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PART ONE.. Visits to The Demon's Den and Death Row, Saturday September 29, 2007.
By Wally

Michael Myers had a knife at her throat and I stood by grinning. A figure in black creaked by on an ancient
red tricycle with bemused eyes twinkling through his mask. There was a quick flash and Shrub said, "I got
it." Myers's victim, Kara, gave him a Goblinhaus sticker. Shrub snapped some shots of the Saw impersonator and then we were on our way inside of Death Row. It was hot inside the warehouse and those in the line behind us longed for the days when the haunt was located in the old Tennessee State Penitentiary. The wait gave me time to reflect on our first haunted house visit of the night. It had begun in Antioch with a visit to the Demon's Den.

We pulled into the parking lot right behind the Demon's Den hearse. If you run a haunted house; either a hearse or an ambulance emblazoned with your name is an essential marketing tool. Kara ran up to the ghoul who emerged from the hearse and got us some dollar off coupons. A small line formed before the Den opened at 7:30. Good natured anticipation was stoked by some White Zombie tunes blasted into the parking lot. We were ushered into a holding pen after being wanded for weapons. Soon it was our turn to head into the unknown.

The haunt is laid out as if it is an old house. The Demon's Den website even boasts a back story. You don't really get this unless you visit the site, but it doesn't detract from the experience if you're unaware of it. A ghoulish guy jumped out at us and welcomed us to his house in the first scene and then we were off down the corridors. The scare actors we encountered were great. Their makeup was well done, their screams were super charged decibel busting works of art, and the scenes were gruesome and funny. I don't want to spoil your fun so I'm not going into
detail, but the highlight for me was the "Uh-oh" guy. Watch where you step when you encounter him.

There were many scenes and lots of opportunities for actors to leap out and scare you. There was a pitch black maze which Kara navigated us through with ease. There is one bend where you have to duck and almost crawl. There are several places where you will find blood squirted at you. There is also a section you will have to push your way through near the end. One thing I enjoyed about Demon's Den was the absence of Hollywood monsters, but there was a Leatherface impersonator at the end who gave us a thrill. Two girls in front of us were really frightened by him and he chased them into the parking lot at a full run.

Leatherface has become a Halloween haunted house icon. There were two at Death Row and just like at Demon's Den they produced fear. One in the parking lot and another one inside Death Row who caused one of the women behind me to climb up my back before she scurried ahead of us in terror. Maybe I'm a little jaded, but the sound of a chainsaw starting up doesn't send me into a panic. Nothing inside Death Row really gave me a scare, but it was loaded with animatronics displays that while not frightening were definitely good at grossing me out. There was a big crowd waiting to go inside.

The theme is predominately mad doctor medical lab where the brain surgeons are always in; insane that is. Endless scenes of detailed butchery await you inside with scare actors scattered throughout doing their best blood curdling shrieks while wielding various power tools. There are strips on the floor to activate the mechanical beasties lurking behind wire cages evoking old carnival haunts from years past. There was also a second Michael Myers silently stalking visitors which was cool in an old school Eighties haunted house kind of way.

Leatherface works the crowd at Death Row

Negatives for Death Row: The night we went it was really hot inside. By the time Halloween gets here it will probably be just right. Too many similar themed medical displays - there's only so many ways to slice a dummy's stomach open. No completely dark areas.

Positives for Death Row: There is a blood covered ambulance parked in front where you can buy some refreshments and souvenirs. There are lots of details in their scenes and displays inside. It's a veritable blood feast for the eyes. The scare actors outside get you in the mood for haunting. Ten dollars is a great price for what you get.

Negatives for Demon's Den: No refreshments available, but there is a restaurant just up the sidewalk if you really get thirsty.

Positives for Demon's Den: The actors are really into it and they have excellent makeup jobs and masks. There is a great pitch black maze section. There is a variety of scenes to enjoy. Ten dollars is a great price for what you get.

I had a good time at both haunted venues and if I had to pick one over the other I'd go with Demon's Den. It's fresher and has more variety than Death Row. But
at a cost of just twenty dollars you can visit both and make up your own mind.


Demon's Den Website

Death Row Website


Read Nashville Part Two: Devil's Dungeon & Slaughterhouse

Read Nashville Part Three: Monster Mountain and Death Valley Haunted Woods


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