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You know those cheap, tossed-together haunted attractions that plague boardwalk theme parks and traveling carnivals nationwide? You’d go as a kid and think, even at the tender age of 10, that the mechanical monsters and spring-loaded specters were no match for that creepy ol’ toothless sideshow host who could not only guess your weight but check your prostate as well? Oh, childhood memories…
Well, they sucked (the haunted houses, that is, though surely the toothless carnie gave the Hoover a run for its money). If you’re an adult and looking for an experience a bit more thrilling than some bogus Boris Karloff propped up in the corner of a cardboard cemetery, then The Vortex Theater Company’s Halloween Haunted House in New York City may be the place for you.
Not much should be disclosed in detail about this latest production from the troupe that has previously brought audiences A MIDSUMMER NIGHTMARE and renditions of AGAMEMNON, H.M.S. PINAFORE and KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN. Much of the attraction’s macabre appeal lies in its ambiguity. What can be said, however, is that this Haunted House is without question one of the most intense and genuinely frightening experiences you’re apt to engage in this Halloween season.
Located on 115 West 27th Street in Manhattan, the Haunted House utilizes paranoia, claustrophobia, sensory deprivation and simulated violent/sexual situations to bring about legitimate feelings of fear and depravity for all who partake (beware the girl at the bottom of the stairs whose idea of good cosmetics is a bit…atypical). Willing participants must be over the age of 18, sign a waiver and are required, without exception, to walk through alone! The entire experience lasts about 20 minutes, and is well worth the price of admission. General information, including hours of operation and entry cost, can be found on the attraction’s official website.
Horrific, shocking and exhilarating, the Halloween Haunted House is a finely tuned tour de force in terror, and an absolute must for horror enthusiasts in the New York City area.
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