging from $35 for General Admission to $70+ for super speedy Front of the Line access. Wondering where to park when you get there? No worries - there are plenty of spaces around the complex the Underground calls home, and often someone around to guide you to a spot.
Right off the bat, Necropolis didn't let you forget this was a summertime show, and I stepped down into a lobby that was well decorated for the occasion, starting with their ticket counter transformed into a beach shack (loved this!). Proceeding into the queue, I noticed colorful garlands strung up above, and painted tiki faces glared at customers from various spots. As with all of their shows, the haunt had some cool characters working the line, too. Shortly after I walked in, I was greeted by a lovely hula girl, and a cute possum character was scurrying about and engaging groups in beach ball battles - I ended up getting one launched right at me! (Oh yes, about that. If you go to any Summer haunt, watch out for stuff flying. There were three beach balls and a pool floatie sailing through the air at one point.) If you arrive prior to opening, they also put on a little show for the line where they turn several of their actors loose on the crowd. I saw more great Summer looks here - I think my favorite was Nom Nom, one of their resident sliders, who had a big shark fin sticking out of his back! Awesome!
Necropolis goes all in for their events, opening each of their four attractions for every show: Nightmare House, Cemetery of the Damned, Dead & Breakfast, and The Bunker. For the sake of brevity, I won't go into the stories behind each one, but their names pretty much speak for themselves. (If you're super curious, you can also read up on them by visiting the haunt's website.) While the lobby and waiting areas had quite a lot of Summer scenery, this was an area where the houses were a bit lacking. They definitely had odds and ends here and there, just not as much as I've seen with some of their other themed shows. (Without spoiling too much, I also saw some non-seasonal updates to the haunt. The room with the lines for Cemetery and Dead & Breakfast was darkened considerably, and D&B had a brand new scene! Very cool.)
A large number of this dark city's residents were out and about that night, and I was happy to see that the majority of them were sporting their Summer finest - lots of Hawaiian shirts, leis and such. I did encounter some dead spots here and there, but the actors were spread out well enough to keep empty space to a minimum. Jumping into some memorable moments, whoever was wielding the opening chainsaw in Nightmare House was one sneaky actor. I smelled the exhaust... "Okay, where ya at?" ...and then happened to look behind me. "... uh oh." VROOOOOOM. I also enjoyed a cute interaction with the ghoul sitting in the home's cemetery, wearing an orange lei and making hand hearts as I walked by (which I gladly returned). The priestess outside of Cemetery had a neat act involving selection of a tarot card by a group member, then baby powder being blown in the guest's face. (Maybe we could be a little more mindful of where that goes... it wound up in my mouth... it wasn't tasty.) Dead & Breakfast's bellhop actually hit me with a Bacon joke I hadn't heard before: "If you die in there, can I eat you for breakfast?" In the same house, the character on the bed with the split mouth was pretty creepy - they hopped down and followed me for a while. And in The Bunker, the house's icon character- Dr. Cutter- continues to be a terror. Alerted to my presence by other actors, he came after me again... I'm pretty sure that's the fastest I've run from any haunt character, and believe me, I've fled from a lot of them over the years!
And now, a general shout out: this haunt has always seemed to have a talented and energetic cast that works well together, but they were going completely postal on this final night. I saw characters who would normally be in-house sneak out briefly to terrorize the crowd. A male and female duo, notorious for picking on me every chance they get, were also hounding the hell out of everyone else unfortunate enough to encounter them. Scares and screams arose all over the place, from the queue to the midway at the end. It was crazy. I had never witnessed a night at Necropolis like this one, and I was absolutely loving it.
(Oh, by the way - the scares did not end once I'd left the building. As if I hadn't suffered enough already, one wayward citizen of this buried city had managed to wander out into the parking lot, and scared me again as I was putting my stuff away. C'mon y'all.)
Should you manage to complete all four of the Underground's haunts, there's something a little less scary waiting for you at the end: the Dead City Festival! This awesome midway joined the Necropolis lineup in 2021, and for a reasonable upcharge, guests can enjoy additional activities like axe throwing, games, two incredible escape rooms, and more. You will also find their merch counter here, selling cold drinks and haunt apparel for anyone wishing to bring a souvenir home.
Made it all the way through this review and think Necropolis Underground sounds like a pretty badass place to visit? I completely agree with you! Sadly, Slaughter in the Summer was their final performance before the Fall season; if you would dare to explore this place, you'll most likely have to find them in September. I do want to drop a little shout out to the Necropolis team, as I've been lucky enough to attend every show they've put on this year and have loved every single one. Their events always seem to hit the perfect mix of cute, funny... and kind of terrifying at times! I am really looking forward to what the 2022 season holds for this unique Indy haunt complex.