Monday, September 30, 2013

Nightmare Killers 2 Haunted House (Review)

As you enter Killers 2: A Nightmare Haunted House, a man tells you about the horrors of unsolved murders and gruesome murders of NYC and around the country. It's pretty terrifying to know serial killers are out there, somewhere waiting, hunting. If this doesn't unnerve you a bit, maybe a walking Jeffrey Dahmer lookalike will. The notorious reputation gained from last year's haunted house Tim Haskell's sequel is actually more terrifying and spectacularly awesome than the previous version. The rooms move like clockwork, the performances are top notch and set up jump scares that will have you jumping out of your shoes and an ending that will make you rethink walking down an infamous street.

Nightmare Killers 2 is a perfect clash of documentary meets haunted house terror. You may not know who each of these infamous serial killers are, but they all will be imprinted in your mind once you leave. If there is one New York City haunted house you and some friends want to get your scare on, Killers 2 is it. It has all the elements of the traditional room scares, the sets that go from tight spaces to creepy uncomforableness and just the right amount of scares from being the first person in to the last person out.

Wikipedia the Killers

Like last year, I attended Killers 2 with the lovely "L" from Downtown Traveler. It seems we are both adept at being both jaded upon all haunted houses these days with the thing scaring us the most is not being able to know where to go next.  Upon entering the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center, you'll be greeted at the acid trip paintings of some of history's notorious serial killers with a some notes on their gruesome murders and crimes. I highly suggest you read these blurbs so you know who you'll be meeting once you go in. This year also has a Killers Act Stage where a variety of performers (ranging from some piano playing to spoken word when I was there) perform for the people waiting on lines. It's something to watch instead of playing Candy Crush on your phone.

Molested by Uncle John

In keeping with what worked, Nightmare brings back the option of being touched by the actors. If you choose to do so some double XX blood splatter will be marked on your forehead. I of course chose this option because who doesn't liked getting touched by depraved psychopaths? Patrons will go in groups of 6 or so and it actually is the perfect amount to get the most of each room. Groups work best as you can laugh at others being scared shitless.

I won't spoil the rooms but this years version seems to up the ante. Actors will get up close and personal, yell out instructions and retort with their own brand of devlish humor if you disobey. You'll get a variety of rooms, with set designs that you may remember and others that are intricately detailed with 70s and 80s nostalgia. And with these elaborate sets are the infamous killers, telling their wicked tales of murder and dementia. Last years version had the creme de la creme, this years we get some familiars and a few that you probably never heard of (I didn't). Harrison Graham and Aileen Wournos might have you Googling but Charles Manson and Richard Ramirez will have you going oh oh. A few fictional killers will make appearances as well and were quite a surprise.

Each room tells a tale and the actors do a great job of giving you some Wikipedia about these maniacs before the unsuspecting participants get BOOed! It's in your interest to immerse yourself in each room and get an idea of the story each rooms pulls off. If you partake earlier in the season, you'll have at least a minute and a half in each room and the haunt paces it nicely making sure you get to spend quality time with each killer. You'll be asked to perform some actions and marked foreheads will get extra attention. I was again molested by John Wayne Gacy (goddamit I hate clowns) as I made a new friend in his basement. Nightmare seems to moving over into that edge of getting under your skin with the touching and even my sarcasm directed to the actors didn't break their concentration. Uncle John promised me candy. I didn't get any.

Later on "L" got abducted by Richard Ramirez and I was called an "asshole" by a certain American Slasher. The actors truly make it work and even go into the surreal with Wuornos room being very. It would seem you can get 20-30 minutes out of the whole experience though I found myself trudging into each room head on and allowing myself to get up close and personal. 


Nightmare had a few rooms that seemed anti climactic. An outside adventure that had Dexter last year was a bit more subdued. There was some cushioned narrow corridors and a swamp that had me mesmerized by the design but also as scared as watching Twilight. However, the ending of a certain Harrison Graham was completely bonkers and I had remnants my encounter with a certain "monster" all over my shirt. That to me should have been the ending but instead we get a post credits scene that made it anti climactic. But overall, that last encounter proved priceless to myself and it was something I would not forget.

With Halloween fast approaching, each room may not get your full attention as crowds and actors will speed read their lines and scare faster. I think if you go before Halloween or after, you'll get the full effect of what Nightmare Killers 2 has to offer.

Killers 2 is one of those haunted house sequels that actually outdoes its predecessor. The direction, the pace, the actors, the killers and the overall experience is one that seems fine tuned and in flow. New York City is a scary place in itself sometimes but even the hardcore jaded New Yorker needs to go to a place that creates a scare machine to test his limits.

Why not attempt to go through a maze of serial killers? If you pass that test, it's like getting a gold star and some candy.

Just don't get molested by Uncle John.

The Vitals
Check out the trailer

For a full schedule of performances visit

Tickets for NIGHTMARE: KILLERS2 are $30 - $60 and available at, or at the box office prior to each performance.   

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