It’s officially October and there are so many exciting things right around the corner.
Stay tuned for lots of updates, reviews, and giveaways.
There are so many reasons to love Etsy. Here are 16 more…
A Black & White Vintage Inspired Halloween Decor Collection.
All Hallow's Eve
A Black & White Vintage Inspired Halloween Decor Collection.
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Las Vegas, NV
We visited Fright Dome during their 10 Years of Terror celebration in 2012. Creator Jason Egan pulled out all the stops for the massive celebration housed in the Adventuredome at Circus Circus.
Fright Dome is an epic Halloween party. Five haunted houses, twenty-five amusement park rides, a stocked bar, celebrity appearances, live music, and four scare zones all capped off with a nightly dance party led by a bunch of terrifying clowns.
The weekend we visited the celebrity visiting was one of the cars used in the film version of Stephen King’s Christine. Since my name is Christine, I am a huge fan. Thanks to Christine’s owner Bill Gibson, I had the privilege of sitting in Christine. I watched with awe as the car seemingly came alive.The dashboard lit up, the radio played “We Belong Together,” fog poured from the dashboard, and my seat lurched forward toward the steering wheel. It was AMAZING.
Back to the haunted houses. All of the haunts were stunning with a fast-paced tour guide format. We were completely wowed by their zombie themed haunt, Ward of the Dead, created in conjunction with George A. Romero. The facility was experiencing a breach and the tour guide shouted guidance about how to avoid the creatures. We jumped and dodged and ducked out of the way…. well, I did. Shelly, who was behind me, couldn’t hear the guide’s instructions and found herself fighting through hoards of zombies. We both had a spectacular time and the sets and costumes were incredibly detailed.
Another highlight of our trip was riding the Adventuredome roller coaster in the darkened Fright Dome environment. You can’t see what’s coming next, which adds a delicious element of surprise.
Many haunts try to create a hip party-like atmosphere around their haunted attractions, but no one succeeds like Fright Dome. Fright Dome is the ultimate Halloween party.
Fright Dome 2014 Season
October 3 – November 1
General Admission: $34.95 – $39.95 | Fast Pass: $54.95 – $59.95 | VIP Tour: $89.95
Not appropriate for children under 12.
New For 2014
Six new haunted houses including a Texas Chainsaw Massacre themed haunted house that will incorporate scenes from the film. The new Isolation Haunted House is just for fast-pass and VIP ticket holders and must be entered alone.
It’s that time of year again and stores are full of gorgeous Gothic, Victorian, and Literary inspired Halloween decor. We’ve compiled a list of our favorites below. Oh, if only we had unlimited ducats and storage space.
163 Varick Street
New York, NY
Blood Manor is celebrating its 10th year of terror this October, with the usual dose of ghouls, gore, and good times, along with some new twists! Conveniently located on Varick Street, Blood Manor opens this Friday, October 3rd. We were lucky enough to get an early look at the haunt at their Media Preview event.
Is It Scary?
According to their Official Website: “Yes. Blood Manor is designed to be the most intense, creepy and ‘scream inducing’ haunted house attraction in the New York tri-state area.”
The Raven & Black Cat says: If you’re looking to get into the Halloween spirit with a classic, group walk-through style haunted house with lots of blood, incredible makeup, top notch sets, and 3-D effects, then Blood Manor is for you.
What We Loved
The look of the monsters was outstanding with real attention to detail paid to each actor’s makeup. Even when interacting up close at the media event with better lighting than inside the house, they still looked terrific. The characters also varied their approach to interacting with me. One zombie took the classic ‘be threatening and scary tact’ and whispered in my ear that she wanted to drink the blood out of my heart like it was tea (which I assume means with some half and half and a twist of lemon). Other characters injected some humor, while still lingering in your personal space to make you uncomfortable. We met a foul mouthed blonde named “Tiffany” (don’t tell anyone, but I think Tiffany was a man) who asked “D” if he wanted to be her new boyfriend. The role was available because she had killed her last boyfriend in a way that would have made Lorena Bobbitt blush. Since he’s married, “D” unfortunately had to reject the offer. He made a promise that only his wife is allowed to murder him through genital dismemberment.
What Could Be Better
There were some characters who seemed to really enjoy interacting with the Manor’s guests and played off of the crowd well. Others jumped out and then didn’t offer much beyond the initial scare. Since a group walks through a room at their own pace, being able to sustain creepiness after that initial jump scare is key.
Blood Manor continues to bring grade A presentation and classic haunt style to NYC. This year, they’ve added ‘Touch Me Thursdays’ where you can opt to be touched by the actors, and Blackout Nights (November 7th and 8th) where they turn down the lights and you have to walk through with only a glow stick – both promise to up the fear factor. There is also a new timed line system to reduce your wait to get in.
Blood Manor Runs
October 3rd – November 8th
General Admission (Online): $33.50
General Admission (At the Door): $35.00
R.I.P. Express Entry (Online): $53.50 (comes with free t-shirt!)
R.I.P. Express Entry (At the Door): $60.00 (also comes with free t-shirt!)
- 50% Off General Admisison & RIP Tickets – Click Here
Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Gateway’s Haunted Playhouse
215 South Country Road
Long Island’s Gateway Playhouse produces one of the best haunted houses in the country. With a new theme every year, it is always fresh, exciting and innovative.
For the 2013 season, they combined dark fairy tales and creepy circus themes to create “The Grimling Family Travelling Circus.” The unusual combination was their finest and most detailed haunt yet.
The amount of sensory detail is astounding. The journey is covered with uneven and moving walkways, electric sparks, pungent smells, and spectacular visuals. The superb costumes and makeup help the talented actors create an environment straight out of your worst nightmare.
Gateway also succeeds in creating the party environment that so many haunts are trying to achieve. There is an outdoor bar and food trucks to enjoy while you wait to enter the haunt. Their brilliant ticketing system limits wait time, so patrons can enjoy food, drink, and roaming characters and entertainers.
Gateway Playhouse has once again created a brilliantly theatrical haunt. It is visually stunning and scary as hell. Gateway’s Haunted Playhouse is a MUST SEE. You will not be disappointed. Their 2014 season begins September 26th! We can’t wait to see what they have in store for us this year.
Gateway’s Haunted Playhouse 2014 Season
September 26 – November 1
General Admission: $25.00 | Fast Pass: $35.00
Long Island, NY
What is Nyctophobia? Nyctophobia began as a haunted house and has grown into its own unique brand of immersive promenade theater. Every year it is completely different. We had the pleasure of visiting Nyctophobia in 2011 for its brick and mortar haunted house beginnings. (Read our review of Nyctophobia 2011.)
When we returned in 2012 for their invite-only event, we were thrilled to discover that Nyctophobia had become a story driven immersive theater experience. You had to enter alone and play an active part in the story. This required problem solving and following directions as a rookie investigator of a company called LI Ghosts, that was looking into the disappearance of a young girl. After an initial job interview, you were blindfolded and transported to an actual motel where a detective explained the case and directed you to the crime scene. Different motel rooms were used to create flashbacks and show you what had happened to the missing girl and a mysterious entity encountered in the restroom forcefully gave instructions on how to avoid a similar fate. A highlight was trying to steal a key from around then neck of a sleeping man. When he awoke, he chased you into the parking lot where the detective screamed for you to jump into a van to be whisked back to safety. There’s nothing like running for your life amongst complete strangers.
For 2013, Nyctophobia became a 4 person team experience. Each team drove to a starting location and then with the aide of clues and a map made their way to four nearby locations. Each location provided a piece of the story and your team had to put the clues together to figure out what happened. The various locations included a ghost photographer by the side of the road, a car abandoned near train tracks, a campsite in the woods, and a corpse dumped near a lake. A highlight was running through the woods trying not to attract the attention of blind zombie-like monsters. We encountered a little confusion trying to finding locations and debating clues with teammates, but overall we had a great time.
Nyctophobia continues to be one of the most unique haunted attractions in New York. Creator, Eric Striffler isn’t afraid to take risks and the ever-changing format is exciting and full of imagination. The interactive element combined with the fact that the actors can touch you makes for an unnerving and spine chilling experience. We can’t wait to see what they have planned for 2014.
Nyctophobia’s 2014 Season
October 10 – October 26
No one under 16 permitted. You must enter in pairs, but you will be separated.
Our friend, ‘D’ counts down the best horror tv shows currently on the air. Disagree? Let us know what tops your list of favorites!
Looking for great horror on television can be tough. There are shows where the characters are “monsters” but the genre is most definitely not horror. Take True Blood for example – there are vampires and werewolves, but the show is basically Twilight with titties. There are also shows that are trying to be scary and disturbing, but just…. aren’t. The Following is violent and gory for sure, but its model-pretty bad guys are about as creepy as a J.Crew catalog. Here are my top 5 favorite horror TV shows that are still airing and you can watch now.
#5 – Hannibal (NBC)
I’ll be honest, I was skeptical about this show. 4 books and 4 movies was about as much Hannibal Lecter as I needed, and what kind of fool would really want to attempt to walk in the Academy Award winning shoes of Anthony Hopkins? Mads Mikkelsen, that’s who, and dang is he creepy! I was hooked after episode 2, which featured the hunt for a serial killer who buried his victims alive and grew mushrooms out of them. Hannibal is scheduled to “return soon” for season 3, but you can binge watch the first season on Amazon Prime like I did!
#4 – American Horror Story (FX)
Another confession – I found the first season of this show to be tawdry (so wait, you mean you’re going to have a ghost put on a gimp suit and rape Connie Britton?) But AHS has figured out the right formula and has gotten better – less Dylan McDermott and more Jessica Lange. Season 2 was fun and creepy, despite a serious lack of focus – I like to imagine some FX network exec being like: “Grotesque experiments on lunatics in an insane asylum? A scary serial killer? Sounds great you guys – but it just feels like it needs something…. how about aliens? X-Files, now that was a scary show and they had aliens.” American Horror Story kicks off Season 4 with Freak Show, starting October 8th.
#3 – The Strain (FX)
Y’know, vampires aren’t scary enough on their own. How about instead of traditional fangs, we give these bad boys some messed up snake like stingers that they launch at you out of their mouths? Oh, oh, and instead of just sucking your blood they inject you with worms that crawl around underneath your skin. And then once your transformation to vampire is complete your peen falls off! Ewwwww. Sure the show is chock full of cliched characters (the good hearted work-a-holic dad who can’t get his shit together) and we’ve seen ‘reinvented vampire mouths’ before (Blade 2), but who doesn’t love an epic horror quest? Band together a motley crew of CDC execs, a concentration camp survivor, a former gang banger and an exterminator to stop the vamps from taking over the world? Sign me up Mr. Del Toro. We’re currently mid-season 1, so catch up on demand now!
#2 – Penny Dreadful (Showtime)
Okay, so there are vampires, and werewolves, and titties (which I was just making fun of before), but Penny Dreadful pulls off what True Blood doesn’t by blending famous monsters in a new and creative way. Our heroes need someone with a medical background and the morbid curiosity not to run at the site of a vampire corpse? Sounds like Dr. Frankenstein to me. And who to turn to when they need a hematologist with experience in strange blood disorders? Hello Abraham Van Helsing! But what truly sets Penny Dreadful apart is the spectacular performance from Eva Green, whose Vanessa Ives can barely keep her inner demons at bay. Here’s hoping the show can keep up the momentum it established in a short 8-episode first season.
#1 – The Walking Dead (AMC)
I always figured that in the inevitable event of a zombie apocalypse that there would be strength in numbers. If my gang ran into another gang out on the street then we would join forces to become an even bigger gang of zombie ass-kickers. I guess I didn’t factor in the lack of food and resources, or the distrust that would come with the end of the world. People who have lost patience with TWD want a show about zombies. The real struggle here is the balance between being willing to do whatever it takes to survive and trying to hold onto what makes us human. This show takes its time, so you’ll care when a character dies. It can be slow and plodding (like life might be like if you could no longer check into the zombie apocalypse on Foursquare), but that only makes the sudden danger of a violent attack all the more tense and terrifying. The original comics, books, video games, and an upcoming spin-off… is TWD getting too big for its britches? The answer is no. The Walking Dead returns October 12th. Seriously, watch this show.
I’m currently swooning over Dan Hillier’s gorgeous artwork. Injecting elements of the macabre into Victorian elegance is such a compelling combination. Visit his Official Website to see more of his incredible work.
At the age of 75, Spanish romantic painter Francisco Goya (1746-1828) completed a series of 14 Black Paintings. This artwork was much darker and included references to war and witchcraft. They are very dark and creepy. Enjoy.