* (Halloween countdown post #4)
Karaka, New Zealand
‘Have you ever had the feeling that you are being watched? The feeling of being in danger? Your heart starts pounding… a cold and clammy sweat builds and your hair stands on ends. Your surroundings are unfamiliar and you feel lost. You can hear screams in the distance and it is clear that you are definitely in danger. Your heart pounds. Your breaths are short and fast. Your gut sinks. The feeling of fear has set in… Welcome to Spookers Haunted Restaurant, New Zealand’s only scary restaurant attraction. And now… NEW FOR 2-14 … Spotters is PITCH BLACK! 50 Spookers spooks will be dressed up and waiting for the you in total pitch black darkness as you make your way into the Haunted Restaurant with only the light of one glow stick per group! What will you eat? You will NEVER KNOW!!!!’ — Spookers
The Haunted House Restaurant
‘You first enter into a waiting room that has been (lightly) themed to the box office of a movie theater. The host — or “badwill ambassador,” as he’s officially called — is seated behind a ticket-booth window nearby. The smell of popcorn immediately greets you, and there are boxed candies for sale, just to seal the immersive deal. Such theatrical presentations carry over into our two favorite elements of the new restaurant. Costumed characters prowl the premises, stalking guests and posing for pictures with them in equal measure — even sometimes walking to the outside of the building and looking in at patrons through the windows as they eat. And then there’s the Purge birthday experience, which deploys roughly five mask-wearing employees to your table as the legendary sirens sound. Given all this, it’s no wonder that The Haunted House Restaurant’s popularity has been shooting through the roof since even before its July opening — visitors have come from as far as Utah to dine, and reservations have been booked up through Halloween.’ — Attractions Magazine
St. Lucia Hattem, Belgium
‘This Belgium restaurant had a theme meant to creep people out and was abandoned in 2008. T’Spookhuys Restaurant/Bar is also known as House of 1,000 Ghosts and an occult bar. This bizarrely spooky restaurant had a menu to make you shiver as well as a mummy’s lounge. It had served “mud pie” to be eaten out of a skull, featured rattling chandeliers, smoke pumped down from the ceiling and moving paintings. Entertainment had performances from transvestite Draculas and cameos with illusionists and devil-worshiping dancers. People dined in hell and had drinks at the occult bar. It’s rumored that there were satanic rituals held upstairs, leaving angry spirits to roam the premises. This is Spookhuis in Belgium, rarely photographed as there are few urban explorers who are brave enough to enter the haunted restaurant.’ — Trigger Pit
‘Who knew that the underworld was just a short walk from Kichijoji Station? Yurei is located in a quiet alley behind the Marui department store, close to Don Quijote. The rest of the alley may not stand out much, but you’ll definitely spot this spooky bar by its morbid decor and the eerie chant emanating from the place. Go down the stairs, and—is that a chainsaw you hear?—in you go! You’ll then be greeted by waitresses dressed as Japanese ghosts (plain white kimonos with the right side over the left, and triangular white headbands), who are strangely perky and cutesy for ghosts. Now, you have a maximum of two hours to spend in the underworld; otherwise, you can never leave—or so they say (read: as fun as Yurei is, you can only spend two hours there).
‘It should then be quite evident that Yurei is more spooky fun than just plain spooky. Its name should already be pretty telling. “Yurei” is the Japanese word for “ghost,” but instead of using the actual kanji for that term, Yurei uses similar-sounding kanji that mean “play” and “beautiful.” Also, while its name will make you think that it just pays tribute to Japanese ghosts and yokai (creatures from myths and folklore), it isn’t limited to that, as there’s a mish-mash of creepy elements all over the place. It isn’t just ghostly waitresses that greet you; as you are seated, a giant spider will come down from the ceiling to serve as your creepy-crawly new friend for the night. To call the waitresses, you’re supposed to strike a Buddhist prayer bowl and hold up a bloody, severed hand. You’ll also notice that there’s a coffin in the premises; what could be in there? And not even the bathroom is safe, as you might feel watched in there because…’ — Tokyo Cheapo
Monsterland Bar & Grill
‘Monsterland was originally conceived of as a horror museum and not a restaurant. The restaurant/museum’s owner, Kevin Wynn, first opened the two-story, 15,000-square-foot space to the public as a haunted attraction last Halloween. Following the Halloween season, the plan was to reopen Monsterland as the area’s first year-round horror attraction and museum. However, after considering the venture’s potential, Wynn did not believe a horror museum could make it on its own. Instead of abandoning the idea altogether, he decided to transform the space into a one-of-a-kind themed restaurant.
‘Guests at Monsterland are actually dining in a professional-quality haunted house. The sets throughout the dining area and downstairs haunted house attraction were designed by Wynn’s daughter and boyfriend, who he has admitted to Fox Phoenix are really the ones that are “into this stuff.” For Wynn’s daughter and her boyfriend, terrifying creations are not just a hobby. The sets are Hollywood caliber and the figures frighteningly realistic.
‘The dining area is home to over 50 animatronic figures and props, guaranteeing that everyone in the restaurant will be getting a first-rate show; that is, if you don’t mind being stared down by grimacing werewolves, blood-thirsty vampires, and disemboweled zombies while you dine on Batwings or a Bleeding Heart steak. Naturally, this isn’t going to be everyone’s ideal dining environment and Wynn is the first to admit it: “Even if you’re not into it though, you’ve got a lot of eye candy here to look at. It’s not going to scare you out of your mind.”
‘On the other hand, the 8,000-squre-foot haunted house downstairs may do just that. It is closed off to the public for now, but come the haunting season, the doors will be thrown open. If getting spooked is not your thing, or you are afraid of losing your meal, there are TV monitors set up in the bar and restaurant on which you can watch other guests screaming and jumping in the haunted house.’ — Entertainment Designer
Stabbed Lovers Haunted Restaurant
Mesilla, New Mexico
‘The spirits of two tragic teenage lovers complement the menu in this restaurant in Old Mesilla. They were stabbed to death with sewing shears, and reportedly like to sit in the chairs. Once a night customers are “treated” to the unearthly sight of a petite transparent young woman, dressed in a maid`s black and white uniform of the 1840s, moving about from room to room. The restaurant’s owner, C.W. “Buddy” Ritter, swears the sightings are real and are not an illusion perpetrated by the restaurant. The bravest diners are invited to eat in the “death room”, as it’s called, although they have to sign a waiver agreeing that the restaurant bears no responsibility for what happens. According to Ritter’s estimate, 50% of the customers who eat in the “death room” flee screaming from the premises before their meals are finished.’ — collaged
Calhoun County, Michigan
‘The owner of the Homer Mill wanted to be back in business by this Halloween, his attorney said Tuesday. The historic mill, owned in part by Lance Cuffle, burned to the ground on May 15. “His plan all along has been to rebuild,” said Kenneth Hotchkiss, attorney for Lance Cuffle. “He wanted to get a structure up, especially by this time of year.”
‘The haunted house and restaurant would typically open on weekends in mid-September and stay in operation through Halloween. Cuffle also owns and operates Jackson’s Underworld, a haunted house inside what was Shaw’s Furniture Galleries on Wildwood Avenue, northeast of Westwood Mall. Jackson’s Underworld is open on Fridays and Saturdays in September and Thursdays through Sundays in October.
‘Cuffle would not comment recently. In May he said he was “looking into seeing what we can rebuild.” Hotchkiss said the haunted house, bar and restaurant did well, calling it his client’s “golden goose.” “It does not make any sense for him to have set it,” Hotchkiss said, referring to the early morning fire.
‘According to police reports, Cuffle was inside the mill when the fire started and called 911. Cuffle told to Hotchkiss he was upset the Homer Fire Department and other responding departments did not do more to save the mill, his attorney said. Firefighters instead focused on protecting neighboring homes, Hotchkiss said.’ — mlive.com
‘The Frankenstand is a haunted hot dog stand in Los Angeles, CA. serving 100% vegan hot dogs. It was a dark and stormy night when the creator, Ray, was hit by a bolt of lightning and The Frankestand was born. He has been running this crumb castle since 2005 and continues to enjoy serving his frighteningly delicious wares and scares throughout the L.A. community.’ — Roaming Hunger
The Crypt Café
New York City
‘Times Scare, a new New York City gore extravaganza, was, for its brief two year lifespan, aimed at attracting much more than just the zombie apocalypse obsessed set. The venue featured a restaurant called The Crypt Café — entrees included the “Bloody Good Tomato Soup” and “Graveyard Nachos” — and operated a haunted house in which the cafe is the entrance. It was an icy cafe with clinical white seats and a frosty bar that featured a display of frightening surgical instruments. There were also nightly performances by a creepy magician whose act involved “using razor blades, buzz saws, broken glass, blunt objects, blood, mutilated babies … and candy to create a whimsically entertaining non-stop roller coaster ride of pure mayhem.”’ — Digital Dying
Alcatraz E.R. – Medical Prison Restaurant
‘Alcatraz E.R. was one of the pioneers of theme restaurants kick-starting the trend over a decade ago by capitalizing on people’s fascination with hospital food. The setting is a “medical prison” and you are the patient. The waitresses are dressed nurses, and their first order is tohandcuff you, pretend to inject a giant needle into your rear, and then lock you in a cell. There, you can order such dishes as Dead Chicken (in which two chicken feet are clasped together in peaceful repose), Penis Sausage (in which a sausage is carved to resemble a severed penis) and Intestine. There are also plenty of strange cocktail concoctions served in syringes, mannequin heads and test tubes.’ — Twisted Sister
The Haunted House Restaurant
‘Marian Thibault’s query is a trademark at the Haunted House Restaurant, where she said she’s worked as hostess, cocktail waitress, bartender and/or Girl Friday from 6 p.m. to close most Monday through Saturday evenings for 48 years. For the past 18 years — since the death of her husband Arthur Thibault — she’s also served as sole proprietor.
‘”I’ve never been scared,” says Thibault, “never felt vibrations and, even so, am not afraid of dead people. But there are some customers, especially women, who won’t go upstairs by themselves. Years ago, there was a psychics convention in town and about a dozen came for dinner. They said they saw an old woman in the big room upstairs, sitting by the window and crying. Art bought the former private home, which was built in 1935, in a sheriff’s sale, following the deaths of the three previous residents. Martin Carriker, a 74-year-old automobile dealer, allegedly was shot in the head by his stepdaughter and two handymen here. Before his stepdaughter was tried for the murder, her mother died and then she, after her acquittal, died here of an apparent drug overdose.”‘ — NewsOK
Haunted Multi Cuisine Restaurant
‘The curiosity and attraction towards theme restaurants haven’t died even after many marching their way into Chennai. But one couldn’t get spookier, yeah spooky as hell passing chills to your senses, ringing threats to your ears and accompanies you with fear and food. They have brought out the images and things from some of the scariest movies, though I wanted to visit the restaurant it was my fear towards the unknown kept me away from the place.’ — Creatikaa
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
‘Entrance to the bar and restaurant is down a narrow staircase from the street into a cavernous stone cellar that is actually a 500 year old cave. If you look up as you enter, you’ll see the first of the many ghouls who will be your drinking partners for the next few hours. The bar itself is at the far end of this cavern, but take a seat at one of the benches along the right and a witch or zombie will be along to take your order as promptly as can be expected from the undead.
‘Horror bar offers a little bit of halloween all year round; with blood red drinks (vodka and cranberry juice?) served in test-tubes, plenty of human bones lying around and a scary-as-hell bar manager who is actually quite nice if you’re not too scared to get to know her. Tunnels lead off to back rooms and up to the toilets, and it’s just mazelike enough to be interesting.’ — outsideprague.com
‘LHOTEL54 is a one-of-a-kind place. Located in Sabrevois, in the Montérégie region of Quebec, Canada, the restaurant can welcome 170 people and features dinner shows where scares await. If you are feeling brave enough, you can tour the restaurant’s thematic hallways haunted by welcoming zombies. LHOTEL54 is the largest haunted house restaurant in Canada with a menu of frightening items, breathtaking décors and 18 rooms to tour. It is also possible to rent the restaurant for 100 or more people for weddings, private evenings or other events. Don’t miss the Festival du fantastique et de l’horreur. LHOTEL54 is a must-see, one-of-a-kind experience!’ — collaged
Jekyll & Hyde Club
New York City
‘D.R. Finley is the proprietor and creator of this unique entertainment and culinary experience. He opened the first Jekyll and Hyde at 91 7th avenue in 1991. With the success of this pub as well as The Slaughtered Lamb, and Night Gallery, D.R. made the move uptown. In 1995, just four years later, the Jekyll and Hyde Club opened on the Avenue of the Americas. Every detail in the club is carefully planned. Only the highest quality props, animatronics and scenic elements have been chosen. New animatronics from Life Formations have been installed on the various floors.
‘The careful design makes it so that no matter where you sit in the restaurant you can experience at least three events close by. Other shows including the main show on the grand salon level can be seen via monitors placed appropriately around the seating areas. The idea here is that ” Its always fun and always different”. Walt Disney once told his team working on the Haunted Mansion that he wanted so much for the audience to look at that they would have to come back again and again to see it all. That is true here at Jekyll and Hyde’s. The walls are filled with interesting artifacts, heads, antiques, and science gone wrong. It would take you at least four visits to see each of the floors!
One of my favorite shows is in the attic. It is a little doll that stands quietly in her display box. Delilah is her name. Suddenly the box opens and slides off and she starts to speak. I love you. I love you she says… suddenly she begins to speak and tells us about her uncle needles. He is the psychotic clown in the cage on the other side of the room. She tells us she would like us to meet her friend Mr. Pointy. Suddenly her head spins and her hands raise and turn into claws as a rendition of the Psycho music blares at us. Then as suddenly as she turns evil, she turns back to the delightful little doll again. Very well done. There are other new animations on the attic level including a creature in a crate that sounds like golem. He wants out of his captivity but changes his mind when he sees what’s… I mean who’s for lunch.’ — hauntworld.com
La Maison Hantée
‘La Maison Hantée was an Icon in Montreal. For years locals and tourists crowded the premises for a spooky theatrical experience. Guests were greeted by spirits who escorted them to their tables through a spooky maze of unpredictability. Ghosts waited on tables and served food cooked by more ghosts in the kitchen. Once the presentation was over, guests had the chance to relax with an after dinner drink as they enjoyed a Tarot reading. Once a month a lunch hour show was presented for a younger audience.
‘The Haunted House Restaurant has been closed for over three years. The building was rated as unsafe and forced a permanent closure of the establishment. The building was originally erected in the 19th century as a fur trade counter for the Hudson Bay Company. It later served for commercial boutiques and was even used as a residential property prior to the opening of the Theatrical-Restaurant. If rumors hold true, the property has since been sold and an eighteen story tower building is slated for construction in this very same site.’ — Steve Troletti
‘Leave the cheery, brightly lit city behind and slowly make your way down an abandoned alleyway. Seek out the tiny flight of stairs leading down into the earth. Look carefully, you might miss them! Haul open the rusted door to a pitch black hallway. If you hear screams of terror and pain, you’re in the right place. This is a dungeon-themed cafe called The Lockup, a highly popular horror-themed restaurant, where dining becomes frightening. Dining here will result in being put away in a cell, where you get to mix your own drinks with test tubes and beakers. Monsters of all kinds can run by, and some will even rattle your cage! If you’re one of the lucky few, they’ll chase you around your cage! Horror fans are in for the fright of their life, all for the low cost of dinner.’ — Get Value
Haunted House Seafood Restaurant
‘We went to check out Haunted House seafood today. Must say was kinda a strange experience. The decor is misleading a bit. The only thing scary at Haunted House Restaurant is the food. They used to be Chinese/Japanese food now it’s seafood boils/ Hibachi. The flooring is beat and old and dirty looking. They should have spent money on new floor over cob webs and iron bars with handcuffs. The place is filthy. So filthy you would never want anything from there. The potatoes taste very, very weird, almost like the smell of mold. And it really doesn’t live up to its name haunted house.’ — Gretna Guilder
p.s. Hey. ** Dominik, Hi!!! I have a lead on the supposed best cookie place in Paris, and I’m angling for that. ‘Gypsy 83’, no. I’ve never heard of it. I just looked it up, and the poster is alluring. And Karen Black is in it! Have you seen it? Should I pounce on it? The idea that someone would steal the Mother Theresa–shaped cinnamon bun was especially horrifying for some reason. Like … to eat? I’m glad it was love. I trust love, obviously. Love hosting a publication party for the new SCAB at Alcatraz E.R. – Medical Prison Restaurant including first class round trip tickets and reserved prison cells for all attendees, G. ** Charalampos, I found you. Yeah, the zine’s amazing. Lucky me. And, well, lucky you. My fave Burroughs book is ‘The Wild Boys’. I like the title <> quite obviously. No big deal on placing the comment under Dominik. Everyone, Here’s ‘Ode to altered youth’ by Charalampos Tzanakis. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi. Thanks. Ha ha, wow, I just spent a good 30 seconds looking for the Queen in that cloud, and, I’m sorry, zip. The Daily Mail gets the big scoop yet again. ** Bill, Hi. Yes, Parc Asterix, fun galore plus the worst mozzarella sticks on the face of the earth. It’s amazing what the French can’t do right. And now it’s October. September seemed like a really scrunched month. Maybe it was just me. ** 2Moody, Yay, snagged by the post. Self-back pat. There’s a crack in the wall of my bathroom that looks exactly like the black line denoting the Mississippi River on maps of the USA. Not interesting, but odd. The lecture’s in later November. No, I have no idea what I’m going to do, and I hope the venue’s host doesn’t read my blog. I think they want some kind of brainy, knowledgeable kind of talk, and I’m not good at those. Visuals accompaniment, yeah, probably for sure. Maybe music? Fucking hell, I don’t know. Do plead my case, thank you, Do your best. No expectations though. I promise. I have a friend who’s going to HHN this weekend, and I will text them and specifically request they sniff the mazes and tell me what if anything they smell. So I’l let you know. Etat Libre D’Orange, yes, that’s it. If you ever come to Paris you can test smell a squirt every one of their products. Not sure about Serge Lutens on that front. Their shop is a little snooty, as you can imagine. The amusement park filled the bill I was asking of it. No goosebumps, but it was kind of toasty out that day. I did get just a tiny bit nauseous on one of the coasters, but it was worth it. This not being the US with all your liability stuff, the monsters in the park’s mazes grab you and manhandle you a little, which was refreshing. Week okay thus far? ** Corey Heiferman, Hi. Cool, yeah, got it. I had a softcore deja vu the other day and realised I almost never ever have them anymore. I don’t want to think about why that is. Cabalistic, thank you! Your real club night conclusion is more like the films I make than my fiction. I’ve come to like non-conclusive petering out drifts. I found yours plenty satisfying. ** politekid, Hi, O! Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that, pal. Yes, I remember you writing about her and your care for her. Man, I hope you’re getting through things okay. I don’t know what I could possibly do, but I would. Hugs and love from me and over here. ** Mark, Hi, Mark. I am familiar with that Noguchi. It’s really one of the best things ever. I don’t even know why. Let me share it. Everyone, Here’s Mark apropos of yesterday: ‘Perhaps you are familiar with Noguchi’s proposed, ‘Sculpture To Be Seen From Mars,’ from 1947. Basically, he proposed creating this sculpture on a post-apocalyptic Earth so that any surviving humans would have something to remind them of the good ol’ days on Earth. The nose was supposed to be one mile long…’ Thanks a lot! ** Okay. Halloween continues here on the blog in the form of a post to help out those of you who are both hungry and in the spirit. See you tomorrow.