New Orleans area haunted houses cook up new frights every year

New Orleans area haunted houses cook up new frights every year
October 22, 2010

Even when it’s not Halloween, New Orleans is a spooky town. So it should come as no surprise that our haunted house operators take the art of scaring people so seriously, changing up their flashy pyrotechnics, intense lighting designs and gruesome re-enactments of mayhem to scare up something new for their fans every year.
HauntedHouse1.JPGMICHAEL DeMOCKER / THE TIMES-PICAYUNEVampire David Carry haunts the graveyard at the House of Shock in Jefferson, one of the many haunted houses serving local thrill-seekers this Halloween season.

Perhaps the granddaddy of New Orleans haunted houses is the House of Shock, which began 18 years ago as the brainchild of creators/owners Philip Anselmo (lead singer of heavy-metal band Pantera), Ross Karpelman and Jay Gracianette.

The multiroom chamber of horrors, tucked beneath the Huey P. Long Bridge in Jefferson, boasts professional pyrotechnics designed by Steven Joseph, whose client list includes the rock bands KISS, AC/DC, Ozzy Osbourne, Pantera and the Rolling Stones.

With 350 volunteer workers staffing its 16 themed rooms indoors and out, the House is more like a haunted village, featuring a delicatessen, a hardware store, a church, a stock yard, a doctor’s office and a cemetery, where all of the employees are either possessed by Satan or have risen from the dead.

This is not a haunted house for the young or squeamish. Security guards are present throughout the warehouse to escort out customers who are too horrified to walk all the way through. Karpelman said one woman left claiming: “The devil’s got my money.”

Karpelman says he has put more than $300,000 into this year’s production, including a new “hell room” featuring a 5-foot-tall mechanical goat head that serves as “guardian” of the House, and another room with sub-floor, souped-up bass frequencies that will “shake your entire body from your spine to your brain.”

While House of Shock nears the end of its second decade, Danny Tastet’s Shadowlands Haunted House in Covington is in only its second year of trying to scare the bejesus out of north shore fright-seekers.

“We have a new bigger building,” Tastet said, “so we have twice the haunt as we had last year with a new theme and layout.”


The Mortuary Haunted House

* 4800 Canal St., 504.483.2350
* Thursdays through Sundays, from 7 to 11 p.m., through Halloween.
* Admission: $25, with VIP tickets available.

House of Shock

* 319 Butterworth St., Jefferson, 504.734.7462
* Thursdays through Sundays and Oct. 27, from 8 to 11 p.m., through Halloween.
* Admission: $25, with VIP tickets available.

Shadowlands Haunted House

* 2800 N. U.S. 190, Covington
* Open Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. to midnight and Thursdays and Sundays, from 7 to 10 p.m., throughout Halloween.
* Admission: $15 Friday through Sunday, $12 on Thursdays.

Warehouse of Terror

* 54367 E. Howze Beach Road, Slidell, 504.329.4378
* Open Fridays and Saturdays, from 7 p.m. to midnight, and Sundays from 7 to 10 p.m., through Halloween.
* Admission: $15.

Chamber of Horrors

* 702 E. Airline Highway, LaPlace
* Open Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., through Halloween.
Comments: 0