There are two things I love the most about fall: 1) Pumpkin Spice Lattes and 2) Impressive Halloween faire. For top-notch thrills this season, I can easily recommend Blood Manor on Varick Street. Boasting a large budget well-spent, the folks at the Manor know why folks line up around the block all through October… and they deliver the goods.
It all begins as you wait to get inside the doors (my advice: arrive earlier, as the line gets much longer around 8:30/9:00pm). The familiar streets of TriBeCa are filled with demons and monsters waiting to scare apprehensive patrons (and take photos with the more excitable ones). There is also a very cool pre-show involving juggling, knives, apples and counting down.
Once inside, you’ll enter a variety of different rooms featuring typical haunted-house scares (i.e. lots of actors who appear to be statues but then pop out at you, lots of actors shouting “Help, get me out of here, please help!”, lots of actors utilizing creepy voices and physicalities).
What puts the Manor a step above the rest is its aesthetic. Gorgeously eerie at every turn, the building has been turned into an aptly nightmarish wonderland. The sets, the props and the costumes on display are so detailed, you’ll have the impulse to stop and hang out with one single character or one single item on a wall. But alas, you must keep moving through.
The Shockotorium and Jungle Terror receive high marks for thrills, but it’s the Carnival of Souls that is the major draw. Watching the walls, the floors and characters’ masks come at you in 3-D is a wild type of entertainment not offered in many haunted houses.
The one drawback: minus wait time, the walk-through takes about twenty minutes. Make sure you’ve got post-Manor plans at a local bar, or the scariest thing about your evening will be how fast it went by. For my money, haunted houses like these should be at least thirty minutes.
Regardless, Manor is a bloody good time from start to finish.