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'Nightmare: Fairytales' Not a Princess Tale

Nightmare-FairytalesSnow White sears the flesh from the soles of her Stepmother's feet. Hansel and Gretel turn the wicked witch from the gingerbread house on a spit. Don't forget Little Red Riding Hood and her "pet wolf." Or even Rumplestilskin trying to barter off your firstborn.

"Nightmare: Fairytales,” just named AOL's most horrifying haunted house for the eighth year in a row, has a double venue. On the outside it’s retro. Orange and white lights blink over the top of the bar to the left while on the right still shots of 'Jekyll and Hyde' flicker across a flat screen. Just beyond this lies the doorway to fear – a different setting entirely. It's where nightmares turn to reality with a catalyst of the most unlikely horror villains imaginable.

"The original purpose for fairy tales was to scare children straight, so they wouldn't do anything dangerous, bad or amoral," “Nightmare” creator Timothy Haskell said.  "We are going to teach those same lessons to our audiences."

Shrek and Fiona these villains are not. Creatures from minds like those of the Brothers Grimm dwell here.

"The narratives of the Fairy Tales chosen lend themselves to Nightmare's unique theatricality, while giving opportunities for fantastical scenarios and set pieces," Haskell said.

Co-director, John Harlacher, began to work with Haskell six long years ago.

"I'm in the unions and have a BFA," he said when asked whether or not he was a performer. "I was last seen in a play called NEXT! at the HERE art center. It was about a bunch of WWII solders on line to have sex with a hooker."

According to Harlacher, "Nightmare" has the same people back each year, and they are all professional performers. They also audition each year, as the needs change depending on the theme.

"This year, for example, we needed serious puppeteers and animal handlers, so we put the word out via actor's access and breakdowns," he said.

Aside from fairytales being both chilling and visually odd, the performers teamed up with Professors from John Hopkins University in order to set up a new feature this year – "The Experement."

"I personally despise being dehumanized and processed, like going to jail, and we put those ideas into The Experement," he said. "We wondered if we could do something sick to an audience watching something."

They certainly had a good vibe going. "The Experement" was pretty gross.

"Nightmare: Fairytales" will be open until Nov. 5 in order to include the celebration of the Day of the Dead. Tickets are $30-$35.  For more info, visit www.hauntedhousenyc.com.

– Madasyn Czebiniak
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it seems like aol is biased because this attraction SUCKED this year and has 2 other competitors not getting any credit in the city although they are ALL OVER the press with rave reviews. seriously? somethings wrong here

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