Tag: Long Island


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Nyctophobia
Anywhere
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.)

NYCTOPHOBIA 2012

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.

Nyctophobia 2012

Nyctophobia 2012

Nyctophobia 2012

Nyctophobia 2012

Nyctophobia 2012

Nyctophobia 2012

NYCTOPHOBIA 2013

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 2013

Nyctophobia 2013

Nyctophobia 2013

Nyctophobia 2013

Nyctophobia 2013

Nyctophobia 2013

Nyctophobia 2013

Nyctophobia 2013

Final Thoughts

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

Tickets Go On Sale: Friday, October 1, 2014 @ 7:00pm

 

Age Requirements

No one under 16 permitted. You must enter in pairs, but you will be separated.

 

Additional Information


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Slim Chance’s Chamber of Horrors
5750 Sunrise Highway
Sayville, NY

 

Step right up to Slim Chance’s Chamber of Horrors! It’s easy to scare people in an abandoned asylum or warehouse, but creating an unsettling environment in a strip mall is an adventurous endeavor. Haunt veteran, Marty Arominski has done just that. What Chamber of Horrors lacks in atmosphere, it makes up in spirit.

When we arrived, we were elated to hear blood curdling screams as two zombies chased a teenage girl through the parking lot…at a full on run. Moments later, a chainsaw wielding clown ran through the crowd, eliciting another round of shrieks. Chamber of Horrors is filled with a cast of demonic characters dying to scare you over, and over and over again.

 

Is It Scary

According to Proprietor Slim Chance: “We have sights and sounds to thrill you, entertain you, entice you and ultimately leave you and your gallant party of friends and family, screaming, begging, pleading, running for the exits in terror and crying for the very mothers that birthed you!”

The Raven and Black Cat says: Chamber of Horrors is a faced paced, carnival inspired haunt bathed in blood and loaded with disorienting effects and startle scares. If you’re afraid of clowns, spiders, living dead, and can’t help but scream when things go bump in the night, than this is the haunted house for you.

 

What We Loved

The clever set design allows for multiple points of entry in each room. Instead of lingering after a scare, the actors rush off, creating a glorious wtf moment. Before you can process what just happened, they’re back again for more, sometimes following you through multiple rooms. The heavy use of strobe lights is disorienting and sets you up nicely for startle scares from porcine demons, crazy clowns, and blood thirsty zombies. Favorite moments include a pitch black maze of directional arrows, a Long Island housewife dying to feed us a home baked fetus and a silly sing-a-long rendition of Highway to Hell.

 

What Could Be Better

We would love to see a unifying theme or story line to tie the rooms together. Character development is always more effective when the actor has a very clear idea of who or what they are portraying. A few characters at Chamber of Horrors had fabulous depth and detail, but many of the actors just screamed in our faces, which is ineffective and irritating. Come up with a story for each room and a background for the characters in it. When the actors know exactly what’s happening and what their objective is, then they can react to the audience as they enter instead of relying on a set script or constant volume. Some of the most unsettling moments can come from just a whisper.

The caged mad doctor throwing entrails is a brilliant idea; the effect will be perfect when you dye the wash cloths dark red to look like bloody  flesh.

 

Final Thoughts

Chamber of Horrors is an evil carnival loaded with startle scares, hair-raising creatures and dizzying effects. The weekend after we visited, Attius Plaza hosted an actual carnival surrounding the haunt with rides, games and food. The combination of the two events makes for a perfect Halloween celebration.

 

Slim Chance’s Chamber of Horrors 2012 Season

October 5 – November 4

 

Ticket Information

General Admission: $15.00  |  RIP Fast Pass: $20.00  |  Timed Tickets: $25.00

 

Age Requirements

According to the official website: “This attraction was not designed for very small children. It’s up to parents to decide if their kids are mature enough for The Chamber. If their age is in single digits and you hope for more, give this careful consideration.”

 

Additional Information


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Gateway’s Haunted Playhouse
215 South Country Road
Bellport, NY

A plague of mysterious origin has spread through a 1940s era Bellport, NY. Upon entering its doors, you realize that the source of the outbreak is the Gateway Playhouse. To survive this airborne illness you must journey through a labyrinth of infected military, civilian, and hospital employees covered in the telltale facial pustules. This infection spreads fast and quickly begins to degrade the brain. Will you survive?

 

Is It Scary?

This sickening love letter to zombie infection will terrify kinemortophobics (fear of the undead) and germaphobes alike!

 

Here’s A Tip

Get there early for some food and liquid courage at their bar and dining area. Their timed ticketing allows you to wait in the bar/dining area until your number is displayed, which means shorter lines for everyone. 

 

What We Loved

Gateway Playhouse always has amazing actors, original custom made props and sets, and a historic venue full of authentically creepy sights and smells. We were impressed with their 2011 haunted house, but they have out done themselves for 2012. Everything is more detailed and each scene expounds on the infection theme in a new way.

The blood smell in the chapel where the zombie groom was eating his bride was both disturbingly perfect and nauseating. The mirrored medical room of mannequin doctors was unsettling and visually stunning. The talented actors induced fear and anxiety as they coughed uncontrollably into your personal space. Textured, uneven, and unpredictable floor coverings were used in certain areas to make the detailed environments come alive. The grotesquely fabulous makeup and 1940s era costumes are exquisite and largely responsible for the success of the haunt’s stylized period look.  

 

What Could Be Better

Each room is dressed with the perfect vintage era props and sets with one exception. There are a few areas papered with missing person fliers that have clearly been printed on crisp white computer paper. The photos showcased on the fliers are of contemporary 21st century faces that seem very out of place next to a cast of meticulously designed 1940s zombies. Having gone to such great lengths to create a detailed period piece, it’s odd that they dropped the ball here.

 

Final Thoughts

Gateway Playhouse has once again created a brilliantly theatrical haunt. It is visually stunning and scary as hell. The addition of a unified theme has helped them to create a perfect walk-through haunted house.

 

Gateway’s Haunted Playhouse 2012 Season

September 28 – November 3

 

Ticket Information

General Admission: $20.00   |  Fast Pass: $25.00

 

Additional Information


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Nyctophobia Haunted House is very hush-hush this year. A Confidential Guest List has been compiled for the 4-day Secret Event. All the spots have been filled, but Shhh… don’t cry. They will be awarding 2-Tickets to one very lucky reader of The Raven & Black Cat.   

Only Enter If You Are Able To Attend:

  • WHAT: 2 Tickets to Nyctophobia
  • WHEN: Saturday, October 27th | Time Slots:  9:40pm & 9:50pm
  • WHERE: Suffolk County, NY / Long Island – The exact location will be revealed to the winner. (Here’s a hint: Exit 68 on the LIE and Exit 58 on Sunrise Highway)

Add contact@ravenblackcat.com to your address book, so we can notify you if you win.

The deadline to enter is 12:00 AM on  October 23, 2012.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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HV Asylum
426 Mill Road
Coram, NY

A 13 acre paintball field is a spectacular venue for a haunt. As the sun sets, High Velocity Paintball becomes HV Asylum. We weren’t quite sure what to expect when we first arrived. Gun-toting zombies, perhaps?   First off, it’s in the woods. There’s nothing creepier than what your subconscious imagines to be lurking behind a gnarly old tree. Second, they’re equipped with all kinds of eerie settings ranging from a life-sized militaristic plane crash to a western ghost town complete with livestock, saloons and a creepy old church. A live soundtrack provided by a church organist and a spooky cast brings everything together to make for a really fun haunt.

HV Asylum is split into two sections. A delightfully undead tour guide leads you through the western-style ghost town, where you encounter a slew of living dead wielding farm tools. As you move deeper into the forest, you’re taunted by menacing creatures of the night. A trip though the graveyard and a fantastically executed crypt leads you to the main event: The Asylum. Inside, you encounter fun special effects, tortured souls and all the stuff that nightmares are made of. 

Is It Scary?

According to their Official Website : It’s “The biggest and scariest haunted attraction Long Island has seen to date.”

The Raven and Black Cat says : If you’re afraid of being alone in the dark, then you’re going to love HV Asylum. The unnerving setting combines with a cast of ghastly characters and shocking animatronics to create a spooky, traditional walk through haunted house.

Here’s A Tip

HV Asylum is entirely out doors. It can get pretty cold, so make sure you bundle up.

What We Loved

We really love the pacing of this haunt. In the wooded section, there’s just enough time between the startle scares to get your imagination going. The asylum itself is filled with gory animatronics that provide just enough of a distraction for the live actors to sneak in for a startle scare. Favorite moments include hearing the asylum door being nailed shut behind us, a crazy clown assaulting us with a severed head, and being ensnared between a demonic zombie and a flame throwing prison guard. 

What Could Be Better

Why are we visiting the asylum? I think this kind of haunt would really benefit from a backstory and the tour guides are the perfect ones to deliver it. Also, it’s fun that the tour guide leaves you to your own devices, but there’s no motivation for them to abandon the group. This could be the perfect situation for the creatures in the woods to attack or for the guide to turn against the group and have them committed. In the woods, most of the creatures wait until they’re discovered to run in for the “kill.” Instead, alternate your methods of scaring; some ghouls can linger menacingly, taunting the crowd with their pitchforks and shovels, meanwhile others can run in quickly for a fly by scare.

Final Thoughts

HV Asylum is a fun and spooky attraction that is big on startle scares and gruesome characters. It’s perfect for those looking for an outdoor haunting experience that emphasizes entertainment rather than terror. A lot of the haunts in the area are focusing on an adult-only crowd, where the actors invade your personal space or touch you, but more timid thrill seekers don’t have to worry about that at HV Asylum. You’ll have a blast making your way through this spokky, but family friendly haunt. 

HV Asylum 2012 Runs

October 5th – 28

Ticket Information

  • General Admission $25.00

Discount Tickets

Additional Information

HV Asylum

HV Asylum

HV Asylum

HV Asylum

HV Asylum

HV Asylum


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Gateway’s Haunted Playhouse of Horrors
215 South Country Road
Bellport, NY
(Long Island)

Nyctophobia creator Eric Striffler recommended that we check out Gateway’s Haunted Playhouse of Horrors while we were on Long Island and I’m so glad that we did. The final stop on our Triple Feature Friday was at the Gateway Playhouse for a truly fantastic walk-through-style haunted house. The large scale production is 2-3 times longer than the average haunt and covers the 100-year-old estate both inside and out.

“S” and I arrived after getting lost about 3 times. (Don’t forget your GPS!) We rushed to the box office to pick up our Fast Pass Tickets (Click Here to buy yours now.) and headed to the haunt entrance. We were thrilled that we got to walk-through the haunt as a group of two. What followed was the Broadway of haunted houses with the advantage of not only having the massive amounts of space available outside Manhattan, but also the history and ambiance of a setting that’s over a century old.

Is it Scary?

According to their facebook page: “Gateway’s 100 year old Estate provides the setting for the scariest night of your life.

The Raven & Black Cat says: Fear is subjective, but they have a little bit of everything in the epic journey that is the Haunted Playhouse of Horrors. Something if not everything in this haunt will scare you and if it doesn’t you’ll have a blast taking in this intricately detailed valentine to Halloween.

Here’s A Tip

Head over early and have a drink and something to eat at their bar/concession stand. Some may need the liquid courage.

What I Loved

There is so much to love. The detailed sets and costumes, stellar make-up and special effects, actors that can really act, creepy old theater smells, a variety of textured walk-ways, and an extensive variety of horror themes. It is a brilliant marriage of top-notch theater production and the traditional haunted house.

What Could Be Better

The opening video and story line could use a little work. Gateway’s Haunted Playhouse of Horrors is more House of Horrors than Haunted Playhouse. If the explanation for everything is just a haunting than based on what I saw the estate would have to have been the setting of a horrific mass murder, built on some kind of mass grave or both. The one ghost theory isn’t satisfying enough.

Final Thoughts

If you love traditional haunted houses you absolutely must attend Gateway’s Haunted Playhouse of Horrors.

The Haunted Playhouse Runs

September 30th – October 31st

Discount Tickets

Full Price Ticket Prices
General Admission: $20
Fast Pass Ticket: $25
Not So Scary Daytime Monster House: $7

  • ‘Like’ them on facebook HERE to get a $5 discount. (Sun-Thurs only)

Age requirements

Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Young children are encouraged to attend the ‘Not So Scary Monster House’ on Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm – 5pm.

Additional Info


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Nyctophobia Haunted House
1508 Main Road
Jamesport, NY
(Long Island)

Triple Feature Friday continued with a drive to Long Island for Nyctophobia Haunted House. Nyctophobia requires that you enter alone or in pairs. It is almost entirely dark and the people inside will touch you. It also has a safe word.

Twenty-year-old creator Eric Striffler is a member of Blackout Haunted House’s exclusive survivor’s club, but he is quick to point out that his inspiration for Nyctophobia didn’t come from the Vortex theatre’s haunt. In fact, he came up with the concept for Nyctophobia three years ago as part of a high school project, but at 17 he was unable to really put his plan into action. Until now.

As a fellow member of the survivor’s club, I can attest to the fact that while there are some similarities between Nyctophobia and Blackout they each provide completely different experiences. Nyctophobia avoids the sexual and violent themes used in Blackout and instead relies on a physical structure that creates a dark sensory fun house. The actors touch you, but they use an intentionally light touch as you make your way through the dark obstacle filled labyrinth.

Is it Scary?

The official answer on their website: “Yes. Very. This is an intense and unique experience unlike any other haunted house on Long Island.”

The Raven & Black Cat says: Fear is subjective. Some may find this terrifying. (They have had many people scream out the safe word.) If being touched in the dark while navigating a maze of tunnels, hallways, and sets makes you squirm then you will definitely enjoy this. 

The Rules

  • You are entering at your own risk.
  • You must enter the haunted house alone or in groups of two.
  • Actors will touch you, but you may not touch them.
  • You will be required to walk, sit, and crawl multiple times.
  • You will be required to remove your shoes at one point.
  • You will be required to interact with your surroundings, so please follow instructions.
  • Use of a light source (phone, flashlight, etc) other than what we provide is prohibited.
  • You may be recorded and photographed for promotional purposes.
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    What I Loved

    The opening was fantastic. Each group of 1 (or 2 ) is forced to wait in a dimly lit holding cell. A fluorescent light with poor wiring sputters and struggles to stay lit occasionally going out completely for a second or two. In the distance you can hear retro children’s music so creepy it will make your skin crawl. When an actor finally brings you into the house they explain the premise and then use a simple sensory tactic that made me want to jump out of my skin. The opening set the scene perfectly and was great for building tension, but the highlight of the haunt is only experienced by those who walk through alone. There is an amazingly chilling simulation burial that scared-y cats walking through in pairs will miss.  

    What Could Be Better

    Eric Striffler’s Nyctophobia is brimming with potential, but there are a few things that keep it from being truly terrifying. The first is that there are a lot of missed opportunities where they could take things further and intentionally don’t out of concern that their Long Island audience won’t attend if it is too scary. I believe very strongly that a haunted house can never be too scary. Instead of catering to the fearful they should offer 2 completely different versions. From 7-9 p.m., allow people to go through in pairs for a toned-down version and then from 9-11 p.m., don’t hold back and only allow people to walk through alone. If you are doing something different and really scary people will come.

    Final Thoughts

    Nyctophobia is a haunted fun house with moments guaranteed to give you goose bumps. It is shocking that it was produced by someone so young. I look forward to future incarnations of Nyctophobia and wonder how the haunt will change and grow as its young creator matures. 

    Nyctophobia Runs

    October 6th – 22nd

    Ticket Discounts

    Full Price Ticket Prices
    General Admission: $18
    VIP Premium: $23

    • All tickets must be purchased online. No tickets will be sold at the door. Click Here to buy yours now! (They are nearly sold out for their last weekend.)
    • General admission ticket holders will get $3 back if they go through alone and make it all the way to the end.

    Age requirements

    No one under the age of 14 will be admitted.

    Additional Info