Lady Gaga Chilling in Columbus Circle

So my friend was driving me back to the city last night, and as we rounded Columbus Circle we saw this:

sundayphotostroll 043

Stop the car! We have a photo opp! I love saying that by the way.

sundayphotostroll 041

Lady Gaga? A Workshop at Barneys on the 22nd? Cool.

sundayphotostroll 044

There were two men assigned to guard the balloon overnight. Smart idea. I could see a group of fans making off with it down Broadway.

Nightmare Fairytales & More…

This year I made three separate visits to Fairytales.  Each time I went through the house it and it’s residents were just a bit darker and more depraved.   The second part of the venue – The Experiment – included a short film with some very unsettling images.  Said images do like to pop up on my mind’s screen at random moments.  Shivers. This year will always be particularly memorable because I finally got to meet Nightmare’s creator Timothy Haskell

Every year Tim and the Psycho Clan work hard to create a completely new experience for us. This year’s sets were designed to make you feel as if you were running  walking through a pop-up book.  Fairytales was based on the original telling of the tales, not the highly sanitized versions we all enjoyed as children. Believe me there wasn’t a happily ever after in sight. Snow White was wild-eyed as she applied the hot metal slippers to her stepmother’s feet. The fearsome troll beneath the bridge in Billy Goat’s Gruff looked as if he would go for my throat. 

Another bonus this year was Nightmare Z-Day in The Bronx.  It was like dropping into a late night creature feature.  There’s a mad doctor – of course – and zombies everywhere. Make-up and costumes as well as the sets were super creative. I fully immerse myself into the storyline.  Interacting with the characters, and my fellow participants, and immersing myself into the storyline makes my experience.  It’ll make yours too.  So don’t heckle the actors, turn on flashlight apps or mess with the sets – just get into it.

Can’t wait till next Halloween.

Hauntingly yours,
Frances

NIGHTMARE REVIEWS from previous years

Madame Tussauds After Dark – a bit disappointing (review)

Last Year I attended Madame Tussauds After Dark for the first time. I gave it two stars and looked forward to an even better experience this year.

It wasn’t.

Last year’s tour began with a ten minute or so 4D movie. What’s 4D? Fun stuff like your seat shaking or being blasted by cold air when you least expect it.

I still remember wandering slowly through the creepfest that is Tussauds in the dark. When one of the still figures leapt or hissed you just lost it.

The tour ended in the dimly lit main room, where everyone was snapping photos and have a grand time.

This year – no 4D film or time in the main room. The tour was expanded to five floors, but the staff had everyone moving quickly. Creepy music was limited to one section only – it should have been throughout. Before you knew it you were back on a brightly lit 42nd Street, without even a chance to use a restroom.

I’m giving Tussauds After Dark 2011 one star, and hoping for a better time next year.

it’s off to Madame Tussaud’s After Dark I go

The tickets are tucked safely in my bag.
Wearing the right footwear – it’s going to be dark & there will be stairs.
I’m expecting and hoping for the unexpected.
This is my second year going. You can check out last year’s review here.
Tomorrow night Blood Manor & Sunday The Creep Show at the Freak Show.
The season to be frightened is well underway.

NIGHTMARE FAIRY TALES 2011 – not for kids

This year’s theme Fairytales takes you to a land with no happily ever afters.

As of this writing I have made “three walks” thru – one on opening night and two this past Friday.  I have been a devoted Nightmare fan since my first visit on November 1st 2007.  

Now you are probably going to read several reviews before making your decision to go.  One thing I want to tell you before I get on with my own: there were a few delays on their very very crowded opening night.  Everything was worked out very quickly.  I went through with two groups Friday night, and everyone had a great time screaming “Burn Witch Burn”, watching the Executioner’s ax fall, running from the Billy Goat’s Gruff, and lookout for Rumpelstiltskin –  he’s just sick.  And that’s just three of the characters you’ll meet on your journey.  Oh and beware the wolves – they’re everywhere.

A lot of research goes into these shows.  The fairy tales are being presented with their original intent: to scare children and the child in us straight .  Let me tell back in the day they just didn’t say the Boogeyman will get you, and leave it at that.  These folks are the grimmest of Grimm’s tales.  

The sets and costumes are all designed and made by Psycho Clan led by NYC’s Fearless Leader of Fright Tim Haskell.  Aaron Haskell – Tim’s bro –  created some amazing puppets this year.  Look for the tiny red shoed dancer and a huge black wolf whose growl alone had me looking for an exit sign.

After your walk through the past, you’ll fast forward to the very modern 4D Experiment.  Remember just push yourself toward the light when the walls of blackness engulf you. And when in the lab – please follow the doctor’s instructions carefully – we wouldn’t want any accidents.

Nightmare is more than just a BOO house – it’s an interactive experience.

Don’t forget to stop in at the Suffolk – a cafe with pool table right in the lobby.  

Hope to see there, because I am going back with friends at least twice more.

Nightmare Fairy Tales Official Page

I Scare You – Tim Haskell’s Blog

The Jaded Viewer – awesome reviews of all things horror +