08
May

haunted-attractions-insidious-chapter-3-into-the-further-4d-experience
 Haunted Attractions: INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3 – Into The Further 4D Experience

The “Into The Further 4D Experience” is a free, fully-immersive experience that will take you physically and virtually into the world of INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3. Elise Ranier (Lin Shaye) will be your guide on an intense 4D oculus rift experience that will bend your perception of what is ‘real’ and what is ‘the further.’

Remaining tour dates are as follows:

05/15 – 05/17
Los Angeles – LA Live-ish

05/22 – 05/23
San Francisco – Carnavale

05/29 – 05/31
Dallas – Dallas Fan Expo (Comic Con)

06/05 – 06/07
New York – TBD



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08
May

philadelphia-pennsylvania-haunted-attractions-eastern-state-party-at-the-pen-the-masquerade
 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Haunted Attractions: Eastern State Party at the Pen: The Masquerade

Eastern State Penitentiary’s Masquerade is back!

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“By popular demand, Party at the Pen: The Masquerade, presented by Terror Behind the Walls, will return in May 2015. Expect luscious libations, mind-blowing beats, and intriguing adventures. Music by DJ EZ Almighty and DJ Scopitone, as well as a live performance by ArcheDream for HUMANKIND.

Gates to some of the dark, otherwise-off-limits corridors of the abandoned prison will be momentarily unlocked. When a masked gentleman offers his outstretched hand and asks, “Are you feeling adventurous?” make haste and follow him on a thrilling journey through Eastern State’s storied past.

Dance. Drink. Explore.”

If you want to go it’s almost sold out. Tickets are only available for Friday, May 15th!



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30
Apr

tampa-florida-haunted-attractions-the-vault-of-souls-an-elegant-event-of-terror-opens-october-of-2015
 Tampa, Florida Haunted Attractions: The Vault of Souls, An Elegant Event of Terror Opens October of 2015

Guys. Remember Scott Swenson, former Creative Director of Busch Gardens Tampa’s Howl O Scream? He’s been busy – working on The Vault of Souls.

This appears to be a similar experience to the upscale immersive theater events that are currently happening in my home turf, NYC. Tickets start at $100. From what I understand about what they will be offering this seems like it will be well worth it. I’ve done events like these before and they are kind of the most mind-blowing best thing ever.

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The Vault of Souls announces its arrival in downtown Tampa Florida for select nights in October of 2015. Adult guests are invited to enter the opulent surroundings of the infamous Exchange National Bank to discover a paranormal world that transcends both time and space. They will experience a richly themed cocktail area in the original marble lobby of the bank. When their “number is called” they will be escorted in small groups into the subterranean vault. Masked and unable to speak, they will wander freely through catacombs filled with interactive scenes of ghostly horror. The characters they will encounter are the evil echoes of a nearly forgotten past. If they find their way out, they can continue their festive night of fear in a sinister speakeasy or calm their nerves and get personal readings from local psychics in a peaceful clearing.

“This is the most immersive and personalized haunt experience I have ever developed.” says Scott Swenson, Creative Director. “We were able to take historic elements of the raucous roaring 20s and envelop them in wicked paranormal fiction to create a story that just might be true. I must admit that I’m no longer sure which elements actually happened and which were created for the event. It just all seems so real.”

The Vault of Souls will utilize state of the art technology to create a convincing paranormal universe. Due to the event’s exclusive nature, elements can and will be changed throughout the night to personalize the experience. Professional actors and variety performers will bring life to those no longer living. There is no set pathway through The Vault of Souls, so guests will discover scenes in their own order creating a non-linear nightmarish quality. They will be encouraged to explore and search through the multiple layers of thematic detail in order to discover hidden messages, intriguing subplots and perhaps even their own name. Reserved tickets start at $100 and will be available at www.TheVaultofSouls.com

The Vault of Souls is produced by The Vault, located in the heart of Tampa’s Downtown Art’s District. This is the latest project in The Vault’s ongoing efforts dedicated to downtown revitalization. The Vault is an elegant and chic venue known for presenting one of a kind events and now a ground-breaking haunt experience.



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29
Apr

guest-post-uk-adventure-2015-the-london-dungeon
 Guest Post: UK Adventure 2015: The London Dungeon

On my way to Cardiff, my friend Mason and I passed the London Dungeon just near the London Eye, self-billed as ‘the ultimate thrill-filled journey through London’s murky past.’ I was instructed by Oni Hartstein to return to it once I was back in London, and when breakfast plans went awry Sunday, I opted to give it a go.

Alone.

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There are multiple dungeons in various locations, including Blackpool, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, and San Francisco. The London one advertised 1,000 years of British history fit into 90 minutes split up into 18 shows and two rides, and promised to be a mix of both funny and scary.

Personally, I’m forever iffy about anything where you have no actual clue what you’re getting yourself into. It could be fun, but an hour and a half inside this one building? How much of a ‘ride’ could one have inside this building? What constitutes a ‘show’? And how scary is ‘scary,’ given the doors open out onto a popular tourist area in broad daylight? There were a few dozen imponderables.

Standing in line to get in helped answer my final question: a mix of pre-recorded video and animatronics made it look as though a madman was trying to axe his way into the line. Already a promising start.

When you first enter, your group is taken into a room with blank backgrounds and places to stick your head through and make terrified faces with no context. Once you’re done there (and trust me, the results at the end are rather interesting), you’re sped along into the first show — within the Dungeon, a ‘show’ is essentially a one- to two-person scene performed in front of or amidst your group, bringing to life one of the more gruesome bits of London’s history. This could be in a torture chamber, under the Houses of Parliament on the 5th of November, in a plague doctor’s house, or in a pub in Whitechapel. There’s light audience participation, most of it comical and only playfully insulting, and the gore (such as it is) is left primarily to the imagination or only described.

In fact, a lot of things are left to the imagination, and that’s where this dungeon was at its best. There is one entire room — the Sweeney Todd scene — that takes place completely in the dark, with no live actors to speak of once things get rolling. Everything is sensory, using sounds, tactile effects, and sense of motion. It was legitimately the most terrifying span of time I spent in there, with a close second being one piece of the Jack the Ripper arc of scenes. (Strobes were used in that bit, which are bad for me in excess, but they were used sparingly twice for effect and it was an impressive effect.)

The actors overall are extremely entertaining and able to carry their scenes quite well. In reference to the promise of ‘funny,’ yes, there was a lot of humour present — especially with the judges toward the end, who were extremely quick on their feet and whose entire scene is built around audience participation. Many of the actors have also mastered moving silently in the dark, which is both impressive and terrifying. And the way they execute any jump-scares is far more fun to me than just sticking them behind a curtain with a can of pennies. Any jump-scares either lead into a joke or a continuation of the scene, rather than just being there to fill in any dull stretches.

As to immersiveness… when they promise the ‘sights, sounds, and smells of London,’ they aren’t kidding. They actually do pay attention to everything. Even and especially the smells.They’re not enough to make you gag or feel ill, but they are very honest indeed about replicating the smells of rivers or plague-ridden villages. And the ambient noise is well-handled, too. It’s where it needs to be.

The aforementioned rides? There’s one at the beginning and one at the end. One is a water ride where you’re surrounded by execution imagery (including a projection-faced animatronic of Henry VIII played by Brian Blessed); the other is … well, it’s a bit of a drop. While neither is screamingly high-tech or innovative, they’re matched to their respective parts of the attraction quite well.

Honestly, I’m not a big haunted house fan these days because it’s always a matter of them wondering how many times they can make you jump and shriek. This was much more chiller theatre than haunted attraction. It was scary when being scary was convenient or useful and didn’t distract you from the story. Best of all, many of the scares were psychological, and you’re definitely conditioned over time to expect certain things to happen when the lights go out. I personally prefer that far more than six dozen sitty-up corpses (there are some sitty-up corpses, but still).

End result: it certainly did not feel like the dragged-out 90 minutes I feared, and even as a definite not-fan of being jumped at by costumed strangers, I enjoyed the experience including the scares rather than in spite of them. A few skewed projections on some of the animatronics (something that could be fixed with the occasional nudge) did not ruin the experience, and I fully intend to go back next year and drag people with me.

Visit the London Dungeon website for ticket prices and package deals, videos, photos, and more.


Originally published on The Dennison Collective. Visit her blog to see more.



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28
Apr

photo-3-professional-nerds-make-geek-cons-happen
 PHOTO: 3 professional nerds make geek cons happen!

This photo was taken by Robert Rukrigl‎ of me (Onezumi Events CEO), James (CFO/CIO), and my assistant Kara (Community Manager).

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The 3 of us are who you will recognize most working on (Re)Generation Who and Intervention, but there’s a team of 120+ behind us who all work just as hard.

I am C-Level over Marketing and anything that involves getting people to come, designing the cool stuff that they are going to do at the events, and figuring out scalable solutions. James is C-Level over Finance, Ops. We actually both cross over and work as a team, but primarily we are weighted toward these types of positions.

Kara is my right arm for social media, trade show tables, and blogging on the con sites because there’s only so many hours in the day and I can’t be in 2 places at once! She leads @RegenerationWho on Twitter and Facebook. She’ll soon be doing more with @interventioncon Twitter and Facebook. You should follow all of that because we kick some ass!



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