NYC Haunted House - Vortex Theater's NYC Halloween Haunted House (Walkthrough and Spoilers)
Halloween is over and so was my mission to hit up all the NYC haunted houses. To recap, I went to Nightmare: Superstitions, Blood Manor, Steampunk Haunted House and After Dark at Madame Tussauds.
But the one that everybody keeps asking me to spoil for them is this one. I promised to not spoil anything until after Halloween because it would have ruined the experience for anyone who decided to go.
Also out of respect for Josh Randall and Kris Thor, creators of this brilliant haunted house I wanted to keep the mystery going all the way to October 31st. But Halloween is over and I'm sure they are going to change up next year's version to something more crazier and I can finally divulge what happened. So I'll do this checklist style as it's easier for me to remember.
- The entrance is non descript. Just a random building on 26th street b/w 6th and 7th Avenue. (see my pictures on my Facebook page)
- You enter and you have to read the rules and sign a waiver
- You (and another participant) are led by Josh into a section offed room surrounded by black curtains, here he gives you the surgical mask and asks one more time if you have epilepsy and agree to the rules
- Next, you're led to another mini room where strobe lights are flickering like crazy. With the mask and the strobing, you start to get a serious headache (well I did anyway)
- After waiting for a few minutes, Josh grabs you and opens up a curtain and tells you to follow string tied against a wall
- You follow the string in complete darkness. Somebody tells you to get up against the wall and to put your hands on the wall (police style) where they start touching you on your neck, your head and your arms (you can't tell where it coming from as its completely pitch black dark)
- You are then grabbed and led to a chair and told to sit. You sit in complete darkness and at this point my ear was touched and a balloon popped which startled the shit out of me.
- You are them told to kneel and I for one was getting tired of kneeling and sat on the floor. A dimly lit tunnel opens up and you are told to crawl through the tunnel. A "dead body" looks to be in the tunnel and as you go past it, he grabs you and holds you tight. He's starts talking to you to "stay with him" before he lets you go.
- You go down some stairs into the "basement" where you meet this hottie mental patient. She instructs you to look into a broken mirror and speaks incoherently. It's at this point the freakiness occurs. She puts masking tape on your earlobes and then reaches underneath her patient gown and licks up the blood she has found. She takes the remaining blood and wipes it on your mask. You then proceed to the next room.
- In the next room, another asylum hottie instructs you to sit in a weird swiveling dental chair. Here, she started sniffing me and looking at me provocatively. She then removed my right shoe and sock and gave me air traffic controller noise cancelling headphones.
- As I enter another room, I'm attacked by thugs who lift up my shirt and use a staple gun on my now exposed flesh. Now again in complete darkness you are told to kneel and your hands are tied behind your back. A mask is placed your head (probably a burlap sack of some sort). The man tells me to "BARK LIKE A DOG!" I concur and do my best Snoopy impersonation. He yells at me again to "BARK LOUDER!!!". I do. Now he tells me to scream. Then again. Then again and louder. I do as I am told (well its in the rules)
- I am told to get up and I began to feel like somebody was squeezing me. I now have the surgical mask on, a hood over my head and my hands are tied behind my back. Now somebody is squeezing me and/or pressing me against a wall and it's getting kind of hard to breathe. This seemed to go on for like 10 minutes in my head (but it could have been 3 minutes). To me, this was the most frightening part of the whole thing. This is probably the point where the SAFETY word gets called. I thought about it and said FUCK NO. I gotta review this baddest of the bad haunted houses. And I endured. But I gotta tell you folks, this is the closest to being tortured I've ever felt.
- After you are dehooded and the headphones are removed you go down a long room which is littered by condoms and has old TVs that are part surveillance camera and you are actually viewing yourself going down the hallway. I try to not step on any condoms with my exposed right foot. I mean shit....it looked kinda icky.
- In the final room, you see a large black man having sex with a white woman on a mattress that's on the floor. (God I hope that was simulated Skinemax sex) The room is dimly lit red and has many shoes littered across the floor. I began to realize I would have to find my shoe from among the many shoes and socks.
- The large NAKED black man (and I mean completely naked) instructs to me go to the corner which blocks the view of the bed. I hear some grunting and see a few glimpses of naked flesh as I peek at what's going on. I keep creeping to see what the fuck is happening when the large black dude tells me to get on the bed.
- Now I'm on the bed and I look at the NAKED woman (who has some awesome boobs) and the black man starts playing with my exposed foot. As he plays some weird game with my foot, the woman starts to hug and grab me yelling "Get me outta here!" and "He's crazy!".
- The black dude stops his foot massage and grabs my shoe and tells me to "Get out!"
- I go up a flight of stairs and am told by the staff to put my shoe on.
- You are then told to go to a bathroom and to wait there then unexpectedly are grabbed yet again and are thrown out into the exit.
- You "look" like you've run out of the house but in reality you have been thrown out.
- The End
I actually got to talk to Josh Randall after my experience and a few things changed from last years version. Flashlights are gone and the ending was the torture. The final room was added in as was a few of the performers acting looney.
I was curious as to whether or not females get the same treatment as their male counterparts when they go through this haunted house. Josh wrote me:
"The answer to your question is - no. the experience is pretty much exactly the same for both genders. Everyone has their own journey, sure, but that's mainly due to how differently everyone behaves. If someone's visibly upset and shaky the actors might go the extra mile to really effect them. On the other end of the stick is if someone is relatively neutral and unresponsive, the actors will most likely back off a bit and go the subtle and subversive route. Having said that, the "narrative" is always the same for both men and women."
I can describe to you what happened but to describe what I was feeling during it is a whole different thing. Because your going through it alone, there is nobody to hold on to, nobody to joke about it to and all that's left is your own thoughts and the frightening feeling of what would happen next. I can't convey to you what I was deeply scared at some points during the experience and at other times a little WTF-ed.
Well, that be your walkthrough and spoilers. Some of you may think this was goofy, cheesy or stupid, but it was fuckin crazy awesome. I've never experienced a full spectrum of fear then in this psychological horror experiment.
- Read my full review of Blackout Haunted House 2011 (NEW)! (formerly NYC Halloween Haunted House)
- Read my full review of Vortex Theater's NYC Halloween Haunted House!
- Also check out Vortex Theater's NYC Halloween Haunted House 2011 Spring Edition!