A staple of themed entertainment in New York for many years, the Jekyll & Hyde Club provides a bit of a Halloween experience year-round.
Its original location closed in 2012, but another popped up in Times Square in 2013, now open as the flagship restaurant and bar. But this isn’t just any eatery, dimly lit and filled with freakish fun around every corner.
The Jekyll & Hyde Club could be lifted as is and fit in perfectly at, say, Universal CityWalk. In fact, for a while there were rumors that one would open at Universal Orlando. The comparisons fans make to some of the most popular theme parks in the world say a lot about the quality of the entertainment presented at Jekyll & Hyde.
After years of hearing about this experience, I finally had a chance to step foot inside while in New York covering Toy Fair a few months ago. I wasn’t disappointed.
Its entrance is disguised as a phone booth which, sadly, was not operational when I visited. I ended up entering through the gift shop, intended as the exit. But when the phone booth is working, patrons are expected to supply a password and take an oath before entering.
Once inside, the familiarity of being engaged in a highly themed environment set in instantly. I felt like I’d been magically transported away from the LED-lit sensory overload of Times Square into a rather subdued club that was much more my speed. But there is nothing subdued about Jekyll & Hyde, as exciting moments occur regularly from surprising places.
Anything eye-catching inevitably moves, talks, scares, or a combination of all three. Jekyll & Hyde is not a haunted attraction where creatures jump out of dark places, but it does evoke some of those same feelings while remaining rather lighthearted.
I quickly found myself lounging by the bar as other tourists interacted with a talking skeleton who was cracking jokes at anyone within eyesight. Jekyll & Hyde is indeed a tourist trap, but it’s the best kind.
The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride has announce their new Halloween offerings for 2014, sending attendees into The Underworld.
Located in Griffith Parkâ€™s Old Zoo area, Los Angeles Haunted Hayride is celebrating its 6th year with new experiences including two Apocalyptic-themed mazes, a 40-foot long Leviathan, an interactive theatre production, and more.
In this yearâ€™s Purgatory haunted village, two new experiences include:
â€śHouse of the Horsemenâ€ť is approximately a 15-minute experience sending guests face to face with the four Horsemen of The Apocalypse, embodying Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death.
â€śSeven Sins Sideshowâ€ť is a maze where the most depraved and deadly lurk from flesh and furniture melting into one, a human pig-machine vomiting riches from its muzzle, to even a race of carnivorous celestial Entities thriving on the fat from human hosts.
On the main stage, â€śTheatre Macabre,â€ť where will present an interactive stage show featuring famous scenes from iconic horror films such as The Lost Boys, Exorcist, Carrie, Psycho and more.
Returning is the â€śIn-Between Dark Mazeâ€ť, a black labyrinth that sends guests into the darkness with nothing but a low voltage lantern, and â€śDeath Row,â€ť an interactive room that allows guests an up close and personal look at devices of death.
Los Angeles Haunted Hayride will be open from October 3rd â€“31st. Tickets are now available for purchase.
The event will also host its annual â€śBlack Carpet Premiere Nightâ€ť on October 9th featuring celebrity arrivals that in the past have included Katy Perry, Demi Lovato, Jillian Michaels, Nikki Reed, Megan Fox, Sarah Hyland, Lucy Hale, Chris Colfer, Chord Overstreet, Stephanie Pratt, David Beckham, Emmy Rossum, Sarah Silverman, Ryan Gosling, Kristin Ritter, Giles Nissan and more.
The Museum of Sex debuted a new art installation recently in New York, called FUNLAND: Pleasures and Perils of the Erotic Fairground. We wrote about it when it first debuted, but couldn’t pass up the urge to take a closer look.
The Museum of Sex, which opened in New York in 2002 for the purpose of â€śthe serious study of sex and sexuality,â€ť contains a collection of rotating exhibits such as previously never-before-seen images of porn star Linda Lovelace and an exhibit dedicated to the sexuality of animals.
The FUNLAND exhibit was designed by London-based conceptual artists Bompas and Parr and is comprised of five attractions designed to explore the sexual themes of carnivals, which are emblematic of sexual deviancy, loose morals, and a general lack of decorum. The goal of the exhibit is to provide an interactive venue for visitors to explore these themes. Whereas the rest of the museum is structured in the traditional â€ślook but donâ€™t touchâ€ť format, this exhibit begs guests to touch, grope, and poke.
Video: Museum of Sex Funland exhibit tour in New York
The exhibit is contained in a darkened room illuminated by low-level red light punctuated with bright string lights overhead, reminiscent of an open-air fairground. A musical score was composed for the exhibit by Dom James, which has an eerie, haunted sound, made up of low strings, sustained notes, and loud sudden bursts of noise. The score was intended to be suggestive and sensual, but to me it came across more like the score for a horror filmâ€”it had a very Jaws-y feel that felt a bit like I was being hunted.
Immediately inside the entrance to the FUNLAND exhibit room is the â€śTunnel of Love,â€ť which invites museum attendees to embark on an expedition through a mirror maze in an attempt to locate the G-spot, cleverly hidden in the â€śG-Spot Grotto.â€ť The maze is short, and takes only a minute or two to complete. At the conclusion of the maze is a sculptured representation of the G-Spot, haloed in its own personal spotlight.
Just outside the G-Spot Grotto is the â€śJump for Joyâ€ť attraction, also commonly referred to as the â€śBoobie Bounce House.â€ť After taking off oneâ€™s shoes guests may pass through the rather sphincter-like opening to the bounce house and knock around the oversized knockers to their heartsâ€™ content. On the day I attended the exhibit I was asked to bounce lightly as two of the boobs, Natasha and Anastasia, had some small tears.
Right next door is the Foreplay Derby. Here guests play a ski-ball-type carnival game wherein the guest rolls small rubber balls up a platform to drop in a hole, causing golden phalluses to progress across a board. The game itself is fun, but the overall design of this particular attraction is a bit lackluster and unimpressiveâ€”the golden penises are the best part of the game. But when the whole museum is filled with penises and boobs, thatâ€™s not a whole lot to brag about.
Up next is the â€śErotic Picture Palaceâ€ť: a collection of short silent films featuring carnival scenes, particularly those illustrating the eroticism and the sideshow elements of fairgrounds. The museum bills the Erotic Picture Palace as one of the five attractions in the exhibit, but the term â€śattractionâ€ť is a bit of a stretch. The films are projected on a wall in a hallway between the Foreplay Derby and Tunnel of Love exhibits, and the area provides very little space for visitors to stay and watch a film in its entirety. The material itself is interesting and goes a long way in connecting the carnival and sexuality themes, but I watched guest after guest head down the hallway, glance at the film display, and then hurry on to kick their partnerâ€™s ass at Foreplay Derby.
Tucked away in its own little corner of the exhibit is â€śGrope Mountainâ€ť which challenges guests to make their way across the room while climbing on various anatomical bits such as penises, breasts, and even the occasional face and female torso. The handholds are arrayed in two parallel lines moving horizontally around the room with the bottom row about a foot off the ground and even the highest handholds in easy reach of this 5â€™4â€ť reporter. It was fun to hoist myself up onto a couple boobs and shimmy around the room, but the lack of opportunity for vertical movement was a bummer.
The FUNLAND exhibit provides an interesting view of the sexual side of carnivals of yesteryear, but there is so little tying the two themes together that the fairground theme appears to be an afterthoughtâ€”it seems to be used more as a vehicle to add a few more penises and boobs to the museum. If the installation had been introduced just for the sake of the interactivity of the attractions, it would have been all well and good. But asserting that the games â€śillustrate the rich history of fairground eroticismâ€ť comes across rather forced and cheapens the exhibit in the process. However, the argument may still be made that the exhibit could function purely as an art piece on its own, even disregarding educational merit. Iâ€™ve seen bounce houses and Iâ€™ve seen boobs, but Iâ€™ve never seen a boobie bounce house.
For the novelty of the experience itself and the ability to explore the rest of the museumâ€™s offerings, the exhibit is well worth the admission price. I mean, câ€™mon. How often do you get the chance to hop around on larger-than-life hoo-has? Not often enough to pass FUNLAND up, thatâ€™s for sure.
More photos from the Museum of Sex Funland exhibit:
Beyond the presentations and crazy costumes of ScareLA was an exhibit hall filled with monsters being made up, haunted attraction walkthroughs and previews, and plenty of products for sale. A fantastic assortment of Halloween goodies, the ScareLA show floor featured a taste of all things terror.
ScareLA Attractions and Entertainment
Several California haunted attractions brought samples of their experiences to ScareLA. None of them featured their full frights, but they did offer some scares in brief haunted houses along with the results of lots of artistic talent.
Fear Station’s Freakshow of Fears
This haunted house preview featured a circus/freak show theme on the ScareLA show floor as a sneak peek into Fear Station’s larger attraction opening this October in Stanton, CA.
This walkthrough was visually appealing and had a few good startle scares. Not bad for a free experience at a convention.
Outside the Magic is a diversion from Inside the Magic, offering more pop culture coverage stretching beyond the boundaries of theme parks and family-friendly fun.
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