For most people, our biggest fears aren’t what we can see with our eyes. It’s what we create in our heads.
The Soap Factory
$25 Wed-Thu; $27 Fri-Sun
This is the philosophy of the Soap Factory’s Haunted Basement, which is back for its tenth year. Sure, there are scary sights and horrifying surprises awaiting you once you walk down the staircase, but the real terror comes from the sense of anticipation, nerves, and complete mind-fuckery.
From the second you arrive, the head games begin. We won’t spoil the horror fun, but before you enter, you have the opportunity to use paint to “mark” yourself with occult symbols. Choose wisely, as this could influence your experience.
As has always been the case, the rules of the Basement are simple: The ghouls can touch you, but you can’t touch them. And touch you they will. Be prepared to be grabbed, pushed, and even mounted as you walk, crawl, and squeeze your way through the various rooms, with horrifying, grotesque, and disturbing creeps and creatures waiting around each turn.
Of course, if things get too intense, you can always cry out the safe word, “uncle,” which will effectively bring the tour to a close and whisk you away to safety. By the time we went through on Wednesday night, five miserable souls had already begged to get out early.
Compared to past Haunted Basements, this year was seemingly larger and more in-depth, meaning even if you are a grizzled veteran, this is a new experience. For the seriously insane, this year also offers a solo Blind Invocation experience, featuring encounters with multiple exclusive environments specially crafted to guarantee in-depth, one-on-one encounters.
For those wishing to get in the Halloween spirit but avoid potentially crying/wetting themselves, there are also Fraidy Cat Tours, where you can check out the sets with the lights on and the actors safely stowed away. There is also the Unhappy Hour, where you can experience the spookiness of the Haunted Basement only without the touching, for those who prefer to keep their personal bubble creep-free.
For newbies, the tips we’ll provide are: prepare to get a little dirty, and check ALL of your jackets, scarves, phones, etc. before heading inside. The more you embrace the experience by listening to the actors and allowing yourself to be silly, the more fun you’ll have. If you really wanted to, you could move pretty quickly through each room, giving you the opportunity to get out fast and still tell your friends that you did it. But, as one tiny voice said to us inside of the Basement, “You can’t run forever.”
IF YOU GO:
Soap Factory Haunted Basement
Sept. 30 – Oct. 31
6 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday; 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, Saturday; 6 to midnight Halloween
$25 weekdays; $27 weekends
Click here for more details