Nightmares…

A very evil easter

Once the eggs are gathered and the questionably edible candy grass is questionably consumed, it’s time for some zombies and evil Easter bunnies eh?

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Brighton Asylum is hosting Rottentail Slaughterhouse. Apparently the asylum has either been invaded with giant evil bunnies, or the inmates found a large box of old worn mall bunny suits… Either way carnage is certain and bunny is the word of the day. This is a hands on haunt with waivers required and actor touch optional if you choose to accept a glow necklace. Take our word for it and be sure to take the necklace for the full experience! Details at http://brightonasylum.com/

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The Philly Zombie Crawl is an annual event on South Street in Philadelphia on Easter Sunday featuring hundreds of participants in zombie costume and makeup (pro makeup available on site for a nominal fee) walking the streets of Philly and roving from bar to bar for zombie themed drink specials, zombie movies, DJ’s, and the all new Zombie Emporium full of goods from local artists and vendors. Admission is just $5 at the TLA for a night of fun, more details at http://phillyzombie.com/ 

 

A Very Vicious Valentines Weekend

Looking for an anti-valentines day activity, or the perfect romantic getaway for a horror loving couple? In no particular order here are a few haunts that will be open for the holiday. Keep an eye out for Cupid, sounds like his arrows may be a tad fatal this year…

scarehouse valentine

The Basement at Scarehouse will open for one night only to break some hearts in the way that only an extreme haunt can. Only 1-2 customers may enter at a time, the actors will touch you, you will be restrained, and exposed to tight spaces and complete darkness. Tickets will likely sell out so buy these in advance!

2014_Valentine's_Flyer_kyms krypt

Kym’s Krypt is upping the ante for their Valentines dayshow, strongly recommending poncho’s for their customers, and offering no touch from actors, touch, or extra touch experiences. This highly interactive offering for anyone, couples, singles or other, is also supplemented with available hearse rides and a custom hex for your Ex.

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Brighton Asylum in Passaic NJ put on a great Christmas show named Santa’s Slay.  Their Valentines show promises to be extra intense with the optional physical contact from the actors. This will likely be the most extreme valentines haunt in the area.

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Details are sparse, however Blood Manor in NYC will be open for their own Valentines show. Blood Manor’s style is high action with beautiful sets and plenty of blood to go around. Don’t be surprised if you or your valentine leave with a little more blood than you went in the door with.

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Castle Blood in Monessen PA is a very theatrical show with high production values as seen on TV’s Midnight Monster Hop. As a special treat, on Saturday the 15th everyone that buys tickets in advance as well as the first 50 who buy tickets on site will be invited to join a byob masquerade ball and spaghetti dinner. After the castle closes the cast will join and award costume prizes for the night.

We Tried to Save Christmas…

Things didn’t look so good for the jolly old man when the Zombie Outbreak Response Team arrived at The Underground Rock Shop in Smithville NJ, but late news reports seem to indicate that we did indeed save Christmas.

 

So… you’re welcome.

More haunt and horror event reviews… soon.

Happy Holidays!

 

Brighton Asylum: Santa’s Slay 2013

The Brighton Asylum in Passaic NJ is an indoor professional walk through haunt located in a decrepit industrial complex. 2013 is the second year that the Asylum has hosted their Christmas event known as “Santa’s Slay”, a full on scary haunt with a strong holiday theme tied together with twisted Christmas characters, seasonal decor, and festively dressed asylum inhabitants. Unfortunately I’ve never attended the attraction before, so I am not able to compare Santa’s Slay with their Halloween haunt, but the integration of the two themes was seamless.

The creepy atmosphere  begins to build well before you even arrive at the attraction. The drive brings your car down Brighton Ave into a run down industrial area which looks to still be functioning in the daytime. Signage was sparse, so a creeping feeling that we had taken a wrong turn and were driving into private property crept up just prior to spotting the very first sign directing us to the entrance. After parking in a free supervised lot we walked towards a light over the very nondescript entrance  indicated only by a handwritten sign taped to the door. Right before entering I thought to myself ironically that “this looks totally legit”, thankfully it certainly was.

Brighton Asylum Exterior

Brighton Asylum Exterior

The queue line moved quickly, according to event staff they had a couple hundred attendees on opening night and a much busier night on Saturday. Not the thousands of customers they have at Halloween, but still descent for a second year Xmas haunt. In a very clever way to keep the queue line entertained, guests are invited to visit Santa’s brother from the South Pole and sit on his lap to ask for gifts, as well as optional reasonably priced souvenir photos. I asked the evil Kringle for a few zombies for target practice, he generously promised me my own horde under the tree on Christmas morning. Here’s hoping…

Santa's brother from the South Pole

Santa’s brother from the South Pole

Much like the Fear Factory’s Tinsel Town Terror, the entrance to the haunt was adorned with Christmas lights and decor, placed with care as if the inhabitants of the asylum were truly happy to be celebrating the season, in their own twisted way. The door attendant allowed myself and a guest to enter alone, always a treat for a busy commercial haunt. The haunt itself is a long and winding corridor all built within the dilapidated warehouse. The show flowed seamlessly from room to room exploring different themes such as a decorated home with scary secrets hidden all about, the asylum with some rather spirited inmates ready for the holiday, as well as a barren tundra area with suspiciously empty reindeer stables.

A few highlights of the show included a Christmas tree with a surprise, scare actors  attacking from above, a shocking holiday dinner table, some fantastic professional makeup and prosthetics (specifically a frozen zombie that was absolutely Hollywood quality) and a grand finale monster who I will not name to preserve the surprise for others. While there was definitely a dark sense of humor present, it was secondary to the scares, creating a brilliant soundscape of screams melding into laughter.

Brighton made use of inflatable claustrophobia zones in two different locations in the haunt. I must compliment their presentation as one of these was masked with the facade of a comfortable bed with a rip down the center, as if a falling nightmare had come true and the patron was falling (although actually walking) through the bed and then down a pressingly black dark hole into further nightmares, This is really a brilliant transition for this common effect which I have never seen before.

The attraction did weaken just a little towards the end with fewer actor and scare zones than in the first three quarters of the show, however this was understandable as the entire walk through was somewhere in the area of 20-30 minutes. The haunt did redeem the last bit though with the spectacular grand finale actor-matronic (actor operated animated monster) which seemed to be custom modified, I’ve not seen another like it at any other haunt or trade show.

More credit goes to the haunt for offering surveys to everyone at the exit, a great way to continually improve the show, and show  the audience that they do care about what they think. Another first, in the lobby in front of us was a group that worked themselves into a terror before even entering the haunt. impressively the staff offered to send an employee through with them so that they could enjoy the show without being too afraid. It really goes to show that this attraction cares about their customers.

Overall I definitely recommend Brighton Asylum, Santa’s Slay or Halloween editions, as a well decorated haunt with awesome actors, creative scares, great costumes and make-up all housed inside one creepy industrial wasteland area,

The haunt also opens for other holidays, 13 annual shows total including Valentines Day, Easter, and St. Patrick’s day. I’m planning to attend as many of these as I can and update here with changes the staff said are in the works for 2014.

Year Round Shows

Year Round Shows

WMGM Holiday Bizarre Listeners Party

On Thursday 12/12/13 103.7WMGM Rocks will be hosting the Holiday Bizarre Listeners Party at the Fear Factory behind the Hamilton Mall in Mays Landing NJ. The Radio station hosting the event is calling it the unofficial Bizarre AC pre-party, and has tons of great prizes for those who attend. Tickets must be bought in advance and the event is 21+ with BYOB.

The Fear Factory puts on a good show, so this will likely be a very fun event. I will be there wearing my Nightmares jacket, please feel free to join in and introduce yourself!

For tickets and further details go to the event facebook page here

Photos With Zombie Santa

On Saturday December 7th the Underground clothing store in historic Smithville NJ will be hosting photos with Zombie Santa. Just in time for holiday card mailing season,  the slightly less than jolly zombified Kringle will be available from 3-8 PM for digital and printed photos at a very nominal cost.

For details,  visit the event Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/617157865001178/

zombie santa

 

Santa’s Slay Murder Mystery 12/7/13

While researching information about Santa’s Slay at Brighton Asylum this weekend I came across another event in Central Jersey by the same name, except this one a murder mystery dinner. Details are sparse, however it looks  to be a fun event with a merrily morbid sense of holiday humor.

The event Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/248895298595691/

santas slay flyer

Fear Factory: Tinsel Town Terror 2013

Tinsel Town Terror at the Fear Factory in Mays Landing NJ is as far as I am aware, the first and only professional Christmas themed haunt in Southern New Jersey. This show is more than just Santa hats on existing props, the Fear Factory has really been transformed into a winter wonderland of holiday horrors. The attraction only includes the Mays Manor for the holiday season. This is only one of the two attractions in the facility, however the ticket price has been adjusted accordingly. As an added perk, a portion of each ticket sold is being donated to charity.

Tinsel Town Terror

Tinsel Town Terror

I hesitate to call the attraction scary, although keep in mind that I am a little jaded when it comes to haunts. The show is however extremely entertaining with it’s twisted sense of humor, curious and macabre visuals, and downright creepy actors all lit by the glow of colorful Christmas lights hung with care. The overall impression was very organic, not tacky as one might expect, rather a genuine feeling that the inhabitants of the haunt were indeed just celebrating the holidays in their own unique ways.

For those who visited the Fear Factory during the Halloween season, most sets will be recognizable however the actors and set dressings have been completely overhauled for the new theme and story. This was achieved to great effect via the usage of Christmas decor, wrapping paper, additional set pieces, and perhaps most impressively the application of colored lighting to change an underground cave scene into a convincingly barren and frozen ice tunnel.

With the exception of a few key adult characters, actors were younger, almost childlike. This normally detracts from an attraction, but in Tinsel Town it only makes sense for the elves to be small and child like. I have to compliment the elves, their presence was simultaneously cute and creepy, especially one actress who is a skilled contortionist. Interaction types varied from scene to scene, some were close up, some direct conversation with actors, and others were walk by scenes with actors interacting among themselves. For an off season event I partially expected the attraction to have a sparse acting crew, however the rooms in the haunt were all well attended, most with more than one actor.

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Lobby Decorations

My only complaint about the show was that the last room was a little slow, I suspect something went wrong with the timing of an animatronic scare, however as this was opening night and we were one of the first groups to go through, I can only imagine this issue will be fixed for the remainder of the season.

Overall Tinsel Town Terror  is a very entertaining and “family” friendly show appropriate for those old enough to be nonbelievers. The attraction wisely remains secular and excels in presenting an alternative brand of holiday fun with a decidedly twisted sense of humor.

An added perk for Nightmares Blog Readers, Click here for a $2.00 coupon!

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Holiday Hauntings

For most Halloween fanatics, November and December are tough months of cleaning up the decorations and dealing with holly jolly ho ho consumerism. For a devoted few though, we have holiday haunts! Weather permitting I should be attending and reviewing all of the below.

Castle Blood Cryptmas

Castle Blood Cryptmas

Castle Blood  located in Monessen PA will be hosting the Scary Little Cryptmas on December 14th and 15th.

Scarehouse Xmas

Scarehouse The Basement X-mas

The Scarehouse in Etna PA (near Pittsburgh) is reopening their extreme haunt The Basement for one night only on 12/28/13. I visited The Basement in October and cannot recommend it enough for those  into extreme hands on haunted attractions.

Fear Factory Xmas

Fear Factory Xmas

The Fear Factory in Mays Landing NJ will be hosting Tinsel Town Terror on Friday and Saturday nights from black Friday – December 21st.

 

Brighton Asylum

Brighton Asylum

Brighton Asylum in Passaic NJ will be hosting Santa’s Slay on December 6, 7, 13 and 14.