The Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival horror convention, which returns to the Long Beach Convention Center on July 29-30, has announced the 14 home and professional haunters who will create mini haunted houses for their 2017 Hall of Shadows. [Read more…]
The hit FX television show American Horror Story is returning to Universal Orlando this fall as the first haunted house revealed for Halloween Horror Nights 27. [Read more…]
Halloween season is still half a year away, but you can stay scared during the spring at the Spooky Empire Mid-Season convention, which has announced a roster of “retro” guests including Malcolm McDowell and Dee Snyder. [Read more…]
Get ready for more nights of fright at Universal Orlando than ever before, because Halloween Horror Nights 2017 dates have been announced, and select tickets and vacation packages are now on sale. [Read more…]
Like a zombie rising from the dead, the October 2016 Spooky Empire horror convention that was canceled due to Hurricane Matthew has been reschedule for December 2-4 at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center. [Read more…]
By Andy Haynes
Catharsis is an all new immersive haunted experience currently unsettling guests in the Orlando area. The experience was created by Pseudonym Productions, the company who brought us “When Shadows Fall,” and indeed, takes place in the same venue. Without giving too much away, there are even some references to the story of When Shadows Fall throughout Catharsis.
Catharsis bills itself as “unlike anything Florida as ever encountered” and for me at least, that was definitely true. It’s hard to talk too much about it without giving away any spoilers, since not knowing exactly what to expect is the crux of the experience.
After we arrived at the venue and signed in, we found our way to the deadly sins bar to enjoy a drink and sign a wavier. We were then summoned to the back and our trip through Catharsis began. The whole experience from arrival at the venue to unceremonious departure lasts about an hour, after which you are asked to leave immediately. This makes sense due to the attraction’s fast turnaround and the limited parking available at the venue.
Without going into detail, the experience itself involved a lot of uncomfortable situations and invasion of personal space all of which served to underline the unsettling nature of Catharsis. There is a story that underscores the event although on our trip through we were a bit confused about exactly what it was and left wondering if we had missed something. It was ultimately unnecessary though as the individual moments in Catharsis are what made the experience unique. Again, I don’t want to spoil it, but I don’t think I’ve ever gotten quite that up close and personal with actors as I did at Catharsis!
Due to its location and immersive features, Catharsis will definitely draw some comparisons to When Shadows Fall. Although similar, the two events had very striking differences. The open-ended freedom to explore that was offered in When Shadows Fall doesn’t show up in Catharsis, as you are led by the hand (sometimes quite literally) through the structured environment. This leads to a loss of control by the audience and actually allowed greater enjoyment by those seeking a more passive experience. That’s not to say you won’t be moving around and getting your hands dirty, but just that most of the active decision making that defined When Shadows Fall is absent from Catharsis. Another unique feature of the attraction is the ability to go through in small groups or even alone. This is in sharp contrast to the conga line style of Halloween Horror Nights and the free-for-all feel of When Shadows Fall. I do have to compliment the designers on this, as at no time throughout the experience was did I feel the presence of other audience members beyond my group. The whole event felt very personal and isolating.
In the end, I will say I enjoyed Catharsis. I would recommend this for someone looking for a more immersive experience and something different from the jump scares of a traditional haunted house. I think experiencing it alone is definitely the way to go since having less people in the group heightened the attraction. Wear comfortable shoes and prepare to be pushed outside of your comfort zone!
Catharsis runs select nights through Oct. 30. Tickets are $24 for standard entry and $34 for the private experience. For more information or to make a reservation, visit fearcatharsis.com.
The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor is back featuring six mazes and a new cantankerous resident spirit, Iron Master. [Read more…]
Brick or Treat, the Halloween party built for kids, is back at Legoland Florida Resort, featuring a lineup of activities and extended park hours. [Read more…]
Just in time for Halloween weekend, the San Francisco Dungeon attraction under Fisherman’s Wharf will soon debut Escape Alcatraz, a brand new drop ride finale to the sixty-minute Dungeon walk-through experience. [Read more…]
After days of cyptic hints and teasing messages, we’ve received word that reservations are now open for Catharsis, an immersive haunted experience opening October 7 at the new Deadly Sins Bar in Orlando. [Read more…]
Mr. Karver and his dolls are ready to give guests at Busch Gardens Tampa an Evil Encore with the start of the park’s annual Howl-O-Scream event. [Read more…]
Fright Dome at Circus Circus in Las Vegas is celebrating its 14th anniversary by teaming up with Scottgames, creators of the Five Nights at Freddy’s video game series, to theme one of its six haunted houses. [Read more…]
SeaWorld San Antonio’s Howl-O-Scream is returning for a 15-night “Evil Encore” starting September 30, 2016, through October 30. [Read more…]