Sex, money, drugs, and booze: all popular reasons for visiting the city of Las Vegas. Entertainment, however, was my intent upon my last trek to this debaucherous town. Cirque du Soleil shows were in abundance; nearly every hotel has one now. There were magic shows (Illusions, MICHAEL!), hypnotists, musicals, comedians, etc. No entertainment stone was left unturned. With so many outlets for merriment, it must be challenging for a show or act to stand out these days.
I was walking along Las Vegas Blvd. and a sign caught my eye. Amidst a myriad of flashy signs and advertisements, a fairly simple yet morbid one shone through…
Yes, indeed! Eli Roth, the man who brought us the Hostel films and Cabin Fever has a year-round haunted house attraction in Las Vegas. I, unlike my lady-friend, was super stoked that this exists and shuffled my giant clown feet over to it immediately. We were met at the entrance by a man and woman in their early twenties decked out in zombie make-up. They handed us two $10 off coupons. Silly rabbits… I would’ve paid full price which was $29.95 (about thrice your average haunted attractions with actors that pop up around Halloween.)
We were let in through a creepy gate and led to an area where SURPRISE! They’ll take your picture in case you want to buy one later. Every attraction in Vegas does this and it gets old after four or five times. The photographer told us to get on either side of this old-timey baggage cart filled with bags, scarves, etc. and also had a gross but groovy head mounted on it. We were annoyed, but we did so. About three seconds later, the scarves and clothing flew up into our faces, pushed by a very loud shot of compressed air. The flash of the camera occurred at the exact same time. The result: a moment of true horror captured forever.
This was brilliant! I thought the picture taking game was dull and overdone in Vegas but the Goretorium made it fun and different. Honestly this was the best photo of our entire Vegas trip for the not-so-thrifty price of $13. It’s Vegas, though. The town is designed to drain you of every dollar you have. You have to choose what to spend it on and this photo was worth the dough.
The photographer directed us toward a staircase. We walked halfway up and saw a television or as I learned to call it “The Exposition Box.” Through gritty news footage, this TV let us know what went wrong in the now infamous Delmont Hotel and Casino. The correspondent spoke of the mountain of bodies and rumors of a paranormal presence in the structure. The newscast was outstanding and professionally executed. Though this was only the waiting area, the attention to detail added a lot of tension. As the video started to loop and we were seeing the same footage again, strange and loud creaking and scratching noises came from above and below us. No one was in sight. We waited another five minutes, which might as well have been an hour. Two other guests were led to the staircase and came to join us and we wiped the sweat from our quivering brows.
They gave us another few minutes before starting the tour so the newcomers could enjoy some of “The Exposition Box.” Our tour guide came down and led us up the other half of the stairs to the lobby of The Delmont. He explained that the carnage inside the hotel was hazardous (no shit) and that we were taking an elevator to the “Observation Level” so we could see the horrors but not be in any danger. Fat chance! I could already tell this was NOT going to happen.
We got in the service elevator to the Observation Level. The attendant pushed the button. From here on out, it gets REAL! Some sort of demonic figure came out of nowhere and told us we’re no longer going up… we’re going DOWN!
The elevator started to plummet. The clever use of very little but sudden motion coupled with a lot of light manipulation created a believable illusion that our elevator was really falling. I was impressed. We stopped.
There was some dialogue between our attendant and the ghost/zombie outside the gate then suddenly we were in total darkness and quiet. The lights came on a few seconds later and our attendant was laying in front of us dead: murdered in quite a gruesome fashion. We were on our own from there on out.
From this point forward, I would like to leave most of this haunted attraction a mystery. It would be a shame for me to ruin every detail and every scare that Eli Roth’s Goretorium has to offer. I will tell you two more things to entice you further, though:
1. This place had the most realistic looking live decapitation I’ve ever seen. Okay… this place had the ONLY realistic looking live decapitation I’ve ever seen but, still… I’ve seen many a live 3D haunted attraction and nobody has ever tried this glorious display of gore.
2. If you look like you’re not phased by any of the violent bloodbath within and you’re not taking it seriously, the actors WILL antagonize you with exponential aggression. Be ready.
I strongly suggest when you are in Las Vegas that you walk or take a cab to the Goretorium which is right next to Planet Hollywood.