The Mayhem Mansion and Haverford's Hollow are located at 13966 DeCoursey Pike, Morning View, KY 41063. They're open Fridays and Saturdays from September 21st-November 2nd. Hours are 7-Midnight for Mayhem Mansion and 8-11:30 for Haverford's Hollow Trail. Admission is $12 for the Mansion and $8 for the Trail, with a combo ticket available for $18 ($26 with a fast pass). Children 10 and under $6. There's a same night reentry option ($5 for one event, $8 for both) and a front-of-the-line fast pass available (an extra $5 for one event, $8 for both) with group rates available. Sponsored by Kenton Lakes Sportsplex, Martz Painting, Turfway Park Raceway, P.O.W. Outdoors, and Snappy Tomato Pizza. Fundraising opportunities available via presale of event tickets-visit the website for more details. Benefits go to the Boone County FOP and local high school groups. For more information call (859) 392-0027 or during the event's operating hours (859) 356-DEAD. You can also visit the Mayhem Mansion website.


'Maid' To Suffer!

And Speaking Of Help...

The big screen classic "Help Me" continues its record setting run at Haverford Cinema!
Hint: Don't eat the popcorn.


Pat Martz has had a busy week at Mayhem Mansion. On top of having Channel 12 News up to do a feature on the attraction, he's also dealing with trouble brewed up out back. For once, it doesn't have anything to do with the hordes of moonshine fueled psychotic hillbillies of Haverford's Hollow Trail. No, this time it has to do with some treacherous bastards that stole the Trail's outdoor wiring-all $2500 worth. "Yesterday, I had just finished rerecording the music for the Trail on MP3 players and had brought them down to hook up," Pat explained. "But someone had taken all of our electrical cable which I had just put up a couple of days ago. That left me with one day to come up with an alternate plan to light up the trail. We went out and gathered up a bunch of old fashioned lanterns to hang on the buildings, which just added to the expense of losing the wiring". Channel 12, in addition to featuring the Mansion, also ran a segment on the theft and the police are following up as well. Hopefully, the thieves will be caught-and if so, what better way to deal with them than turn them over to the ghouls and specters that infest the Mansion? Sammi's always got an extra place at the table-and we're sure the good 'ol boys that emerge from the darkness at night to haunt the trail would be happy to take some time off from makin' shine to brew up trouble for the wiring thieves!

Now in its fifth season, the Mansion has cemented its place among the elite of Greater Cincinnati charity haunts. The three Martz brothers (Pat, Bill, and Randal-sure, Randal's actually a Miller but we consider him to be the unofficial third Martz brother) lead the way, and it's a nice touch that the event's 'Home Theater' contains a poster for a 'Marx Brothers' movie-whether they intended it that way or not. By now, the story behind Mayhem Mansion is well established-during the 1920's, wealthy crimelord and bootlegger Robert Haverford went insane after the death of his young daughter and poisoned a household full of guests who attended her wake. The police, horrified by the slaughter, simply boarded up the place and left the bodies inside. The vengeful spirits of the slain continue to linger, always looking for an opportunity to lure the living inside and have them join in the misery.

Let's take a look at the trail. During the first season it was the headliner for the event, but "Terror On The Lakes" fell on hard times as the fre
ak windstorm shredded it in 2008 and torrential rains turned it into a sea of mud for 2009. The name was changed and the trail rethemed to "Haverford's Hollow" Trail for 2010, and it provided an entertaining and always frenetic hike through the hillbilly infested woods behind the Mansion. According to legend, this is where much of the illegal 'home brew' that Robert Haverford made his fortune on was produced. As such, trespassers are not welcome. This season, Pat dumped tons of gravel on the trail to keep it operating even after heavy rains, and it was put to the test early on opening night. Despite several days of rain during the week (including a storm that lingered until shortly before opening) the footing remained secure and shoes remained free of mud. This was both good and bad, as it also allowed the crazed backwoods boys to emerge from their hiding places and stalk hauntgoers throughout the woods.  Adding to the atmosphere was an uncanny amount of fog and the fact that since the electrical cable had been heisted, the trail was lit with old fashioned lanterns. Not to mention that some of the members of our group were pretty freaked out when they wandered off the trail and ended up in a patch of thorns. Good old boys were never so bad, as the barbers, smithies, grocers, and even postmen of the town stop whatever they're doing to assault and harangue trespassers. And by gosh, they're all related to 'Pa'! Does the almost mythical Pa live up to his billing? And do you ever meet Ma, who's probably twice as mean? We'll leave that up to you to find out! As we suggested last year, try to attend the trail before entering the house as it sets up the story behind the house and also makes the hike back from the trail to the house an exercise in anticipation rather than just returning to your vehicle.

Pat's constantly keeping his eyes open for period pieces of furniture and decor, believing them to be more effective at making the event realistic than using haunt props. Two of the pieces he's most proud of are the embalming machine and mortician's table in the Mansion's Morgue, both dating from several decades ago. "I bought them on eBay and had to drive all the way to Nashville to pick them up. They really add a lot to the room and allowed us to build a new theme around it". The Mansion was pretty barren its first season, but has continued to fill out with each passing year. Every room plays directly into the night of the mass murder and is decorated in a 1920's motif-this even became part of the event's decision to get rid of the chainsaw it used at the end of the event the first couple of years (one man chainsaws not becoming practical until after World War II). If you're wondering how a theater, funeral parlor, or mortuary tie in with the mansion theme-well, make sure to watch the video playing on the front porch that's narrated by a descendant of the mansion's Chief Butler. He explains it all in a smooth and sinister patter. Quirky architectural features such as the indoor 'haunted well' and the first floor room that looks directly into the basement let hauntgoers know that this is indeed the real thing-not a purpose built attraction, but a real house where people lived, loved, cried, laughed-and died.

Why the layout and interior of the Mansion is coming along nicely, it's the actors that infuse the event with demonic energy. They're numerous, energetic, and LOUD. They also have the added advantage of being able to 'soft touch' hauntgoers, giving a more visceral impact to the goings-on. Hands appear from drop panels or unexpected directions to rest on shoulders or touch the hair of hauntgoers. And some of the ghouls, such as the Wine Steward crouched atop a cask of 'special vintage', get downright chummy! Many of the actors return year after year, but there seems to be a huge reserve of haunt actors to draw upon in northern Kentucky-in fact, there was a long school bus parked in the side lot that apparently had transported in this evening's large cast. Every room has at least one actor, and several contain three or four. While the actors and actresses playing them sometimes change, many of the characters they portray continue to haunt the event each season. There are the creepy girls in the nursery, bedroom, and music room upstairs-left behind to be slaughtered by Haverford as their parents partied on the lower floors. Downstairs, there's a meat locker and a kitchen with a Chef that uses his meathook in a VERY unique way. There's the Haverford Theater, where the wealthy bootlegger used to screen the latest films for the enjoyment of houseguests. Of course, the international hit "Help Me!" has been playing for the past 80 years or so since the final party, and no one's ever lived long enough to see the ending-being surrounded by four or five ghouls continues to be a surreal experience. There's the tilted floor, the speakeasy with drunks and a cigarette girl, Granny's sewing room, the funeral room where Haverford's deceased daughter is being eulogized by a corrupted priest, the haunted well, a walk across barren floor joists over  the basement, that damn invisible wall, and hidden panels EVERYWHERE. The way out now gives you not one, but six or seven options! That isn't to say any of them work, and you have to get past Tim the Chopper to try any of them...Some of the characters give it that extra effort that all customers appreciate, such as the Morgue Attendant in the embalming room. Much like haunt legend Bludzo, this gal keeps a handy bottle of blood to refresh her mouthful of spew between customers. The fresh blood decorating the floor was testament to her enthusiasm.

And of course, no discussion of the event's cast would be complete without Sister Sammi. Sammi is the blood drenched debutante who's even more intense and depraved than the rest of the actors, hard as that is to believe. Whether dragging around body parts, serving them up hot at the Mansion's dining table, or popping up from unexpected places later, Sammi provides the high point of the tour. And this year she even provided the HOD!!! with a little extra! Sammi absolutely REFUSED to be photographed anywhere but in front of the Mansion's main fireplace. Hey, she's not only a vengeful ghost but a female one at that, and what guy can figure out why women get certain ideas fixed in their heads? At any rate, not wanting one of our extremities to join the one she was munching on, we did what she wanted. When we got home, we found that the photo contained one of Mayhem Mansion's infamous 'spirit orbs'-just like the ones featured in their introductory video on the front porch! Now, we at the HOD!!! aren't believers in the supernatural-but stuff like this just has to make you wonder. It's almost like Sammi was intentionally leading us to it...

Mayhem Mansion is a wonderful old school haunt that in the words of Pat Martz "...will never, EVER, use an animatronic. We want actors for maximum believability". The actors repay his faith by giving their audience one of the best shows in the Tristate. You'll believe a teenage girl can split your skull with her voice. Boy, will you ever! The trail is a perfect lead in to the gloomy and surprisingly large mansion, an entity that almost takes on a life of its own.
The theme is well thought out and consistent throughout the haunt. They've amped up their media presence with a larger and improved website, a radio marketing campaign on Kiss 107, and God help them, even enlisted Pacifier Jones to help promote the event. And this season they're using the concession stand that's usually open during baseball games played on the fields behind the Mansion. It's well lit, spacious, covered, has arcade games, a large menu of food and drinks, and even beer. Hopefully it's not the remnants of some of that funny stuff Haverford peddled in the 20's. With all the thievin' and moonshine stills in the woods, there's already enough trouble brewing at the Mayhem Mansion!

Don't Listen To Them. Rilly.

And don't hand your pet over, no matter how nice they ask.

Striking A Discordant Note

The jarring sounds in the music room reflect the evil spirit of the mansion.