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Amanda Galiano

Haunted House That Pays?

By October 21, 2013

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Not a haunted house but a great Halloween event!I get questions about this urban legend every year, so every year I refresh this post and invite people to comment.

The legend says there is a haunted house in Little Rock that pays you back if you can make it to the top floor. Supposedly, it's in a hospital.  The attraction is supposed to be 13 stories high, which each level getting more scary, like Dante's levels of hell. It always seems that a cousin of a friend or a friend's girlfriend's brother went there so it really does exist. Sounds like the stuff of urban legends to me!

If it sounds like urban legend, it probably is.   I've found similar stories in a few other cities, and most involve haunted hospitals.  Some even involve brave patrons being literally scared to death.  This legend is just one of those fun ghost stories people tell each other.

There has been a haunted hospital on Pershing, in the former Baptist building.  Contrary to some of the comments on this topic, this is not the hospital of this urban legend. The legend has been around for a bit longer than that attraction. That haunted hospital was put on by the North Little Rock Police Athletic League.  It was quite good, but I doubt they'd try to scare someone to their literal death.

Looking for haunted houses and Halloween events?  More urban legendsPumpkin patches?

October 25, 2006 at 8:14 pm
(1) Bree says:

Could u tell me were it is located?Where at in Little Rock?

October 26, 2006 at 11:46 am
(2) amanda says:

I have heard of it too and would also like to know where it is located. If you happen to find out would you please pass the information on to me at pendy36@yahoo.com. Thanks bunches and Happy Halloween!

October 27, 2006 at 9:38 am
(3) Julie says:

I heard it was in Cabot and it has a real live snake pit. Ugh!

October 27, 2006 at 1:13 pm
(4) Emily says:

I’ve heard of it for the past several years. Standing in line at other haunted houses people are always talking about it but never been or seen of it.

October 27, 2006 at 1:26 pm
(5) littlerock says:

Sounds like it may be one of those urban legends. I’ve looked all over and even called a few places and nobody knows any concrete information. Interesting!

October 27, 2006 at 3:46 pm
(6) mandy says:

It’s the old VA hospital off of Roosevelt. The cool part is that supposedly it’s a real haunted place, and there’s no one inside working it! A friend of mine talked to some she works with today that overheard her talking about us going and he said we were stupid cuz it really is haunted and he knows cuz his brother used to work there. Anyways, I’ve heard about it and no one has known the past few years until this year and I also know someone that has gone and he said he’d never go again…and no, he didn’t make it to the top floor, lol. Only bad part is it’s $25 to go in, but the good thing is you get your money back. Guess we need to be careful tho, cuz they say there’s no lights to lead you and no guide. Funny…cuz me and my friend drove up to it last week, and there was one light on. But how if there’s no electricity??

October 30, 2006 at 1:23 pm
(7) lisa says:

went to the old va hospital last night
who ever said that they went inside is full of it. it is currently the little rock police dept. and i promise that no one is charging to let you just wonder around there!!!

October 30, 2006 at 4:19 pm
(8) Mandy says:

yup, i went too and you’re right. Then I heard at another haunted house that it was some va hospital in north little rock? so i dunno. kinda aggrevating cuz alot of people are talking about it.

October 31, 2006 at 12:22 am
(9) littlerock says:

I have talked to a bunch of people about these over the past few days and I have confirmation that the “Haunted House that pays” is, indeed, an urban legend. No such animal exists.

A friend of mine, not a reliable source, said that at one time the old VA did have an awesome haunted house (he says it didn’t pay when you reached the top) but he didn’t think they did it anymore. The previous person who said they try to visit it confirms that they don’t do a haunted house anymore.

October 17, 2007 at 3:15 pm
(10) Amanda says:

Check out this website for the true information on the haunted house in NLR. http://www.northlittlerock.org/

October 17, 2007 at 3:35 pm
(11) littlerock says:

Yes, but that’s not the haunted house referenced by legend :)

I have that one linked already!

October 19, 2007 at 1:58 am
(12) Razor says:

I first heard about this when I moved down here 3 yrs ago. According to my source it was a haunted house at one time but has since been shut down. Legend has it that it was a truly haunted hospital where the spirits of old mental patients still roamed the halls. There where even rumors of people going missing in the building. Not really sure of the validity of all this, but who knows.

October 26, 2007 at 5:28 pm
(13) Taylor says:

this came from the north little rock website…

Scariest Haunted House of Central Arkansas
October 12, 2007 October 31, 2007
The NLR Police Athletic League (PAL) is proud to announce the re-opening of the Scariest Haunted House in Central Arkansas. Get the scare of a life time!

Grand Opening is Friday/Saturday, October 12 & 13 from 7p.m. until 11p.m.

Additional Dates:

October 18-20 & 23-29 – 7p.m. until 11p.m.
October 30 & 31 – 6p.m. until Midnight

CLOSED – October 14-17 & 21-22

The Scariest Haunted House of Central Arkansas is located in NLR in the morgue of the old Baptist Memorial Hospital, #1 Pershing Circle, NLR, AR 72114

October 22, 2008 at 10:32 pm
(14) Jackson says:

where is this place i’ve heard about it sumwhere in manhattan but i’m not sure if u know please leave a comment
They say its a 13 stories high building that if u make it to the top u get get ur money back plus 20 bucks so a total of 50 bucks
If u know e-mail me at jaysz_9@yahoo.com

October 23, 2008 at 5:27 am
(15) Amanda says:

It’s just an urban legend. Not a real haunted house :)

October 30, 2008 at 8:32 am
(16) Drew says:

I heard of one in Detroit Michigan, a haunted hotel of 13 stories. You supposedly get $50.00 if you make it to the top floor. However you must sign a waver so the actors can touch you when attempting to scare you. I just started looking for a website, without luck. But I’ve heard of it before from a friends friend that went there.. Thought it was real until I saw this.. another 13 story ___ that pays..

October 30, 2008 at 10:52 am
(17) Mike says:

This is just an Urban Legend. I live in Ohio and here it is a Haunted Hospital supposedly located in Cincinnati. There seems to be a version of this for every state.

October 2, 2009 at 12:35 pm
(18) Phil says:

Its called the Haunted Cathedral. Its at the Emoba Building on Chester in Little Rock. Its like $20 and if you make it to the top you get your money back.

October 7, 2009 at 11:39 am
(19) JASON says:

The Haunted Hospital is located in the former North Little Rock Baptist Memorial Hospital at #1 Pershing Circle, North Little Rock, Ark. Come… If You Dare…

October 7, 2009 at 8:32 pm
(20) jimmy says:

this Haunted Hospital sucks im sorry i ever wasted my money on it all the monsters are 12 year old kids and there is nothing in it but a bunch of broken stuff on the floor the morgue is really the kitchen and it is poor excuse for a haunted house the nlr police should give up and stop putting on haunted houses cause they have no imagination what so ever point blank dont waist your time or money on this haunted house and if you go you will wish you hadn’t

October 15, 2009 at 2:32 pm
(21) Cody says:

Checkout the 9th or tenth entry on this web site:

It sounds like the place is real, but the legend is just how the story was blown up over the years

October 15, 2009 at 2:37 pm
(22) Cody says:

make that the 12th entry now; look for “haunted hospital” If you go past the picture on the right, you’ve gone too far

October 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm
(23) Jessica says:

The haunted hospital sucks. That was 15 minutes of my life that I will never get back. The haunted cathedral sucks. That was another 20 minutes of my life that I will never get back.

October 17, 2009 at 8:18 pm
(24) littlerock says:

Where is your favorite then?

October 20, 2009 at 10:44 pm
(25) prosperity says:

It is true, its about 35 bucks to get in and the faster you make it to the top the more money you get, each floor is something different, and they are not allowed to touch you

October 21, 2009 at 1:20 am
(26) Amanda says:

The number you’re referring too is the EMOBA haunted cathedral I think.

The haunted cathedral (EMOBA) does exist, but you don’t get your money back if you go through it. I’ve been through it several times. It’s not that bad. Nobody in my group “didn’t make it.”

They do a great job of decorating and it’s one of the nicer “haunted houses” around the city. Small groups, eerie settings, very few live (or dead :) people though. It’s scare factor is mostly the decor and setting. It’s a nice haunted house, but not the one of urban legend.

October 21, 2009 at 2:05 pm
(27) bRANDI says:

The Hauntel Hotel on Arch street is one of the best haunted houses around and its only $10 to get in.

September 1, 2010 at 2:40 pm
(28) haunted house utah says:

The Haunted Forest here in Utah hires each year about 100 cast members and you are paid each day that you work. All you need to do is show up for an audition (times and dates are on their website) and you can see what is going on. It’s a lot of fun and they really do a great job at this haunt! I love to go every year!

October 12, 2010 at 9:34 pm
(29) JD says:

Sorry this is kinda late but the place does exist in spain they have this place that you actually have to sign a release form to get into because it uses real items such as chain saws with the blades knives and other things and it pays you if you make it to the top

October 29, 2010 at 3:09 pm
(30) jacob says:

can i have information on geting there thanks

February 11, 2011 at 3:06 pm
(31) Lilia says:

Oh my gosh, that sounds so amazing. I always make it through haunted houses without so much as a tear, so I want to test out my willpower! I’ll let you know how it goes.

March 23, 2011 at 11:22 am
(32) Savanah says:

Yes, it is true. You have to sign a contract before you go in though, because if you get bit by a snake or anything in there they dont want you to sue. My friend has gone and if you make it to the 13 floor whatever you do STAY AWAY FROM THE WINDOW! They have people up there that will try to push you out of it! Of coarse they have a blowup thing at the bottom, but if you are pushed out! No money!

October 14, 2011 at 5:07 pm
(33) Heather J says:

It’s an urban legend. The first time we heard about this we were told it was the old VA hospital in Little Rock, AR. We drove there and there was a huge line of cars…as we got to the front of the line, there were police everywhere telling people there was no haunted house, it was a police station instead. Seems more like a way for them to get people who were under the influence, as well as a prank by people to cause the Police unnecessary trouble that night. Best thing to do is do an online search for haunted houses in your area – you’ll get a listing of any that are legit and most have reviews. If there was such a place, there would be more information by now, website, Facebook, something :)

October 14, 2011 at 6:43 pm
(34) Amanda says:

There’s a listing right here of real haunted houses.

October 20, 2011 at 2:31 pm
(35) KJM says:

Is the Haunted Hospital up and running this year?!!?! anyone know!?

October 20, 2011 at 4:16 pm
(36) Amanda says:

I could not get in touch with anyone at the haunted hospital for 2011.

October 20, 2011 at 10:21 pm
(37) Nathan says:

The Haunted Hospital has moved to 4th and Poplar in NLR, the old Checkmate Club.

October 21, 2011 at 11:35 am
(38) walkingdead says:

Well guess wat none of yall kno wat ur talkin about bcuz it is a real place just not n arkansas. Its n texas

October 22, 2011 at 3:40 pm
(39) KJM says:

@Amanda I couldnt either!

@Nathan…aww booooo!! is it called something else this year since its not in the hospital?!

October 22, 2011 at 5:51 pm
(40) Amanda says:

The Texas “13th Floor” was made up by some radio DJs :-) It’s not real either (I checked a few years ago, that’s been a rumor for a while).

Nathan emailed me that the haunted hospital is called Tavern of Terror this year. I put that it was formerly known as the haunted hospital on the list. I try to keep up with that if I can, but it’s not always easy. A lot of these are ran by volunteers or at least different people every year and the contact info I have isn’t good the next year.

Night Terrors 13 that was popular last year has a new name and location this year too.

October 22, 2011 at 7:23 pm
(41) KJM says:

Gotcha! Thanks !! = )

January 30, 2012 at 3:25 pm
(42) Dave says:

It is, or was the old Baptist Health system Memorial Hospital in the separate city of North Little Rock. No you didnt get paid. The “haunted hospital” was a fund raiser is for the Faternal Order of Police Childrens Atheletics. My wife and I and her coworks used to work the event. As I type this they are demolishing the old Memorial Hospital for what I dont know… which is why I was ‘Google-ing” it to see what is going to be built there.

Last holloween the FOP did the “Tavern of Terror” in an old night club in the Argentia Arts Dist. of North Little Rock. See you there this year…

September 13, 2012 at 9:32 pm
(43) skully says:

If you want to check out one of central arkansas most horrifying haunts come out to the fear factory at 25120 hwy 107 jacksonville behind the air force base.

October 14, 2012 at 4:50 pm
(44) nicole dawn says:

would u mind giving me directions if you know where it might be please? thank you :)

October 24, 2012 at 8:36 am
(45) Nai says:

Read this

Sounds pretty legit to me

January 24, 2013 at 1:48 am
(46) Abandoned AR says:

If you want to see pictures of the hospital, jump over to this new website that got pictures before it was torn down! Sad to see it go! http://www.abandonedar.com/nlr-memorial-hospital/

February 3, 2013 at 1:08 am
(47) Ron says:

is there any haunted plases that pay you to stay the night? there is no place me or my friends wouldn’t stay. we would stay all night to prove there is no such thing as ghosts. it’s all in your heads. we arn’t afrade of anything. there are 6 of us that will take any challange. ANY.

May 19, 2013 at 1:15 pm
(48) kayleigh says:

You people are talking about places that have nothing to do with the old VA hospital on Roosevelt road in Little Rock. I don’t say this to be rude, but I was thinking all comments would be directed to this particular hospital only. I don’t know if it’s haunted but I did go inside with about 5 friends of mine when we attended Little Rock Job Corps Center. We actually went inside (yes, the doors were unlocked and open!) This took place sometime in the summer of 1988, many years after it supposedly closed down. The electricity was totally working, as were the elevators!! I know this because we got on the elevator and went to either the 3rd or 4th floor. I can’t recall the exact floor since it has been 25 yrs! We mostly walked the 1st floor, though. It didn’t seem creepy or spooky to me, but there were like 6 of us teens altogether. Can anyone explain to me why the electricity was completely working in this vacant, abandoned hospital??? Either someone was paying the light bill or it is definitely HAUNTED!! :P

May 19, 2013 at 1:18 pm
(49) kayleigh says:

The old VA on Roosevelt road in Little Rock

August 11, 2013 at 4:51 am
(50) Scareview Haunted House says:

We surely hope that none of you truly believe that crap? That is not only an urban legend in Arkansas but also in every other state as well. There are plenty of great haunted houses and haunted theme parks across the country but I’m willing to bet that you will not find one single event that offers this. If so we would certainly like to see it. But if you are looking for one of the best haunted houses in Arkansas, come to Scareview in Camden. I know everyone always thinks theirs is the best…….we get that. We have been in the business 12 years at the same location. We have ventured to others all over the State and promise you none will come evenclose. No black plastic walls, cheap masks or makeup here! We go all out!! If you can find one better anywhere near here please let us know!

October 21, 2013 at 9:32 pm
(51) Daisy says:

Frightmare Manor at http://www.frightmaremanor.com

Frightmare Manor, located in Knoxville, Tennessee, is THE Money Back Haunt® – with a 4 Attraction Screampark. If all 4 Attractions are successfully completed, you WILL get your money back. They tell you “You’ve been warned – TRUE TERROR EXISTS HERE.” Your friends and family can watch you take the Challenge in a control room for a $5 per person fee.

Frightmare Manor returns in 2013 to continue to expose the dark secrets hidden within this historic, blood-soaked property of Tennessee serial killer – Jeremiah Lexer. Repeatedly named the #1 Haunted Attraction by the Knoxville News Media and featured in National Haunted House Magazines alike,

Frightmare Manor is the ultimate, authentic Haunted Attraction experience, found on the outskirts of Knoxville, TN. Frightmare Manor features high tech animatronics, professional special effects, and countless psychotic and demented souls determined to bring TRUE TERROR to your final moments.

Located on the abandoned Jeremiah Lexer plantation, Frightmare Manor is 20 acres, offers 3 independent, walk thru, Haunted Attractions on site, and features the Nationally Recognized Nightmare at Frightmare Challenge. If all 4 Attractions are successfully completed, you WILL get your money back. You’ve been warned – TRUE TERROR EXISTS HERE.

Dare Yourself, Double Dare Your Friends…

October 30, 2013 at 6:28 pm
(52) James Shepard says:

This is not about a haunted house but the Woodson Lateral Light. Has anyone ever seen it or heard about it? Thanks. Happy Haunting everyone!!

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