Fright Night

‘TerrorVision’ turns frights from television into reality

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: spooky season (szn if you’re scary). And one thing about Halloween is that it brings out the costumes, the tricks, the treats, and the gays. That’s right, Halloween belongs to queer folks because who wouldn’t want an excuse to dress up and slay in more ways than one?

Not to mention, horror is incredibly gay. From Freddy Kreuger’s flirting with his prey, to Pinhead’s hardcore BDSM vibes, to vampires who are probably the queerest of them all, horror remains queer-coded. So when October comes around, expect the gays to be at all things spooky, including haunted houses, like New York City’s, TerrorVision – Live Screaming Your Nightmares.

Down in the heart of NYC’s Midtown neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan, TerrorVision is a TV-inspired Halloween thrill. Clocking in at 20 minutes, this haunted house consists of a high-rise turned into a terrifying, horror TV set excursion called “Horrorwood Studios.” While inside, you become part of a sneak peek of an upcoming TerrorVision episode, until things go horribly wrong. 

Now, guests become the star of their own horror film, where they must traverse throughout the Horrorwood Studios facing three unique tales (one scarier than the last), a collection of ghoulish creatures, and movie magic special effects that blend reality with fantasy in order to escape alive. 

TerrorVision‘s halls of horrors first came to the “Big Apple” last year, taking over Ripley’s Believe it or Not NYC location and, believe it or not, the attraction quickly raked in 20,000 tickets over 19 days. With its return, TerrorVision is ready to invite even more attendees for an experience scarier than some of the rent prices that New Yorkers pay. So I went inside to see what all of the fuss screams were about.

There are three levels of admission for TerrorVision. “General” is for those who want the standard set of jump scares, “Chicken” is for those who need a little hand holding for their adventure, and “Ultimate Terror” is for only the bravest souls. While I love a good fright, my partner (who tagged along) and I chose “General” since most readers would choose that. So, what went down? 

Well, we arrived at the location that was designed as if it were the entry to a haunted AMC theater (no ghoulish Nicole Kidman, unfortunately). Outside of the building and outside of the lobby were a few monsters waiting to welcome us to what was to come. With a ragtag group that consisted of a mother and two kids, two college-aged friends, and me and my partner, we jumped on an elevator with a gaunt-looking usher. 

Upon reaching our destination, we watched a rehearsal on a creepy TV set between two actors: a damsel-in-distress and a masked assailant who had more covered up on his face than on the rest of his body. Consider me intrigued when the killer is only wearing Calvin Klein briefs, combat boots, and a harness. But when the assailant “accidentally” took out the leading lady, the scene’s director encouraged us to explore the rest of the studio and that’s where the real fun begins.

TerrorVision boasts 140 actors who all take on a different ghoul. From serial killers, possessed children, cannibals, and ghosts, these entities came out from all directions as we made our way through the studio. If we crossed these folks on a crowded New York street, we wouldn’t have batted an eyelash, but when you’re navigating dark corridor after dark corridor with people jumping out at you from different nooks and crannies, it’s hard not to hold in scream. 

Being that attendees are walking through Horrorwood Studios, the haunted thrill feels like you’re going from one horror movie to the next, with the attraction paying homage to The Exorcist, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Ring, and more. Make sure to walk slowly in order to savor all of the meticulous details. Our group had a few scaredy-cats who pushed the group quickly through the attraction (I won’t name names). 

While the attraction is intended to take 20 minutes, that also depends on your pace. But with so many frights happening, the TerrorVision walkthrough can pass you by if you’re caught up in the experience. While most of my TerrorVision experience was more of a jump scare than a full on fright night, it is definitely an enjoyable experience for folks looking to start off their spooky szn right. 

TerrorVision is running until November 5.

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