Dent Schoolhouse focuses on the strange disappearance of many of the school’s students between 1942 and 1952. The story goes that people began to detect a foul odor coming from the basement of the schoolhouse. The school janitor, known as Charlie, convinced them that the smell was only backed-up pipes and the townspeople’s concerns subsided.
Three years later the smell came back, and there were more missing children. This time, angry parents broke into the basement and found the remains of rotting children. There was a reward out for Charlie’s head, but he was never found.
Legend has it that the school is still home to the souls of the murdered children wandering aimlessly through the halls, and the basement is the dwelling place to the deranged Charlie.
The Dent Schoolhouse, located off Harrison Ave. in Cincinnati, Ohio, is ranked as the best haunted house in the tri-state and sixth in the nation by hauntworld.com
Horror hound and Brookville, Ind., resident Aaron Jackson enjoyed the experience.
“I thought it was cool. They put a lot of time into it and I thought Detention Hall was a blast, too,” Jackson said.
Parking for the haunted house is relatively good. There is free parking with parking directors waving glowing red flags, and it is located directly across the street from the schoolhouse.
Admission is $15 for regular admission or $25 for fast-pass admission (go directly to the front of the line). A new feature this year is “Detention Hall,” a small maze that forces you use your brainpower to get past the scary guys and find your way out. A combo pass for the schoolhouse and detention hall is $20, or $30 for the fast-pass.
Before attending the Dent Schoolhouse, be prepared to wait in line (unless you go big with the fast-pass). The line moves steadily, but is generally rather long. In order to ease the pain of waiting, there is a projection screen that plays a video of Charlie wreaking havoc on a bunch of students in a movie appropriately titled “The Janitor.”
After the wait, be prepared for plenty of creativity inside the schoolhouse.
Two things stand out in the schoolhouse as far as actors go. The creepy schoolgirls with blood and bruises covering their faces, dancing in a circle and singing “Ring-Around-the-Rosy” in sinister voices is an image that will stay with the viewer well into the night.
Second, the creative comments the actors say throughout the school are memorable. Some that may conjur up emotions of your own schooldays are: “Don’t be late for the bus,” by the demented bus driver; “Relax, it’s just science,” by a Frankenstein-esque character who juiced with electricity in the science lab; and finally, “I have some advice for you,” by the adviser. He may just tell the victim to “Go to Hell!”
The Detention Hall is worth the price if you enjoy navigating your way through a challenging maze, all while being taunted by ghoulish-looking actors. The one thing the haunted schoolhouse lacks is jump-out-in-your-face terror brought on by the actors. If you are a horror buff or just enjoy the thrill of being in a state of scare, then you won’t be disappointed by Dent Schoolhouse. The event runs through October and is open 7:30 p.m.-10 p.m. on Thursdays and Sundays, and 7:30 p.m.-12 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information visit www.frightsite.com.
Story by Derick Bischoff