Edge of Insanity lurks the quiet farm country of small town Indiana whose charm is unbeknownst to most city folk. As we made our way down the driveway, I found numerous signs describing local charities and organizations that the haunt supports (also significant: the owner’s backstory). A modest menu of home-cooked food (including $1 slices of meatloaf) was offered at a box truck nearby. We were greeted along the way not by ghouls & goblins but smiling faces of normal people.
Inside, however, was a different story. Themed as an insane asylum hidden in the outskirts of Kokomo, this interactive haunted house takes a unique approach by pairing its victims with a tour guide who’s also part of the attraction. Our escort’s name was Nurse Alice and she seemed thrilled to have visitors at the hospital. As she introduced us to Weitle Asylum and began to tell us the rules, she was interrupted by The Doctor who grabbed her by the hair and demanded she fetch patient #5. Our presence was hardly noted by The Doctor as he threatened Alice and tossed her about. She promised she’d find the patient as quickly as possible and motioned for us to follow.
As we twisted and turned through the halls of Weitle Asylum, Alice continued to entertain us with her senseless chatter and animated mannerisms. She spoke to us, reacted to the things we were saying, and did whatever it took to appease The Doctor every time he crossed our path. The pressure was always on since we never left Alice’s side and her role was integral in achieving the authentic feel of an asylum.
The climax came when we entered the loft- a long hallway lined with cells full of demented patients hungry for human contact. Indy Mojo Spook Staffer Brendon Riha noted this as his favorite part of the haunt:
As a first time visitor to Edge of Insanity I was very impressed by the upstairs loft of the asylum. As we were led by our guide, we headed up a flight of stairs to a narrow hallway of jail cells. I thought this part was really creative and surreal, as each cell had a different patient and type of scare to it. It was a nice twist to a popular theme of the insane asylum.
Once outside of Weitle Asylum, the fun continues with a wacky trip through the graveyard. Illuminated with just the right amount of erie green light and stocked with plenty of rambunctious shadows, the graveyard acts as a permanent home for the institution’s tortured souls. The previous night’s rainfall had been soaked up by a thick blanket of mulch- an gesture we were quite thankful for- that enabled us to safely and cleanly walk the outdoor path.
Edge of Insanity’s unique guided tour sets them apart from most other central Indiana haunts. For the format to be successful and believable, professional actors are a necessity. Alice and the rest of the residents at Waverly pulled it off and made our experience a memorable one.
Brandon Connolly (who also wrote the opening quote) sums up his experience at Edge of Insanity:
A majority of the staff studies Theater at Indiana University Kokomo, and it really shows. Actors grabbed, slapped, and pulled the hair of their fellow staff, but don’t worry: they enforce a no-touch policy to keep the madness at bay. The characters were engaging and entertaining throughout the whole experience. Edge of Insanity is a fine choice for first-timers, children, and veteran haunted house goers alike, and its support of local charities is admirable.
EDITOR’S NOTE TO INDIANAPOLIS RESIDENTS: The drive to the north side of Kokomo from Indianapolis takes well over an hour. Edge of Insanity is most convenient for residents of Kokomo and surrounding areas, but we recommend the attraction nonetheless.
5635 N US31 00 EW, Kokomo, Indiana 46901
October 19th & 20th, 26th & 27th; November 2nd; 8 – 11 pm.
$8 per person