Nightmare: Fairy Tales
107 Suffolk Street
New York, NY
I have attended Tim Haskell’s Nightmare Haunted House for 4 consecutive years. I loved Nightmare: Ghost Stories in 2008, Nightmare: Vampires was a treat for those with sanguivoriphobia in 2009 and last year’s Nightmare: Superstitions struck fear into the hearts of superstitious New Yorkers. Nightmare: Fairy Tales is unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
“S” and I arrived at 9pm last Thursday for a journey through the depths of fairy tale hell. I wore one of my favorite woot shirts: ‘Revenge of the Damsels’ in honor of the trip. We picked up our VIP tickets at the box office (get half price VIP Tickets HERE) and happily bypassed a rather long line. We were given small cards to fill out. The information requested? Our first name and our biggest fear. Then we were lined up, blindfolded, and led into the darkness with only Rapunzel’s long braided hair to guide us. ‘Fairy Tales’ is spooky interactive performance art. The sets by Paul Smithyman are highly stylized to look like pages of a pop-up book and Candice Thompson’s imaginative costumes add an element of anonymity to familiar characters. It is an unconventional haunted attraction, but one that is theatrically exciting and full of artistic merit.
After emerging from the fairy tale, a second attraction waits for you upstairs. ‘The Experiment’ is led by a group of scientists who are conducting a study on fear. They claim to be unafilliated with the haunted house below and thank you for participating. What follows is a display of different objects and situations intended to trigger common fears. My group was unable to experience the entire presentation due to technical difficulties caused by a bad mix of liquid and electronics.
Is it Scary?
The official answer on their website: “Yes. but this year is more theatrical than most. Our goal is to scare you, no question, but this year could also be described as moody, creepy, eerie and twisted. A disturbing experience”
The Raven & Black Cat says: It’s not nearly as scary as previous years. The inhabitants of this twisted storybook will make you jump, but don’t expect a typical haunted house. Prepare yourself to be immersed in creepy performance art.
Here’s A Tip
When you arrive at the haunt, use your phone to “check-in” on facebook here then show your phone to the box office. They will give you a map to help you find a secret room. Follow @NightmareNYC on twitter for secret words that will get actors to do different things (even give you prizes!).
What I Loved
I love the haunted house as interactive immersion theater concept and I applaud Tim Haskell for taking such a risk this year with Nightmare. His dark fairy tale land is a fun house of sinister characters, eerie atmosphere, and startle scares wrapped tight in a haze of childhood memories.
What Could Be Better
There were a few behind the scenes/management issues the evening that I attended Nightmare: Fairy Tales. The first being that we had no idea where to go after we exited the Fairy Tale world. We looked around and then were about to leave when someone came up to us and asked if we had gone through the second attraction. When we made it upstairs we were added to a different larger group (I think our original group may have left by mistake.) and we missed the first Q & A portion of ‘The Experiment.’ It was also disappointing that the headphones and video portion wasn’t working. Since we experienced an abridged version in a group of 15, ‘The Experiment’ didn’t pack the punch that it could have.
A Letter to Rumplestiltskin
Please be more aware of those around you. You banged into my shoulder when you sat down and it really hurt.
The Raven & Black Cat
Nightmare: Fairy Tales is perfect for those looking for a more artistic style of haunted house that favors theatrics over horror clichés. I would like to point out, however, that the Nightmare: Fairy Tales website does not reflect this change in presentation. It is misleading to advertise Nightmare: Fairy Tales as “New York’s Most Horrifying Haunted House.” It is not the most horrifying, but by reinventing itself every year it is certainly New York’s Most Innovative Haunted House.
Nightmare: Fairy Tales Runs
September 30th – November 5th
Full Price Ticket Prices
General Admission: $35 at the door ($30 in advance)
VIP Ticket: $60
Super VIP Ticket: $100
- $30 VIP Tickets & $15 Reg. Admission – Click Here!
- Student Rush: $15-$20 Reg. Admission w/ Student ID at Box Office 1 Hr Before Opening.
- For Special Discounts & Promotions Click Here
- $20 Reg. Admission, $45 VIP Tickets, $75 Super VIP Tickets (for certain dates) use Promo Code: FAIRY1
Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. No children under 10 will be admitted.