Every year about this time, I get excited. Not because I’m eagerly waiting for holidays such as National Beheading Day* (although it sounds cool) or Fight Procrastination Day** (why fight it?), but because I know that October is just around the corner; and that means that haunted houses will open around the city. Like any other city, Las Vegas offers your run-of-the-mill haunted attractions, built inside semi-truck trailers and parked in strip mall parking lots. Circus Circus Hotel transforms their indoor amusement park, Adventuredome, into a family-friendly haunt featuring multiple haunted houses (supposedly the best in Vegas).
This juggalo thing has gotten way out of hand.
Each October, I gather any friends brave enough to join me and venture out into the world of strobe lights, prerecorded screams and monster sounds, and zombies jumping out from behind plywood doors. It is the best month of my year. Then, after Halloween, the doors close for the year and the trailers are pulled away to be tucked into storage for another eleven months. I spend those eleven months sulking on my couch, wishing that someone would make a decent horror movie already.
Enter The Goretorium, Eli Roth’s premium haunted attraction on the Las Vegas strip. I no longer have a reason to cry into my bowl of burnt popcorn. When it opened last year, I thought I was dreaming. For 365 days a year, there would be a place for me to get my haunted house fix.
Need a break from writing? Go to the Goretorium!
Dog chewed through the bedroom wall? Go to the Goretorium!
Girlfriend can’t get enough of America’s Got Talent? Go to the Goretorium!
Life got in the way a bit since then, but I finally had my chance to visit recently. Without giving away any details of the actual attraction (you’ve got to experience it for yourself), I thought I’d share some of the details of this special place.
The idea behind The Goretorium is that it used to be a hotel on the Las Vegas strip (The Delmont), but has been condemned for many years following the discovery that it was a place of murder, where many bodies of locals and tourists alike had been found. The lobby was designed to look just as it would if it were still condemned and closed to the public. Cobwebs hang from an old chandelier; paint peels from the walls. All guests are greeted by animatronic ghouls in the entryway, which I felt was a little hokey and took away from the overall creepy ambiance of the place. I hoped the attraction itself would offer more of that atmosphere, and less Disney.
Please excuse our appearance. We are murdering people.
I was not disappointed. From the beginning, I felt as if I just needed to get out before something bad happened; of course, something bad did happen, and then I had to get out before something worse came along. The design worked well, as each room felt cohesive within the scheme of the hotel, but still offered a unique experience. It was obvious that the owners spent a lot of money on this place to fulfill Roth’s dream.
That’s not to say it didn’t have its flaws, though. At times, the actors lacked enthusiasm and sometimes slipped out of character. It also lacked a proper ending for me, as I was looking for more closure to the experience (I’ll leave it up to you to check it out and decide for yourself).
Most places like this would spit you out into a gift shop, expecting you to pay obscene prices for stuff you don’t need, but this is Vegas. We do things a little different in this town. Upon exiting, you will find yourself in the middle of a bar. Sit down and have a drink while you make fun of your best friend for screaming like a little girl halfway through. Don’t forget to check out your picture on the way out.
Overall, I had a good time, and I recommend everyone visit this place at least once. You may even be able to find half-off deals through travel sites or Groupon.
* September 2
** September 6