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 +

Meeting Timothy Haskell

It was a dark and stormy night – perfect for a Nightmare opening.  This year’s theme is Fairy Tales, and we walked blind folded into an eerie forest where no happily ever afters dwell.  And once your very disturbed self exits you’ll be part of an Experiment.  What kind you ask?  You wouldn’t want me to spoil the um… fun now would you?

Later in the lobby I found myself talking to Timothy Haskell’s brother Aaron. I could not stop going on and on about all favorite Nightmare memories: the smell of graveyard dirt, the Undead scratching at the walls, bloody baby dolls, The Maze, vampires, wolves, the giant black cat…  I also told him that I hoped to meet his brother Timothy one day; it was my 5th year at Nightmare, and I had never had the honor.

Hold on I’m going to get him down here.

On opening night?

Within minutes I was in front of Tim – who actually recognized me from my blogs, and my comments at his blog - I Scare You

So what’s New York’s Fearless Leader of All Things Frightening really like? 

Warm & Welcoming.

And a generous listener.  I know this because five years worth of memories, questions and suggestions for future shows poured out of me, and he listened to every one.

Thanks Tim!

Nightmare: Fairy Tales

Nightmare Z-Day

I Scare You

Nightmare on Facebook

Josephine’s Official Cure Date

Josie & Shadow circa 2009

 On September 28th 2008 my daughter called to tell me that she was turning herself in at the Emergency Room. 

The next morning she called to tell me the diagnosis;  Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia.  I can still hear her declaring that she would be cancer-free a year from that day.  And she was.

To celebrate her cure date Josephine wants to help others.  Please visit her her Together4Cures page

And thank you for the three years of support, prayers and love you have given me.

Josie Today

Good-bye Irene

On Sunday morning I woke up at 7 am or so, and sat listening to the shreiking winds that had finally come. All of New York had been waiting for Irene’s appearance. We had loaded our freezers with food, our flashlights with batteries and rented every DVD we could find. Ready to hunker down for the duration.

It was all over by early Sunday afternoon. My friends and I left our loaded freezers behind and headed out for a late Sunday brunch. Everyone was looking for a big dose of normal. Warm winds were gusting here and there, and the rain would start for three minutes or so – stop – then start again. No one was really annoyed just glad it was over.

We wandered down the main drag, and found that stores were opening up for what was left of the day. A third of the local Best Buy’s staff had made it in, and many lined up for their late afternoon opening.  There was a gift certificate in my bag, so I got myself a 3G Kindle. I love the phone app, but the small print and backlight had been bothering my eyes.

The rest of the day was spent watching Netflix.  Highly Recommended: Ayn Rand: In Her Own Words.

the season of fright approaches

A dear friend once told me, “October is your Christmas Frances.”

She wasn’t kidding.

Look what Timothy Haskell has in store for us.



Read Timothy’s blog:

I Scare You

Read about my experience at last year’s NIGHTMARE Superstitions

Halloween 2011 is gonna rule.

And yes, I know it’s only mid-August but a girl who loves haunted venues has to plan early. 

fear of heights gone in 4 minutes flat

Yesterday – for 4 minutes – I rode high above NYC’s East River on The Roosevelt Island Tram.

It’s a daily part of life for thousands who fearlessly hop into the tramway cars and head for work on the mainland. It was no easy hop for this blogger, whose fear of heights has kept her from doing everything from changing out curtains to taking an airplane. This event was at least two years in the making. How many times did I go all the way to 62nd and First only to wuss out at the last minute?

But yesterday, with my best friend in tow, I actually did it – twice.  My next project is to take a short shuttle flight.  Look out friendly skies – here she comes.

June 26th will hereafter be Freedom from Fear Day here at Simply Frances.