Thursday, October 1, 2009

Haunted House Tour - Nightmare: Vampires in NYC

The month of October is upon us, and that special holiday of holidays is drawing near. I start the first of my haunted house tours with NYC's Nightare: Vampires attraction.

It is not so much of a house, as a two-story, two-phase interactive experience of horror, sights and sensations. The vampire theme is first introduced in part one, a tour through the MOVA, the "Museum of Vampire Artifacts". This is relatively uneventful (though I recommend pushing the red buttons on the exhibits). You can listen to the perky guide if you believe that a history of vampire lore will enhance your experience.

Suddenly, your tour is abruptly interrupted and your group is left to feel your way through the next two floors of disturbed and bloody characters. While you will not be touched or grabbed by these residents, you CAN expect them to fly out at you from every angle when you least expect it. One young woman in my group begged to be removed from the haunted house within 3 minutes of the first jump-out. The security/legal waiver clerk at the entry foyer firmly (and repeatedly) instructs that guests do NOT punch the performers, (leading me to believe that this happens often). The irony here is that the performers are the ones who have legitimate fears of danger, as opposed to the audience. This Halloween Youtube video sums up that workplace hazard...

The "Nightmare" NYC haunted house brand is in its sixth season this year. Timothy Haskell and his creative team of emerging artists and designers collaborated on different set pieces for your scaring pleasure. A dimly lit room filled with dismembered mannequins and a booth bursting with insects is quite disturbing. Rocking bridges in a hall of demonic girls hurling themselves at you (not in a good way), and a crawl through a pressurized tunnel is unnerving in its complete darkness. One of the big showpieces would be the Elizabeth Bathory tribute (remember the tour lecture?) Each scene was an homage to vampire culture in some form, but if you were not pondering their historical context at this moment, I'm sure they'll forgive you.

Occasionally, I had wished that the ghoulies would back down a bit, (being the remaining female in the group, they were ALL gunning for me...I guess they assumed I was less likely to assault). I would have liked more time to fully appreciate the effort that went into all of the sculptures and effects. Sometimes, it is just creepier when you let your eyes come into focus in the dark and discover the gory things for yourself.

But...that's...not...all! Check the website for bonus entertainment, giveaways and specials each night. Last evening, a psychic gave readings, there are 2 for 1 drink specials, and performances by the Frankenstein musical are coming up. Hellboy director Guillermo Del Toro's new novel is up for grabs on special nights too.

$30 in advance, $35 at the door, $60 for VIP tickets (that let you skip the line and receive a goodie bag) can be purchased here.

*Courtesan's secret tip: You can also find limited half-price tickets for earlier dates via this link.


Liz said...

Sounds like an amazing and creepy haunted house! Amazing job on the theme and the room.

mumbot said...

Wow, I want to go there!


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