Saturday, September 26, 2009

Boo Scares

I want to make something clear to everyone who is going to the haunted house this year. I had a nice conversation last night with four folks who have come to Nightmare every year. They enjoyed the house, and got scared, but their advice was "we need more boo scares." This of course makes me cringe. If i could build a house without a single "boo-scare" i would be thrilled. This is because there is nothing creative about it. i could just create a haunted house called Nightmare: Hallway where i build a long hallway with slots for people to poke their heads out, and as you walk down it, they all boo-you. awesome right? well, believe it or not, this is what some people want. I ain't gonna give it to them. I have worked too hard this year to create the first haunted house with a real story that you become invested in, that is creepy, that has real ambiance, and makes you feel something other than being startled. Sure, there are plenty of boo-scares also to go around, it is a haunted house after all, but don't expect this to be Nightmare: Hallway. It is better than that.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Meet The Vampires pt. 3

Betcha Never heard of this one! You'll meet her at Nightmare Vampires:

Penanggalan of Malaysia consists only of a head and some entrails. A Penanggalan is almost always a woman, whose head magically tears from its body, dragging her spine and internal organs along with it. It literally means "head with dancing intestines." Generally they feed on the blood of children, particularly infants, and the blood from childbirth. The Penanggalan's powers include dripping a sort of slime from her intestines that cause disease, while these viscera, particularly the small intestine, can be manipulated like tentacles. By day, in some versions, she returns to the rest of her body, and this requires dipping her organs in large quantities of vinegar. To protect against a Penanggalan attack is to scatter the thorny leaves of a local plant known as Mengkuang which would either trap or injure the exposed lungs, stomach and intestines as it flies in search of its prey.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Brooklyn Art Department is BAD

I cannot say enough about our art department this year (Brooklyn Art Department). They always do an incredible job, but they are really blowing me away like they never have before. They have taken it to a whole new level. I think it is because they were challenged with the most prop heavy house we have ever done. Part of the success this year will hinge on them. They have risen to this challenge. One of the things I take the most pride in with Nightmare is that it is wholly unique. I mean this in the literal sense. You will not see anything in this haunted house that is seen in any other because we make virtually everything from scratch. we don't buy or stuff from haunted house and halloween catalogs. And this is due in large part to our scenic shop and our art department.

The heads of the team, Justin and Aaron Haskell, have created incredibly lifelike structures of famous and not-so-famous vampires from history and the media. In addition to finely crafted versions of Bill Compton and Edward Cullen and their ilk, they also did their research and recreated close resemblances to some of the vampire serial killers we feature in the MOVA (Museum of Vampyric Artifacts) like Peter Kurten, Richard Chase and John George Haigh. Quite the creep show! In addition to meeting the demands of trying to recreate a phony museum with lifelike figures, they have also created nifty gimmicky bits like a Mother Mary and St. Francis Statue that spit blood at you, pretend "artifacts" that allegedly belonged to real vampires throughout history, giant lifelike sheep that you wouldn't want to count to sleep, an enormous replica stain-glass window of the devil striking down an angel, a precise reconstruction of the Joshua Hoffine Lady Bathory photo with fake people instead of real, and much, much more. These guys are tops in the haunt industry. I go to the haunted house conventions every year and I have never seen the kind of artistry at those things that I have seen here.

It may seem like I am over the top with this, but this is coming from my own excitement. I truly can't believe what they were able to accomplish this year, and I am so proud that they work for Nightmare. Hopefully you will appreciate the art of this house in ways you might not have before. All the more reason to go to the house and get the wits scared out of you first, and then join us on a Monday or Tuesday from noon to 5 pm when we will open the doors for people to tour the house as if it was really a vampire museum for only $5. Then you can appecriate the little details that will be missed when you are running for your life away from vampyric bad guys.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Making of Nightmare video 3

The Making of Nightmare video 2

The Making of Nightmare Video 1

Monday, September 14, 2009

Are Vampires Scary?

To be honest, vampires scared the turds out of me when i was younger, but they have become so assimilated into pop-culture that whatever danger they presented before has become commonplace and pacified. I have heard this concern from others, as well: "I Love Nightmare, but I am not afraid of Vampires, could this possibly be scary?" And I know where you are coming from. Although, I would be interested in this house as an outsider because I love all things horror, and if nothing else vampires and vampire stories are fun. But let me assure you that I understand your fear, and can allay it.

What makes one unafraid of something is familiarity. Familiarity breeds several things, including comfort. You may be afraid of going to a new school the first day, but after a month you don't want to go still, but you ain't afraid of it. The unknown is the most terrifying thing. I see it when people are waiting to go into the haunted house. Right before they go in they are as terrified as they ever will be. It is my goal to capture that feeling throughout the house. Always leaving them/ You to fear the unknown. Have nothing become commonplace.

Last year a pattern that i didn't even realize was there formed that someone pointed out to me. It was a complimentary email I received, but they had some constructive criticism that was very helpful. They recognised a pattern of how many actors/ scarers were in each room. So eventually they became comfortable with how many times they were going to have someone come at them in a room. It started to become a lot less scary. I didn't put a certain number of actors in each room on purpose, it was just what was needed for those rooms, but i didn't recognize the pattern. This year we have some rooms with no one in it, and some rooms just teeming with people. This is a whole new ball game. so thanks to that constructive patron, there will be no comfort for you this year!

So how does this all relate to Vampires? In every way. You think you are so familiar with them that they don't present any unique threat. You'd be wrong. I take care of the Edward Cullen's and the Bill Compton's and the Lestat's of the world very early on. The rest is a house teeming with beasts you are wholly unfamiliar with, who do things in a way that you have never encountered and will not be comfortable with. These guys are scary. They scared me as I did my research. I think I could teach a course on the occult and the history of vampires now. The thirst for blood is a messy bit of business, and every "thing" in this house is based on something real. It is unsettling to know what kind of evil lurks in this world. especially when its comes after YOU.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Meet The Vampires pt. 2

Continuing my series featuring vampires that are going to be featured in the house (last week I told you about the Dearg Dul, the Celtic Vamp), today I'm gonna learn ya about the Lobisomen from Brazil (and other parts of the Americas):

The Lobisomen was reported to be small, stumpy and hunch-backed, with bloodless lips, yellow skin, black teeth, bushy beard and the looks of a monkey, the bite of this vampire turns its female victims into nymphomaniacs. To kill a Lobisomen, get it drunk on blood and crucify it to a tree while stabbing it. Another version of the Lobisomen is based on a Portuguese mythical creature and was once considered a werewolf.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Meet the Vampires!

Think Nightmare: Vampires is going to be 20 rooms about Edward Cullen and Anne Rice? Think again. Although we do address them, we focus more on other vampires that aren't from movies or books. But ones that people consider(ed) real. As well as creating our own vampire legend. I would like to introduce you to one of our vampires in separate blog posts. The first is the Celtic vampire, Dearg-Dul:

Dearg-Dul, which means “red blood-sucker” in Celtic is a beautiful fairy who lures its victims into a trysting place with their charms, although they are incredibly strong and possess magical powers. They can only be defeated by burying them in the ground and piling rocks on top of the grave, and a sprig of holly to sap their magic.”

True Blood: The Biggest Sucker epipsode 11

decided no one is really reading these and the task of coming up with something stupid that someone did in the fictional world of True Blood and be creative about it was getting a bit harrowing. Especially because I am smack-dab in the middle of loading in my haunted house Nightmare, and there couldn't be a more time consuming time for me. So, if anyone is saddened by this omission please let me know, otherwise, I am just going to announce my Biggest Sucker for the next two weeks and be done with it. I love the show, can't wait for the finale next week, but I am going to turn my focus to writing about what's happening with haunting!

Week 11's Biggest Sucker: Tara for going back to save Eggs. Just like I suspected she would be the week before. knucklehead. Now she is a zombie again and punching people in the face and getting punched in the face. Hope he was worth it.