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Love Bites: a Valentine’s Day terror at 13th Floor Haunted House

See more photos from this event in this week’s photobooth.
Photo: Marianna Caicedo · The Sentry

Another inventive non-Halloween success for 13th Floor

Nothing says Valentine’s Day like love, blood, and terror. All of this was to be found at 13th Floor Haunted House’s Valentine’s Day special Love Bites. From the more-than-slightly cheesy love songs playing outside, to the gore and scares inside, nowhere across Denver did anyone have a better time than those who attended this frightful spectacle.

For two days only, the grotesque geniuses at 13th Floor turned their legendary house of horrors into a Valentine’s-themed walkthrough that promised everything 13th Floor is famous for and more. 

As Love Bites’ advertising declared, “Vampires have taken over 13th Floor Denver this Valentine’s.” Indeed, the attraction centered around a bloodsucking theme, with actors and actresses in all manner of expert makeup and costume, ranging from ravenous vampires who leapt out from the dark to women in wedding dresses writhing on blood-spattered beds.

This unique theme also came with a unique interactive experience, where visitors (or victims, as the staff called them) were given vials of glowing holy water, which they had to jab through miniature coffins whenever they spotted one in order to ward off nearby vampires. So, not only were visitors terrified and trying to run for their lives but they also had to keep on the lookout for these coffins—or die.

Of course, it was far less simple than putting the holy water through the opening; nearly every coffin was fixed in a dark place where there was undoubtedly something waiting to jump out. These fears were often confirmed as actors emerged from the gloom, or terrifyingly-realistic animatronics came to life. Whether a fright was waiting or not, the result was a feeling of dread and paranoia that overcame the visitor whenever one of these coffins came into view.

Love Bites featured excellent vampire-themed designs, such as rooms with expensive vampire animatronics, red curtains, goblets filled with blood, and other vampire-related horrors; however, not all the rooms centered around this theme.

Other rooms included a swamp thick with fog and the home of a crocodile and massive monster, a mirror-maze room, rooms full of dismembered corpses and gore, and many other general haunted house type areas. There was, however, one theme that remained consistent throughout: Each and every corridor was meticulously planned to deliver top-notch scares, and they did not disappoint.

By far the most thrilling haunts were those places where the room itself was against the visitor. There was, of course, the classic funhouse walkway down a hall where the walls spun. There was also a room shaped like a V, where the floor slanted downward and then up, so that it was difficult to even stand properly, much less defend oneself from the actress waiting to deliver terror.

As befitting the high praise 13th Floor Denver continually receives, Love Bites was another raging success in the department of fear. 

In addition to their Valentine’s Day special, 13th Floor also puts on Krampus: A Haunted Christmas in December. As of the 2018 season, they also added a new bar and beer garden, as well as an escape room called Mini Escape Games, all of which are open while the haunted house is in operation.

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