12 West 21st Street
New York, NY 10010
New York, NY 10010
**SPOILER ALERT: This review contains details of this year’s performance***
After I left the Steampunk Haunted House I headed to Fear on 21st Street. I purchased my VIP Ticket through KGB Deals for $25 and I strongly suggest that you do, too. I’ll explain why in a moment.
Fear on 21st Street takes place in a run down asylum for the criminally insane that is about to be closed by the State. The angry Warden has decided to allow guided tours through the asylum and it is on your guided tour that things go terribly awry.
My tour group had 10 people in it. I normally hate being in large groups for walk through haunted houses but this only added to the effectiveness of Fear on 21st Street. The group was led by a tour guide named Lauren. Lauren, stutters and fidgets her way through an opening speech and then leads your group to meet the Warden and Head of Security. Once inside the room Lauren backs herself into a corner and looks down at her feet while her tongue falls in and out of her mouth. The Warden informs us that Lauren is a rehabilitated former patient and the tour guide job is part of their program to help rehabilitated patients rejoin society. She apparently “starts at the Gap next week” which is hilarious considering that she looks as though she’s had a partial lobotomy. Lauren leads you into the asylum and after the asylum safe room is compromised and the Head of Security is murdered it’s a wild journey through the mental institution in search of escape.
This haunted house is fantastic on several levels. It has some of the best acting I’ve ever seen in a haunted house. The adorable childlike dirty blonde that played the tour guide Lauren was fantastic. It was also a great twist that she was experiencing the entire house with us and trying to get us out safely. Each room was covered in props and you never knew what was going to spring up from underneath, above, or behind you. There were lots of mechanical effects from moving walls to electric chairs and they never failed to make everyone in the room jump. This haunted house is scary, funny, clever, and entertaining with surprises around every corner.
The only area that Fear on 21st Street fails in is ticketing. They sell general admission tickets that are good for any time on any day that they are open. This leads to chaos and outrageously long lines. Do yourself a favor and get VIP tickets for a MUCH shorter wait. My friend and I got there around 9:30pm (on a Thursday), with VIP tickets we waited outside for about 10min and then once we entered the Haunted House there was ANOTHER line inside! We waited 25 min in this inside line and we talked to a few people with general admission tickets who had waited for 2 hours outside! Hopefully, next year they will sell tickets for specific time slots and the wait will be much shorter, but if you visit Fear on 21st Street this weekend make sure you have a VIP ticket.