EVANSVILLE, INDIANA – Deep below the floors of the Old Courthouse is a network of tunnels known as the catacombs, where prisoners were transported from the jail to the Old Courthouse many years ago.
“Its all dirt floors and roman vaulted ceiling, got that musty smell,” Phil Wolter said.
When it comes to haunted houses like the Olde Courthouse Catacombs, Wolter is your guy.
“First started back in 1980 when I first got into the haunted house business,” Wolter, the owner and designer, said.
Wolter has dedicated most of his life to creating an environment that scares anyone who dares to walk through it.
“All together its been 37 years of designing producing haunted attractions,” Wolter said.
Twenty of those years have been spent at the Olde Courthouse Catacombs.
“Certainly coming out of college I would have never thought that 37 years later I’d be designing haunted attractions,” Wolter said.
For a building that was built in 1890, some believe there could be more than just actors haunting these halls.
“About 20 years ago we brought in the Indiana Ghost Trackers,” Wolter said. “Both haunted houses had paranormal activity and they documented them as being haunted, so be careful when you go inside.”
Each year Wolter comes up with a new theme for the Old Courthouse Catacombs. This year is “The Curse of the Voodoo Queen.” According to Wolter, it takes him a whole year to create everything for these haunted houses.
For a lot of people, haunted houses are all about the scare factor, but for Wolter, it’s about the art.
“In many ways, it’s a regular theatrical production,” Wolter said.
It’s a historic building that has been scaring people for more 20 years and will continue haunting Evansville for many more.
The Olde Courthouse Catacombs and House of Lecter will be running Thursday through Halloween.
Each haunted house is 15 dollars for one walk through or you can pay 20 dollars for both attractions and you can go through as many times as you want.