I spent my birthday weekend participating in my own form of relief effort for New Orleans. Baron XIII and I pumped a not-insignificant amount of Tenebrous Cash into the coffers of New Orleans' booze, boobs, and black magic industries. If I may be so bold, I'd recommend that all of you do that when you get a chance. It's a wonderful city full of fantastic people and plenty of exciting stuff to do into the wee hours of the morning and beyond. I love you, New Orleans. Really I do.
One of the attractions that the Baron and I had set our hearts on attending was the annual haunted house extravaganza that is the House of Shock. I'd heard of House of Shock many years ago when a pal was volunteering there and his tales of a supercharged, Sataneriffic spook show were enough to convince me that there was a pentagram-shaped hole in my heart that could only be filled by experiencing this firsthand.
I can state with utmost conviction that the House of Shock is the BEST haunted house I've ever been to. This year's setup revolves around Lord Belial's ascension to power as "President of the World" and the rooms within the House include a cemetery, a creepy swamp, a sewer, and a truly outrageous Black Mass. The effectiveness of House of Shock lies in three factors:
1) The House employs what feels like half the population of Louisiana--there are at least a hundred actors present
2) The makeup effects are the best I've ever seen in a haunted attraction
3) The actors can touch you
Now, as an Ice Person and a Yankee, this last factor really shocked me! The entire student body of the local high school seemed to be present (the Baron and I felt like the oldest people in line) and were abuzz telling one another about how one could be grabbed in the dark. I wrote this off as bullcrap, but--lo and behold--about two minutes from the door, somebody was pawing at my boots. Yikes! It was only down the terror-hill from there, as I was pawed, shoved, screamed at and thoroughly horrified for the next twenty-or-so minutes. It was an incredibly intense experience that managed to be fun at the same time. There's not a lot of classic monster themes on display--this is mostly New School horror inspired by 80s slasher films and flicks like "Saw" and "Hostel," neither of which are in my Cinematic Greatest Hits, but both of which manage to inspire kickass haunted attractions. Expect lots of blood, loud screaming, and gruesome sights inside the House, along with classic carnival effects like the spinning tunnel and blackout rooms.
If you find yourself in the New Orleans environs this Halloween season, I can't recommend a trip to the House of Shock enough! They're open on weekends starting at 7pm and running till midnight. I can imagine this place is going to get packed later in the season, as the (extremely, awesomely nice and thoroughly wonderful) police officer who was working security duty was telling us that there are live performances and all kinds of goodies planned.
TRUE FACT: 100% of House of Shock employees surveyed agree that the Tenebrous Hair smells good. Yes, they get That Close. Eeep.
BONUS POINTS: They sell food at the House, including a dish called Satan's Hot Sausage. I offer this fact to you sans-comment.