1401 W. 13th St., Kansas City
The Edge of Hell
(1300 W. 12th St., Kansas City
Let’s play a game of word association. I say haunted house, and you probably think of a ramshackle contraption most likely held at a local community center with a fog machine, some creepy stuffed zombies, and maybe a fake spider web or two. Yet in Kansas City , several permanent haunted houses rise to terrifying, pulse-pounding heights.
Aptly situated among the dilapidated warehouses of Kansas City’s West Bottoms, a once-thriving industrial district, haunted houses like The Beast and The Edge of Hell truly immerse visitors in room after room of frights. Carefully costumed and made-up actors and actresses silently patrol the hallways or lurk in dim corners, waiting to jump out and scare on-edge visitors simply searching for a way out.
These haunted houses are so elaborate, in fact, that animatronics and live animals are used to add even more authenticity to gruesome sets that include a werewolf forest, Jack the Ripper’s London, the Macabre Cinema, and the Chambers of Edgar Allan Poe.
Should you survive the horrors within, you’ll find yourself high atop the multi-story buildings with no escape but via a steep slide, down which you’ll hurtle until you arrive on the ground floor. Although not for the faint of heart, the haunted houses have become nationally known and are a must-see if you’re in town from Labor Day until early November.
As you plan your trip check The Beast or The Edge of Hell’s websites; hotels like the Sheraton (http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton ) and Hyatt Regency Crown Center (www.crowncenter.hyatt.com ) offer haunted house and hotel travel packages that include admission to the hair-raising fear factories.