Venerable Halloween tradition moves to new northside location

The venerable Huntington Halloweentime attraction Haunted Hotel: 13th Floor has moved.

After being located in downtown Huntington at 511 N. Jefferson St. for several years, the attraction has moved to 1885 N. Jefferson St., which is the former Niswander car dealership.

The change in venue prompted a change in format for the Haunted Hotel, says owner Brett Molitor. This year, the attraction is titled “Haunted Hotel: 13th Floor – Hooded” and sees attendees outfitted with blindfolds and hoods. Deprived of their sight, they must then navigate their way out of the venue.

“We bring them in and put their hand on a rope and tell them to find the end of the rope,” explains Molitor. “Along the way, they get various experiences.

“And the rope doesn’t go in one direction; it might go in multiple directions sometimes.”

A new blindfold is issued to every attendee, notes Molitor, and the hoods are washed. On average, it takes attendees 10 minutes to make their way through the building, he says. Some guests, however, have taken nearly 40 minutes, he shares.

Attendees who make it through the venue will be branded by an “iron” bearing the Haunted Hotel’s shortened name, “HH13.”

For guests who find the venue too scary, they will be permitted to leave upon request, says Molitor.

The venue is open every Friday and Saturday through Nov. 2 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. It will also be open on Halloween, Oct. 31, from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

There is an entrance fee, which has been reduced from last year’s price, says Molitor. VIP tickets are also available that grant the purchaser access to the front of the line.

Molitor also owns Hysterium Haunted Asylum, in Fort Wayne, and notes that Haunted Hotel customers will have the opportunity to purchase combination tickets that grant them one-time access to both attractions at any point during their seasons.

Coupons for the Haunted Hotel are located wherever Pepsi products are sold, says Molitor.

Ultimately, Molitor’s goal is to find a building that can become the new permanent location for the Haunted Hotel. While he was unable to find that location before this October arrived, he says it was important to him that the Haunted Hotel still happened in some form, as it has been held every year since 1967.

“We could’ve just said, ‘Well, let’s take a year off,’” says Molitor. “But we are, as far as we know, the oldest haunted house in the world.”