NEW YORK STEAMPUNK HAUNTED HOUSE: HALLOWEEN HORROR SHOW ART PERFORMANCE, HENRY STREET SETTLEMENT.
I wasn’t kidding when I said I celebrated Halloween for five days straight this year. On Day 1 (Oct 28), I was invited to check out the Steampunk Haunted House at Abrons Arts Center (Henry Street Settlement). A brilliant concept: building a fright-house with clockwork and gears.
“Hold onto me,” said my agent as we crept down a narrow, ominous hallway. BLAM: a ghoul in a gas mask ran after us, scraping a shovel against the wall so that sparks flew. In front of us: another gas-masked man in a vest and top hat, holding a lantern that went out — pitch black. Lights on, showing he had moved backward… Lights off, lights on and he was now standing behind us!
As we ran deeper into the steampunk haunted house, the scenes became less about screaming and more about the beautiful (though ominous) steampunk aesthetic. Two white ghosts, slightly cute, frantically swept their house and then tore off their sheets — they were giant spiders! A woman’s torso in a glass box, her body wrapped in white gauze and one eye covered with a brass device. A disembodied hand held out theater tickets; when we snatched them, an accordion player in brass goggles cranked a haunting tune while a Lolita-esque girl danced. Our favorite was the vintage theater: frozen Victorian mannequins and girls in toxic masks crawling barefoot over the seats; the stage illuminated a 1920s man on a clanging mad scientist bicycle while two undead ballerinas draped themselves over the stage. In the last nightmare, a red-haired woman sang and undulated her long, spindly metal legs. While we were distracted, a group of undead children crawled out from under a gate and surrounded us, closer, closer…
It wasn’t quite Halloween — but do I ever need an excuse to dress up? My scarred makeup is inspired by Sally, the heroine from Nightmare Before Christmas. (I was dying to see the movie in 3D but missed it by a day…). My sweater is Black Peace Now from Closet Child. The ridiculous silver and black witch’s hat is from the Philadelphia Kimmel Center gift shop. It was one of those things that I simply had to own. When you squeeze the bat that dangles from the tip, it emits spooky music! (Oooo-eeee-oooo-eee-oooo…)
Don’t forget to tell me your dream theme cafe to win an autographed Tokyo Theme Restaurants book. What do you think of the newly-released extended Alice in Wonderland trailer? I think I’m more excited for the Tim Burton retrospective at the New York MoMA, which opens November 22.
Song of the Day #234: Despair – Dance of The Murder (A Japanese underground goth/electro band heartily recommended by Kanae.)