And I'm glad I can act in that capacity.
I'm a veteran and so are the others I now call my friends who make up the Army of Survivors who've been multiple times. We've shared war stories and talked to the creators, actors and staff. It's a special feeling to get direct access to the twisted and depraved masterminds and we all consider ourselves lucky.
To be honest, I'm kinda sad that Blackout has become legendary. I remember how super duper underground it was. Not like Fight Club underground (hell the NY Times and all the major magazines and sites covered this HH every year). But it had an aura of whispers by HH enthusiasts, metal freakazoids and people like myself. Horror-core enthusiasts who wanted to push the limits of an interactive horror experience.
But I love that it's become mainstream to a point where others are experiencing the thrills and adrenaline rush of something beyond comprehension. Los Angeles is experiencing something new and is lucky to experience the dark magic of Blackout. New Yorkers, the jaded bunch of us are spoiled and we got a new and improved 4.0 version of Blackout. I loved it and so did many others. So HA HA LA. We're still better than you :-P
See that photo above? That's from 2010. That's the ultimate hipster cool factor of Blackout. Back then, you were issued a business card with your number (today you get a number plastered on your clothing). It was under a different name back then but the simplicity of it all is magically beautiful. "HAUNTED HOUSE". Simple, elegant and spoiler free of what's to come.
There were hardly any reviews a few years ago. Before I went in for the first time, I sought out reviews and blogs looking for any piece of information to prepare for what I signed up for. I stumbled upon some Yelp reviews and unrelated blog describing the experience. Shots were offered a few years ago for you to prepare and fellow Survivor "E" probably has some stories to tell back then of what it was like. Other Survivors worked at Blackout and I would love to keep digging for their stories. But after going to all the NYC haunted houses in 2010, I was ill prepared to know what was to happen to me when I experienced NYC Halloween Haunted House for the first time.
The sense of euphoria and a horror fan's wet dream is ever evident in my review and walkthrough back then. It continues into the one you've all read from 2011. And it keeps going in my 2012 review. I've been to the last 3 October haunts and 2 invite only Spring haunts (which you MUST READ if you want to know how far they really go when nobody is looking) All my leftover thoughts of what it was like are all there for you to read. Before these reviews went Reddit crazy, only a few people asked me if it were all true. Was this what happens to you at this fucked up haunted house? I told friends and family. All were in utter shock of the story that I told them.
The walkthroughs and spoilers were a natural extension of the reviews I wrote. All had the blessing of the creators which is why you now get to enjoy them. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who will write something up as my fellow Survivor and blogger The Raven and the Black Cat does one as well from a female perspective. What you will get from my reviews and thoughts about Blackout is a sense that, as a horror fan, I've found something in this haunted house that jump starts my horror instincts like any good horror movie does. The fact that it's live, you participate and you live through it makes it an infinitely more rewarding.
I've received countless e-mails, tweets, Facebook messages of fellow jaded viewers who loved my reviews and walkthroughs. Various sites have linked over here and even Reddit dissected my walkthrough and reviews like a fuckin surgeon. I can't thank you enough for the feedback. If I somehow gave you the feeling you were there, I've done my job.
I still have my paper thin mask from my first haunt. I have other Blackout souvenirs as well. The best part is I've made great friends through this haunt and for that I'm a thankful little Jaded Viewer. If that happens to you as well, that's motherfuckin horror gravy.
I hope Blackout continues to it's tidal wave of success and new found glory. They deserve it and a few tweets from celebrities who've not SAFETY-ed will blow them up into stratosphere proportions. The fact they are sold out on both coasts is a testament to the awesomeness of it all.
If somehow you come away with a revitalized sense of shock and awe and ewwww and yikes from Blackout, then it's done it's job. Feargasms and torture will be seared into your mind. A Blackout Haunted House memory is something you will never forget.
Though if you do, I'll remind you again of why it's the haunted house other haunted houses are afraid of.