Blood Manor’s Bloody Valentine’s Day Haunted House, located in the West Village, may not be for everyone. But for those who love the thrill of being sincerely frightened, you will not want to miss this.
I’ve been through my fair share of haunted houses, and seen a ton of horror movies. A Halloween buff who is not so easily scared, I can say with pretty good conviction that Blood Manor is really scary – and I absolutely loved it.
The house, created and run by Halloween aficionados Jim Faro, Mike Rodriguez and Jim Lorenzo, has been running for the past eight consecutive Halloweens. This is the second time the house has also run for Valentine’s Day.
Depending on how fast you walk, or run through, the entire event only lasts about 15 minutes. But your heart will be racing and you will feel pretty terrified the entire time. Entering the house through a set of swinging doors, a series of elaborate rooms with intricate and highly realistic horror scenes await you. Many inspired by horror/murder movies like Sweeney Todd and Saw, you truly feel like you’re walking into a murder scene, or that a serial killer is just lurking in the shadows.
The characters are extremely intense and have no fear of creepy eye contact. While they don’t touch you, they are also not afraid to get in your face or trap you alone in the corner of a room. This happened to me in one of the last rooms of the house- characters directed me to what I thought was an exit to the next room, but was really just an empty corner. Then several of them surrounded me. Needless to say I got out of there as fast as I could.
While the characters did an excellent job of scaring the living daylights out of me, there was also a lot of excellent technical work in the house. Some rooms contained animatronic monsters and others had light systems purposefully meant to be disorienting. Others had flat screen televisions with zombies slowly creeping closer, until before you know it they are in front of you, so close you can feel them.
I would give more details about the horror that I went through, but I don’t want to give it all away. Half the fun was not knowing what to expect next.
Faro said the intensely horrific scenes are the result of hours of planning and preparation. By going to trade shows and constantly brainstorming for new ideas, the three owners end up changing about 30 percent of the show each year. “It’s a year round process mentally,” Faro said. “It’s a lot of work, but we love it. I always had a great love for Halloween. I really enjoy people enjoying it.”
I am certainly one of those people who enjoyed it, and I plan on going back this Halloween.
Photos by Karina Schroeder for Socially Superlative and via Blood Manor.