Last night I once again stood before the tall black curtains. A three veteran of Nightmare getting ready for her fourth run. The screams of the asylum inmates were calling out to me. And as always on the first visit of the season, a little part of me wanted to run right out the door. But it was outvoted by the big part of me that wanted the crap scared out of it.
This year I bought the Super VIP Ticket, which includes a backstage tour. John Harlacher, co-director of Nightmare: Superstitions & creator & director of Nightmare: Funhouse, was my guide. I’m not telling what I saw here or anywhere else. The people on line with me were trying to pump me for info. I will say that touring the backstage showed me how much work and manpower goes into pulling the house off every year.
This year you get two for one. Before you enter the asylum you have to get through the Funhouse. It’s totally off the chart, and it get you nicely warmed up for the asylum. John dear, can I tell you that I love your twisted imagination?
One of my favorite characters – the Nurse who checks you in at the asylum door. Actually now that I think about it that was probably the babe that got me cursed. Hey, you’re probably wondering why I keep saying asylum. You see Nightmare is not just a series of rooms with the usual guys in rubber masks running around with a chainsaw. No no no my darlings. Nightmare productions have a storyline. This year you’re visiting an asylum for the criminally insane. Each inmate is suffering because he or she broke a superstition. Our job as visitors is to break the superstition, and help relieve them of some of their pain. But you have to be really careful. These poor damned souls are dangerous, and anything can happen.
Some of the superstitions are commonly known: blacks cats, walking under ladders and picking up pennies. Some less well-known like saying MacBeth in a theatre.
The walk-thru is over 30 minutes long this year. There’s a real feeling of camaraderie as you and your small group goes from room to room. A few of the newbies in my group panicked a bit in the claustrophobic walls. But I shouted push through push through before plunging into the blackness, and we all made it.
You will too – I’m sure – well, pretty sure.
Have a terrifying time.