Last night I did something in NYC that I have never done before, even after living here for 6 years. I went to my first my New York Haunted House. After doing some research online, I decided on one called “Killers: A Nightmare Haunted House,” http://hauntedhousenyc.com/.

“Killers” is about serial killers, both real and fictionalized. First you wait in a rather long line, probably about an hour. They actually had a cocktail waiter walking around and a bar and bartender, so we had some wine and some delicious spiked warm apple cider while we waited. Craig had never had warm apple cider before so it was fun introducing him to it and seeing how much he enjoyed it. While the line meanders around the lobby, there is a wall covered in serial killer memorabilia and artwork, including some neat stuff from Charles Manson, among others. This exhibit is entitled “The Mind of Madness: A Serial Killer Gallery.”

When you get to the front of the line, they mark you with a red mark on your forehead if you want to participate (ie. get talked to, touched, moved around, etc). But even if you don’t have a mark, you may still have these things happen to you so I would suggest just going for it! Then you get placed in groups of about 10 and begin the house. It’s a lot of fun. Different rooms for different stories, some spookier than the others. I found the whole thing to be very fascinating, how these were actors hired to play these parts on repeat all night.

There was a Dexter room, which of course I enjoyed, despite feeling that the actor who played him was too effeminate and therefore nothing like Dexter. I’m picky because Dexter is at the top of all of my favorite tv shows and I live and breathe for Michael C. Hall. Except the “Killers” Dex was an interesting alternate take on the character. I couldn’t help but tell him I thought he was a “vigilante hero” as I was walking away.

The clown room was one of Craig’s favorites (above) and the man with the lady strapped in was the one I thought was the scariest. What this guy (below) does to the lady is MESSED UP. This actress did an amazing job, very convincing.

What really blew my mind about this whole show, and what added to the intensity and scare factor for me was that they had some sort of B.O. spray that was incredibly effectively used. The Lady Báthory room was both hilarious and majorily creepy, as the young man playing her was both really funny and smelled impossibly disgusting. The scent moved to you as he moved to you, like he was the smelliest old bitch around. FYI: Lady Báthory was reviled as the world’s worst female serial killer, Countess Báthory is said to have bathed in the blood of the 650 servant girls she tortured and murdered. I almost died laughing though when he/she asked Craig to touch her 100 year old “vagine.”

So this smell came back throughout the show whenever appropriate, like when a man was under a couch. It literally smelt exactly like how a dirty, stinky man in a moldy couch would smell. So weird and creepy! And for someone who has an incredibly sensitive nose as I do, to the point where it gets me in trouble because I feel sick and grossed out, this disgusting, wavering B.O smell really made “Killers” more intense and a bit more realistic.

The whole thing lasted about 30 minutes and we laughed alot, had a few scares, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We will definitely do a haunted house around Halloween again!

“Killers:” Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center, 107 Suffolk Street, Lower East Side

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