This year's haunting is as childish as "Chucky" movies. Escorted by an unholy trinity of tour guides, including Jason and Freddy, victims are led through room after room of devilish delights, strobe lights and suffocatingly scary pitch-black paths.
The sheer amounts of devilish details in each hell-bent room are difficult to catch on a single visit, but are amazingly precise. Twisted silicone torsos lay on dissection tables, the details found in each organ extremely life-like. Small tortured touches such as authentic peeling wallpaper and surgical masks on embalmers make the tri-level house a madman's paradise.
With an entire bedeviled building filled with new heart-stopping entertainment, every effort has been made to keep the cursed costumes and diabolical displays authentic. The knifed glove on Freddie's hand was made in Hollywood by the original costume artist from the "Nightmare on Elm Street" movies. The same holds true for the battered blood-stained sweater. The pock-marked mask worn by Freddie, leering out from the dark windows as you pass, was used by stunt doubles in the Freddie flick "Dream Warriors."
Such use of specifics in the haunted house creates a genuinely scary atmosphere for attendees of all ages, the volunteers said.
"I think it's the best in the state of Kentucky," said haunting helper and volunteer fireman Clarence Wine.
Madman McCoy said diabolical ideas for the new attractions came from the fire and police departments.
"All of us sit around and talk to each other. Some of (the haunted house's) experiences we've been through as firefighters and police officers, (and they) have scared us," he said.
"People pay us to scare them and we want to do it right," added assistant fire chief Eugene Crowe.
If "shrieking" violets are hesitant to enter, cantankerous McCoy stresses the safety precautions used throughout the building. Surveillance cameras are always watching, actors and victims don't come in contact, and emergency exits are in place.
Even with added safety protocol and guided tours by fire and police personnel, it is hard to feel safe as one enters the first dark doorway. One often doesn't feel safe in the presence of melting corps and things that go boo in the night. House survivor Harvey Mullins joked that the tour this year could frighten a lesser man to death.
"One of these times you'll be scaring somebody in there and then you'll be packing them out," he told McCoy with a grin. "There'll be somebody die in there."
To prevent any untimely departures, a disclaimer warns victims against the tour if they have heart conditions, seizures or are pregnant. Anyone with a weak constitution or aversion to funerals should think twice before taking the half-hour tour, though mutinous McCoy said people were welcome to disagree with his designs.
"Good or bad, we want them talking about the haunted house," he said.
"We all have a lot of fun with it."
Emily Burton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.