But ScareHouse has amped up the fright with the addition of The Basement, an R-rated experience that guests walk through alone or with one other person. It’s an in-your-space approach to a haunted house, taking visitors through vignettes designed to test their fears, one by one. Needles, doctors, clowns, demons, sexuality, abuse, even religious beliefs are all themes of scenes in The Basement – and then some. Guests spend much of the time with a bag over their heads, cutting of senses to heighten others, as they are yelled at, manhandled, shocked with electricity, and placed into a variety of uncomfortably close encounters with brilliant character actors.
ScareHouse has given Outside the Magic exclusive access inside The Basement to film two of their key scenes this year. One features their iconic possessed character, the other a wild, child-like clown called “Happy.” Turn off the lights, crank up your speakers, and watch the POV videos below to get a sense of what it’s like to step into The Basement.
It begins as a bag is removed from over your head…
Video: “Happy” the Clown scene in The Basement
Video: Possessed demon scene in The Basement
Somehow amidst all that chaos, The Basement delivers a message of hope. ScareHouse’s goal is to have every guest out the door feeling a bit better about themselves and with a new, positive outlook on life. They are meant to feel like they have accomplished something.
Of course, that message doesn’t hit everyone. Some leave afraid, possibly even crying. And this year, everyone leaves looking like something this:
But I definitely got the message. I didn’t find The Basement to be “scary.” But extreme? Absolutely. It is intense, provocative, unnerving, unsettling, and above all extremely entertaining. And the electric shock is just plain awful.
It’s absolutely worth trying. If you’re too afraid, go with someone else. But be warned: I’m told friends and couples are quick to turn on each other inside. Don’t expect your significant other to protect you from the horrors within. They might just use the safe word and leave you there to go it alone.
Come back here after Halloween for a behind the scenes look at ScareHouse, including an interview with everyone’s favorite possessed demon girl, who’s quite a fantastic person when not trying to gobble up your soul.