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After Halloween I went to two of Kansas City's famous pro-haunts: Edge of Hell and their newer haunt - Macabre Cinema. Incredible! This blog contains spoilers so if you are planning to ever visit this place...don't read past the history part.


First, some interesting background about the location of these haunts. Edge of Hell and Macabre Cinema is in the West Bottoms in Kansas City. What is the West Bottoms you ask? Here's a picture back in it's hey day:

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Endless stockyards! Kansas City was a huge cow town, second only to Chicago. Hence, all the BBQ references when people talk about KC. The West Bottoms got its name because it's situated 200 feet below where downtown Kansas City is. Right next to the river... Bad idea :p

What ended the stockyard's hey day was a huge flood in 1951:

But, this wasn't the only flood. It floods here all the time. The most recent major flood was 1993. I love this picture of a flood in 1903. Notice the bridge the photographer is standing on and the view of this shot:
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The photographer is standing on an iron bridge that was engineered to finally allow traffic to easily go from the 200' high bluff that the city was on to the West Bottoms. This flood eventually swept that bridge away. It was replaced by the famous 12th Street Bridge.​

Remembering the spot where the old picture was taken, check out this picture of the Edge of Hell:

I can't tell if it's one of the buildings in the old 1903 picture, but it's certainly near it. When you are waiting in line, you are staring up at the 12th Street Bridge. Macabre Cinema is two blocks up the street.​

Here's the view you have of the bridge:
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What a backdrop for haunted houses!​

**SPOILERS** Okay, you were warned. Highlights of the haunts...

Edge of Hell

This haunt is old (opened 1975) and in an old 5-story building. Nice.

Entrance: You first climb a steep grand staircase that has small, tiny steps. I consider this a scare. Why? Because I already said so. It's steep and has tiny steps.

All the passageways are unstable and terrifying in this haunt. If it's not a steep, short stepped staircase...it's uneven cave footings! And you have to navigate most times in complete, utter darkness. Imagine doing this while demons and vampires are lunging clamoring for your blood! :eek:

Lightning wall: You are stumbling around in the dark. Groping to find a wall. Hearing violent winds all around you. Suddenly, a sharp crack of thunder with a super bright flash of lightning on the wall in front of you! The wall has plexiglass cut into the shape of a lightning bolt and is illuminated with a 3 million trillion kilo-watt light (well, maybe not that bright). The brightness completely blinds you (as if you weren't already). You are now unarmed for the scare actor to pounce. They used that several times at different turns. Terrific effect.

Fireplace: In the vampire room there was no obvious way to go to the next room. The vampires hiss at you, "Through the fireplace!" You look at it and it's just a 3' square opening, I mean come on....really? They hiss again, more insistent, "Through the FIREPLACE!" So you get on your hands and knees and crawl through a long tunnel. While you are crawling through it (begging for your momma!) there's another vampire above your head hissing in your ear that he wants your blood. Scary!

Shaking Bridge: Remember I was talking about the treacherous pathways? I've always thought that you won't be scared while navigating stairs and such. You know, safety reasons... OH NO! Not here. In fact we were on the most violent shaking bridge I've even been on and all the while there was an actor screaming bloody murder at us. It was great! Not sure if that's the safest thing in the world but it sure is scary!

Heaven and THE SLIDE: Scare, scare, scare and suddenly...we are in heaven. Bright, beautiful heaven with angels and everything. To be honest, I really liked that room 'cause I needed the break. :p They were scaring me so much I was getting a little freaked out (yes, even Terra herself was breaking down). Disappointingly, they told me that I couldn't stay in heaven. I had to go back down to hell. Enter...THE SLIDE! You know, the 5-story steep spiral slide they are famous for? To make it even faster, they give you a sheet of waxed paper to put under your butt. :eek:

What it was like:


Went down so fast that it took about 5 seconds to come to my senses. The head was SPINNING!​

Hubby told me later that they asked if he wanted to go down extra-fast. Of course he said yes, so they gave him another piece of waxed paper to put under his feet too. If I'd done that.... EPIC hurling.

Once my wits returned, saw one of the two famous python snakes they have. First thought it was a prop snake so gave it a poke. Eeeeks! REAL! She was coiled around an actors neck and he allowed me to pet her! She's a beautiful and surprisingly soft creature.

I need a drink!

Macabre Cinema

Macabre Cinema is the polar opposite of Edge of Hell. This haunt is vast. The rooms are huge and so are the passageways. This works by making you feel very exposed and small.

If you are a horror movie fan then this is the haunt for you. Each room is themed after a horror movie. Here's the ones I remember: Saw, Texas Chainsaw, Scream, Night of the Living Dead, Friday the 13th, Halloween, Frankenstein, The Mummy, Hellraiser, Exorcist, The Shining, Nightmare on Elm Street, Silence of the Lambs, Candyman, and Dusk 'til Dawn. It was a blast living in these movies.

Entrance: The entrance to the haunt is a stunner. You walk down a movie theater's aisle towards the screen but the patrons watching the movie are the guys from the movie Scream. So, you hustle to get out but there's no door! Finally you notice that the movie screen (which a movie is playing on) has the outline of a door. Cool!

Basement: This was terrifying. No fake walls or floor here. Rough cut stone walls, many rooms and a gravel floor. This was enough to be scary. But, you're trapped in there with the Texas Chainsaw gang! While you are trying to find a way out they are hootin', hollerin' and banging machetes and other horrible things on the wall next to you. In their 'kitchen' one of them barks, "In my 'Fridge!" No way. You keep going into different rooms but end up back in that kitchen! "In MY 'FRIDGE!" Oh! You then go to his refrigerator and there's the way out. Hee! That was good.

Friday the 13th: Amazing how they made you feel like you were at the campground. Crickets, forest... wooden walkway next to a wooden camping hut. Great scene here.

Graveyard: This room was huge! You see a foggy graveyard beyond an iron fence but you can't find a way to it. You hunt and hunt all the while a gravedigger smacks his shovel against the railings. Finally, you find your way into the graveyard. Now, zombies are lurching and you're more lost than ever. Just when you think you found the way out... you are right back where you started. Hee! I love these mazes :D

Usher: This guy was awesome. You've finally found your way out of the cemetery to be confronted with a movie usher who is leaning on a wood railing that is blocking your way. He screams at your group, "NO ONE UNDER 13!!" We tell him no one is and he suddenly drops the wood railing he was leaning on (he was holding it the whole time) with a huge CLANK! You pass him but that just ticks him off more. He grabs that wood railing and smacks it against the wood furniture next to you. WOW! He scared the heck out of me!

Finally, you are out. Well, only until the chainsaw guys in the alleyway chase you away screaming into the cold, dark night.

450 Posts
Sounds so very cool. Thanks for the walk-through.

517 Posts
Great review!

I was there in mid-October (we flew in) and I agree with you on everything! It was all so well done!

Thanks for posting!

236 Posts
I visted "The Beast" and The Edge of Hell" twice and "The Chambers of Poe" once, had a really good time. Was wanting to check out "The Macabre Cinema" but didnt have the time... This year for sure! Hopleing to check out the Worlds of Fun haunted setup they put on every year.
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