This 'Nightmare' is a killer!
LINDA ARMSTRONG Special to the AmNews | 10/22/2012, 2:30 p.m.
If you enjoy a great scare and great laughs, then I have the experience for you. You only have a short time to get tickets to "Killers: A Nightmare Haunted House" at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, located at 107 Suffolk St. between Rivington and Delancey in lower Manhattan. This year, the haunted house focuses on real-life and imagined serial killers--and it is a total blast! Creator and co-director Timothy Haskell and co-director John Harlacher really put together an amazing exhibit and something you won't soon forget.
The first thing I will tell you is, agree to have the staff draw a red cross on your face as you stand in the line. That red cross signifies to the actors working this scary, haunting and funny experience that you don't mind being touched and commanded to do various things. Believe me, it will make the experience even more memorable. I went this past weekend with my 19-year-old daughter and her two college friends of like age and we had a great time, as we moved from area to area with our faces marked by the red cross. The actors came straight up to us, touched us and moved us wherever they wanted. However, I should tell you that even if you don't have the red mark on your face, the actors will be very interactive anyway.
It is a very dark exhibit, with minimal light, letting you experience a sense of danger. The characters you encounter include Jack the Ripper, Ted Bundy, Dexter, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, the Zodiac Killer, Jane Toppan, Albert Fish, Ed Gein, H.H. Holmes, Lizzie Borden and Elizabeth Bathory.
Now, of course, most of us know who Jack the Ripper was--a man who killed women on the streets of London. We know of the serial killer Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer, especially since Dahmer used to skin his victims and eat them. A sign on the outside door lists all the serial killers you will encounter and the rules of behavior for you, which you would be wise to obey.
When I asked my daughter and her friends if they knew who Borden was, they looked puzzled. I said, don't you know the rhyme, "Lizzie Borden took an ax and gave her father 40 whacks, when she realized what she'd done she gave her mother 41"? They looked at me with surprise. As we went through the exhibit, our meetings with Borden were abrupt and scary. We ran, screamed and, when safe, laughed.
"Killers: A Nightmare Haunted House" has a lot of scary moments and is just a great time--but beware what lurks in the fog. When it was over, my only question was, "Why?" I was ready for more, but my daughters and her friends were quite satisfied. My daughter was almost hoarse from screaming, yelling and laughing.
If you noticed that I'm not really giving you a lot of details, it's because I don't want to ruin the experience for you. Let's just say that you will enjoy a hilarious, chilling, off-the-hook experience. Oh, alright, maybe just a taste: There is a chainsaw, along with a demented clown, an execution that you get to take part in and much more.
This haunted house is strictly for 18 and up. For ticket information, go to nightmarenyc.com. The haunted house runs through Nov. 3.