The Thirteenth Hour in Indianapolis recently transitioned from an outdoor location to a new indoor building. Today, Tyler is on-location with Ben to learn about the move and this year’s show. Follow along to our Hauntathon:...
The Thirteenth Hour in Indianapolis recently transitioned from an outdoor location to a new indoor building. Today, Tyler is on-location with Ben to learn about the move and this year’s show. Follow along to our Hauntathon: https://linktr.ee/hauntedattractionnetwork
Tyler Proffet: What's going on everybody? Tyler here with the ScareFactor.com, I'm talking with Ben Gagne here from the 13th Hour, how's it going, Ben?
Benjamin Gagne: It's going great. Thanks for coming out tonight.
Tyler Proffet: So, for those that haven't been to 13th Hour before, what is 13th Hour?
Benjamin Gagne: Yeah, the 13th Hour is the name of our haunted attraction, and it's the time in which the living walk amongst the dead. So, our first experience of our four different areas is Cartocker Expeditions, where we're standing now, kind of a planned time travel where you're going back in time to the year 1913. So, this is where that happens. You go through the Widows Walk Cemetery, which is an outdoor cemetery, essentially, on a cliff outside very, very unique there. You go through the Cathedral of Souls, and you finish off in Mine #13.
Tyler Proffet: Awesome, sounds good. This is your first year in this location, what was it like transitioning from entirely outdoors to having a building of your own?
Benjamin Gagne: Yeah. So, we used to be an entirely outdoor haunt and we have 25 acres now. We built a brand-new pole barn building here that we're inside right now. I love the outdoor aspect that we had, but there are some things you just can't do outside. So, we kind of blended that, we have indoor and outdoor portions now, and you really flow between them seamlessly. So, there are portions where you're inside, then outside, and back inside, and to our guests, they really never know what to expect next.
Tyler Proffet: What are some of the tips and some tricks that you use to help hide those transitions going between inside and out?
Benjamin Gagne: The scenes butt right up to the side of the building. We use height, we use sense of direction, and rather than pointing them towards the side of the building, when you enter, we go straight away so that you don't look back and see that you just transitioned. We have big facades on the outside of the building that really just hide that opening, and you know lighting is always your best friend to hide those transitions as well.
Tyler Proffet: We heard some really interesting sounds and stuff in here. You were telling us a little bit before we went on air that you had some help with sound designers and really paid attention to sound bleed. What does that look like?
Benjamin Gagne: So before, when we were all outside, the sound really just went up. So, if you had sound in one scene, it didn't really flow into the others. But when you're in a building, there's an echo, there's a crossover of sounds. So, we really spent a lot of time listening to our sounds and spending time in different scenes. It's OK if we can hear another sound from another scene, as long as it's not out of place, as long as it doesn't break that immersion that we go for.
Benjamin Gagne: So, our outdoor portions have the same kind of sound design we had before, but coming in here we had to change, you know, the number of speakers we have, the audio levels, and having a lot of background noise kind of disappear behind the other soundtrack. So, definitely was an interesting challenge for us to learn, but we're going to continue to learn how to work inside of a building as we continue to grow.
Tyler Proffet: Tell us a little bit about your background and where you came from before the 13th Hour and where that attention to immersion comes from.
Benjamin Gagne: Yeah, so I worked at a haunted house in Connecticut called the Haunted Graveyard, and it was one of the largest, over-the-top experiences I've ever seen. I worked there as a teenager growing up, had a haunted house in my front yard as a high schooler, and then I moved here to Indianapolis College and said, "I've always wanted to do this." So, finally, in 2017 the stars aligned, I found a location, and started the 13th Hour. We had four years at that location, we had to take 2021 off as we moved the entire attraction to this new place and built out a new facility, essentially. But yeah, background, you know, I love Gothic, I love theatrical production, I don't really have a theater background, but really enjoy just immersion and going over the top with our effects from laser, sound, lighting, and just very unique things that you might not see everywhere.
Tyler Proffet: I also saw that you used a few little secret passages, hidden doorways, and things like that. What spawned the idea to start using some of those?
Benjamin Gagne: So, when we used to be outside, we had a very long and narrow space, and so it didn't really make sense for us to... We couldn't have actors jump around easily because there was so much distance between their positions. So, here, when we kind of had to fit into a box, we found that scenes kind of collapsed in on each other. So, we were able to create more actor passageways, and more actor hiding areas where they're able to scare 1, 2, 3, or 4 different times. But to the customer, based on us changing the makeup or changing the lighting in each different scene, they can't necessarily tell it's the same actor.
Tyler Proffet: All right. Well, thanks so much for talking with us Ben, it's been an absolute joy to come through and see your attraction. I can't wait to come back next year. Where can folks find more about the 13th Hour?
Benjamin Gagne: https://www.thirteenthhourindy.com/ or on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, all those fun things, but just come out and see us. Indianapolis, we're right off the Interstate here, easy to find, and always a good time.
Owner of The Thirteenth Hour
Since starting out haunting at the age of 13, Ben was inspired to create the original Thirteenth Hour, a home haunt, that raised thousands of dollars for charity. Today, he has turned a passion into profit and remastered his home haunt into a fully professional haunted house. He brings an expertise in budgeting and communication from his full time career as a Sr. Regional Manager for Amazon and is excited to bring his history and knowledge to the board.