Today’s post is written by Claudia Oddo, a New York City-based writer and editor of NewYorkerAbroad.com. This was her first time visiting a New York City haunted house.
You haven’t experienced NYC nightlife until you’ve partied with the undead.
This week I attended an exclusive press preview for one of NYC’s most prominent haunted houses, which does not open to the public until October 3rd.
Before leading visitors on a spooky tour of the haunted house, Blood Manor actors flooded into the press party– sneaking-up behind guests and crouching under tables– giving us a few shrieks and a sneak preview of what was in store.
After being asked to play ring-around-the-rosie with a zombie who tossed herself to the floor, and accepting an invite to play in the haunted house forever, I took a deep breath and prepared myself to go into this dark and menacing attraction.
I recommend going through Blood Manor’s thrilling haunted house this Halloween season; read on for my top 5 reasons to visit.
>> Spoiler alert: This post reveals details of the Blood Manor sets and characters. If you want to be surprised, scroll to the end of the article for show location and ticket info!
1) Bloodthirsty Cast
I was tremendously impressed with the Blood Manor cast. Not only do they have some of the most terrifying make-up and costumes, but they also always keep true to their characters.
My few failed attempts of jokes at the press party assured me that I was never going to get a laugh or smile from a murderous butcher, who instead glared at me with his piercing eyes.
The actors played out some great scenes in the house, including a crying girl covered in blood screaming at my group to trade places with her. She and her killer corned a fellow visitor, leaving her shrieking.
The cast engaged with visitors, making them as jittery and panicky as possible. Depending on the room (such as the zombie strip club) you may even be treated to a few jokes.
The actors do not touch you, except on Touch Me Thursdays, but they sure get close enough. You’ll feel a bit shaky when you leave the house!
2) Chilling Sets
All of the rooms are perfectly designed to create a scary atmosphere for visitors. Maggots cover tables, body bags and skeletons hang from the ceiling, and of course blood is scattered just about everywhere. This haunted house certainly keeps true to its name.
You can see great effort went into the incredibly detailed rooms. If you are brave enough to ignore the ‘murderer’ yelling at you to leave each set, try and stick around to explore!
3) Fun Effects
There are many special effects at Blood Manor, some scarier than others. Strobe lights placed at the entrances to rooms were especially effective during my visit, as they disoriented me and made me jump when seeing the monster about to accost our group.
There are also realistic sound effects, including chain saws and other torture devices, that left some of my group members with goosebumps.
4) Group Friendly
Unlike some competitors, you are allowed to walk through the tour with a group. This was great news for me, as I had never been to a haunted house before—and it is a good idea for first-timers.
Upon entering, I jokingly told the other group members (who I met only an hour ago) that I would be clinging on to them should anything happen. And funny enough, all four of us formed a single-file line gripping onto each other in the first pitch-black room we entered.
5) Great Laughs and Screams
Blood Manor really plays around with fears that many people have, such as darkness, monsters, and body bags—but balances the terror with some great laughs.
I mean, who can’t giggle when a zombie stripper is hitting on you, and a giant bloody chicken is running around in a room?
There is also a shirt with the words, “ I pissed my pants at Blood Manor,” that you get for free if you do exactly what the shirt states! I confirmed with the staff that this DOES in fact happen, and they feel truly accomplished when it does.
The bottom line:
Blood Manor is a fun, thrilling and campy haunted house experience in the heart of New York City. It’s absolutely worth the visit!
What: Blood Manor Haunted House
When: Oct. 3 – Nov. 8, 2014
Where: 163 Varick Street, Manhattan
Tickets: $30 plus $3.50 fee online; $35 at the door. “R.I.P Express” tickets ensure a fast-pass through the lines for $50 plus $3.50 fee online; $60 at the door. To purchase, visit BloodManor.com or call 212-290-2825
Blood Manor Promo Code: EN163 (enter for $5 off e-tickets)
Note that Blood Manor will be instituting a new general admission “timed ticket” entry system for Halloween 2014. All on-line and “at the door” tickets will be sold in half-hour time slots (for example- 7:30pm – 8:00pm). A limited number of tickets will be sold for each time slot.
Social Media: Follow Blood Manor on Twitter at @BloodManor and Instagram at @BloodManorNYC