.......... UPDATED - Review: The Uninvited: Awakening - FrightTour

UPDATED - Review: The Uninvited: Awakening   
Author FrightTour Friday 04 November 2016 - 17:40:00      

We have watched your traditional haunted house manifest into a more interactive and immersive experience offering more of a personal "extreme" rendition. The greater majority of haunted attractions are only scraping the surface of this new trend. While a few, are breaking down the walls between what is make believe and what is "real". The Uninvited: Awakening is an immersive, interactive and full-body experience taking place in the sub levels of the Graham Court building. Once served as the stables for the New York elite, the building is now home to New York City's biggest immersive experience covering 25,000 square feet! Not gathering much from the website and the minimal vague reviews available on line. Joe and I venture into the darkness blind not knowing what was in store for us that night! Read our multi-experience review of what happened once in the bowels of purgatory!

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - Typically Joe and I have no interest in these new immersive, interactive and extreme haunted houses but for some reason we couldn't control our interest in a brand new experience taking place in the stables of the old Graham Court building on 116 W Street in New York City. After contacting the event Joe and I were given two complimentary Skeleton Key tickets. Now these passes are currently $150 at the door and $125 online. Not really sure what this option entailed so I browsed the website and this is what I found:

Perfect for the true thrill seeker! Journey into the darkness with admission to The Uninvited: Awakening, a full contact haunted house experience AND receive a customized, one on one horror experience, lasting up to an additional 30 minutes of terror! You will be kidnapped during your experience, and taken deeper into the bowels of Purgatory where our restless spirits will have full control, as they attempt to possess your mortal body. Once inside, you have no control to when, how, or what will happen to you. Recommend only for the truly brave. Can you survive?

Ok, not so bad right? So in the car we got and on our way we went to 151 W 116th Street for our "personal" experience. I am not gonna lie or sugar coat anything, I think both of us were pretty anxious and nervous for this attraction. Mainly because we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. In the words of Dr. Frank-N-Furter we were shivering with anticipation.

As we arrived to the event we were greeted by a kind and welcoming man who gave us the run down on what we were about to experience. These were his exact words, "Tonights show is approximately two hours long. At some point you may or may not be stripped completely naked and submerged into a tub of water or covered in cockroaches and maggots." Without any delay my mouth hit the floor and I thought, "What the hell did I just get Joe and myself into!?" Joe excused himself momentarily to use the restroom giving me time to rethink this excursion in full. Remember Joe and I are not fans of these theatrical experiences that place you in extreme situations as mentioned above. However, after his potty break and some discussion we agreed we would go the full monty and experience it until the end! We were each given a blue glow necklace to wear around our necks and told to never take them off. The necklaces gave the actors inside a signal that Joe and I were part of the Skeleton Key experience. Out of the group of twenty that was waiting in line, Joe and myself were the ONLY ones with a blue glow necklace on. This made me EXTREMELY nervous and I began to shuffle from side to side while second guessing the entire thing.

It didn't matter whether or not I wanted to do it, because the line began to move and we were funneling in through a large steel door. We were now standing at the top of a decline into the basement of the building. A large wooden door separated us from the attraction behind it! After the rules had been read aloud, lightning and thunder filled the space as a white faced woman stood over us on a ledge. Unfortunately due to the large amount of people in the space along with the acoustics, we were unable to make out what she said. Personally this is the one thing that I did not like about the attraction, was the amount of people allowed in at one time. However, given tickets were sold by time there was no way to change the current situation. After a blast of fog, the door swung open and with some hesitation the entire group held back waiting for the first person to begin walking down. Many yelling at each other to begin walking and I just couldn't stand the fact that I was about to experience something so different from the rest of the pack but had to deal with immature tweens who needed to entertain themselves rather then allow the actors to do what they're paid to do. However, keeping an open mind and not letting it ruin my night we made our way down the long decline into the sub-levels of the Graham Court building.

As we made our descent into the space our eyes had to adjust to the blue fog filling the air. It became very hard to see where we were going, so naturally our forward movement became more of a shuffle at best. As we rounded the corner, we realized we were in a completely different beast then most attractions. The Uninvited: Awakening gave us free reign to walk the 25,000 square foot attraction as we saw fit. Giving us complete control over our exploration, so we thought! As the space broadened we began seeing the shadows and silhouettes of actors moving in and out of the fog all around us. Taunting us then moving in like a hawk, the actors began their assault. Screams filled the air and the atmosphere changed drastically. Because it was an open space and we were surrounded by fog with no definite way of where to go, it made us completely vulnerable. This is something I personally have never experienced before and I was in love with it!

So without any delay Joe and I began moving around the space, allowing the actors to invade us. Within the first five minutes I had been sniffed, hugged and grabbed at the ankles. It wasn't until we had reached our first corner that the attraction reared its ugly head. Both of us were escorted by a girl who grabbed us by the back of our necks and led us into a large series of hallways lined with stables. Joe's hand slipped from mine and he was now walking in a completely different direction with an actor while I was being shoved into a small room with the girl who had grabbed us in the first place. She told me to sit, so I did as she shut the door. She began rambling, asking my name where I was from, and why I was down in purgatory. Then with a surprised tone in her voice she stated I looked like him and of course I couldn't help but play along so I asked who she was talking about. This woman thought I looked like John and she immediately began calling me a liar while pointing her finger in my face as I told her that I had no idea what she was talking about. She then grabbed something and my nostrils were filled with a foul smell. She moved closer and told me she didn't like liars and smeared what looked like a dirty diaper all over my mouth and face. Immediately I thought, "What the hell did she just put on me?" Of course after my initial reaction ran its course I knew that it was most likely makeup of some sort and by that time it was too late to ask her because I was shoved back out into the fog and now on my own!

At first I fought the idea of being on my own and contemplated waiting for Joe but figured this is what makes the attraction unique, so off I went into the blue fog on my own. Now that I was solo and viewable by the spirits moving in out of view all around me my senses were on edge and any small movements or sounds gave me the creeps. I was grabbed by a tall man and escorted down a long hallway where he let me go. It was cool to see the actors actually taking the time to take you to other ends of the attraction so you could experience everything. However, if you remained still and in one general area I could see where the attraction could fall short. The entire point was to mimic the spirits lurking around you, you don't question why you're down there, you just walk aimlessly taking in each scene trying to find the three Lillian characters. Unfortunately I could not grasp the entire storyline, because I was trying very hard to retain everything I saw and experienced.

Somehow Joe and I made contact again and began wandering the halls together. We witnessed a seance around a circular ouija board where we summoned the spirits who would then choose one person. Shocked out of my mind a woman right next to me began to convulse and scream, I thought she was one of us, in fact she walked into the room with Joe and I. We were told to hold her down while the spirits took her, it was an awesome moment. After being told to leave we were then grabbed and brought to a large opening where the three Lillians stood waiting for us with a man in a hood. By now the entire group had joined us in this room. We watched a sacrifice and just like that the group began to disperse.

As we made our way to the exit Joe and I were grabbed and separated not only from each other but from the group as well. I thought, "This is it! This is where I will be kidnapped!" Unfortunately there was no kidnapping, it was more of a grab your hand lead you to a room type scenario... I wanted to be grabbed from the back, mouth covered and dragged to a room. Or even hooded!

The Uninvited: Awakening does not disappoint! Not really knowing what you're getting yourself into the attraction is a unique and twisted experience with a concept so easy that it is so perfect! The open space, dense fog and talented actors inside make the attraction one of the most interesting and entertaining experiences either of us have ever had. It didn't take much or long for us to get creeped out. It didn't need gore, high energy in your face scares, or expensive animatronic props to deliver what it was intended to. This attraction was unlike any other attraction we have ever experienced! Completely open and unwritten with a choose your own adventure theme. You were in control of everything that happened... until an actor had you in his or her grasp. I highly recommend attending this theatrical, immersive and interactive attraction. If you cannot afford the Skeleton Key upgrade the regular general admission ticket is still worth it. If you are looking for people to pop out and startle you, this is not the attraction for you. It is a different breed all on its own! By far the best haunted attraction we have ever experienced in New York City!

*Remember an updated version of this article will be posted along with a detailed experience from both of us regarding what happened once we were "kidnapped". If you would like to ensure you are able to read this update when it is released, please register for our mailing list here.

DATE OF VISIT: October 21, 2016


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