15 Minutes of Solo Terror

How do you jazz up the old haunted house trope? Force people to experience it alone

By Elizabeth Bougerol
|  Monday, Oct 19, 2009  |  Updated 2:17 PM EDT
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15 Minutes of Solo Terror

Eggybird/Flickr Creative Commons 2.0

The Vortex Theater's Haunted House: The longest 15 minutes of your life.

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Beware, Halloween fans. The usual rules do not apply to the Vortex Theater’s Haunted House, brought to you by the sadists behind the Midsummer Nightmare event (which, ICYMI, is described over here).

Creative director Josh Randall and his crew have stripped away the usual ha-ha-it’s-fake conventions that make haunted-house experiences relatively safe even for the jumpy (and downright disappointing for the fright-starved). 

You can’t rely on your buddies to defuse tension or your sweetie for a reassuring arm to squeeze here. This is pitch-black solitary confinement with -- as the NYT described it -- “a cross between the treatments you might get from a dominatrix and an executioner. It’s an unnerving solitary confinement."

Oh, and the waiver you’ll need to J. Hancock before they’ll let you go anywhere near the place? Here’s an excerpt:

• I HAVE BEEN ADVISED AND ACKNOWLEDGE THAT GRAPHIC SCENES OF EXTREME HORROR, SEXUAL CONTENT, TIGHT SPACES, AND CRAWLING ARE A PART OF THE EXPERIENCE OF THE HAUNTED HOUSE […]

• I HAVE BEEN ADVISED AND AM FAMILIAR WITH THE RISK OF SERIOUS PERSONAL INJURY…

And yes, you will be touched. You can't say we didn't warn you.

Details
Vortex Theater’s Haunted House
Through Oct. 31, Tuesday-Friday 7-11PM, Saturday-Sunday 5-11PM
Vortex Theater, 164 11th Avenue; 212-206-1764
$12 advance online, $14 doors
For more information or to book, go to nychalloweenhauntedhouse.com

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