“Come on, it’s all just theater. You’re not really going to die.”
“Nope, not happening.”
“Think of what a great write up it will make.”
“Write it up then. I can’t bring my camera in there anyway.”
Black Gate photographer Chris Z and I are debating whether or not he will accompany me to the traveling version of the extreme haunted attraction, Blackout Elements when it rolls through Chicago later this year.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with this experience, the annual version of Blackout that pops up in a different LA or NYC location every October has been compared to a voluntary prison assault that you actually pay fifty, non-refundable, dollars to have inflicted on you.
Let’s face it. An experience that requires you to sign a six-page disclaimer and memorize a safety word is not your neighborhood Jaycee’s “haunted house.” And for someone who has been through about a bazillion October attractions, this one sounded like something I really needed to do.
But apparently I was doing it without Chris Z.
So when our editor-in-chief put me onto this latest “shock and awe” attraction, I started to see Chris’s point (ever so slightly of course). I mean, a good scare is one thing, but like a horror movie that relies more on the “ick factor” than on a good plot, these days a haunted attraction can quickly cross over from scary to skeevy.
Shocktoberfest, Pennsylvania’s self-proclaimed “premiere haunted scream park” is pushing the limits of reason with their…wait for it…”all-nude Haunted House revue.”
You see, word is that during your Blackout experience, there is a more than fair chance your personal walk-through may include an encounter with a naked someone-or-other (Inmate? Lunatic? Cannibal? Reports vary) who may or may not take indecent liberties with your person (thus the disclaimer and the safe word).
Apparently in Shocktoberfest’s “Naked and Scared Challenge,” it is you, rather than the employees, who are letting it all hang out.
I’m trying to determine which is more disturbing.
Here’s the deets.
Think you’re brave? Experience The Unknown haunted house with ZERO protection! We dare you to take the Naked and Scared Challenge only at Shocktoberfest!
Inspired by the hit show “Naked and Afraid” on the Discovery Channel, Shocktoberfest has created The Naked and Scared Challenge to test your fears and phobias on a whole new level. For the first time ever you can now experience the Unknown Haunted House totally naked! See if you have Gymnophobia- the fear of being nude.
Procedure: The Naked and Scared Challenge allows participants to go through the Unknown Haunted House “Nude” or “Prude” (either totally nude or with underwear). It takes place at the end of the night after all customers have gone through the attraction. Participants must be 18 years of age or older and must sign a waiver. Participants undress in a semi-private preshow building, experience the Unknown Haunted House, and then exit into a semi-private fenced courtyard where they will get dressed. Participants are never in view of minors or non-participating customers. Naked and Scared Challenge is not offered on Sundays.
Disclaimer: Shocktoberfest has created this experience so their customers can explore a new level of fear. This is about fear and pushing oneself out of their comfort zone. This is not about sex. No sexual misconduct, inappropriate or disrespectful behavior will be tolerated.
*Please note there is an additional cleaning charge if we scare the p*ss out of you!
Let’s examine this for a moment shall we?
For one, I happen to know quite a few folks who spend the month of October working haunted attractions. I know what sort of sense of humor they have and what becomes of them when they have this level of material to work with…
Then there’s the idea that if you have no compunction about stripping off your clothes for this situation, I am doubtful that what follows in The Unknown attraction is going to rattle you much anyway. So I have to ask why being naked would even matter?
Last, a colleague of mine who went through The Unknown a couple of years ago said, “That building is freaking freezing and the dudes who would take them up on this offer are not the dudes anyone wants to see nude.”
No, I’m quite sure absolutely nothing could go wrong with this idea…
All this said, I’m still considering whether or not to attend Blackout Elements, but I’m leaning toward not. And I fully intend to stop making meowing noises every time Chris Z passes me in the hall.
What do you think? Do we need to mix Halloween and nudity once we graduate? Post a comment or drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.