Event Report: Dalton Dale’s “THE UNINVITED: AN IMMERSIVE HAUNTED HOUSE”Books/Art/Culture,News Will Puntarich
Last week, this reporter had the pleasure of checking out THE UNINVITED: AN IMMERSIVE HAUNTED HOUSE, and what a trip that was! THE UNINVITED: AN IMMERSIVE HAUNTED HOUSE is set in a basement in Harlem, NY, created by Dalton Dale and his partner at Hoodwinked Escape Room. A huge attraction that blindsided New York’s haunt scene, I don’t think anyone saw THE UNINVITED coming, but lucky us that we can now check it out.
The premise behind the show is simple: you’re a visitor in purgatory, and there are three ghosts that are the main focal point of the story. It’s an open world immersive adventure that sends you between Hell and Heaven, and none of these ghouls belong anywhere near the pearly gates.
In THE UNINVITED, you’re allowed to explore different rooms, all decorated perfectly, with the venue used to the creator’s advantage wholly. Nothing is wasted, and random ghosts are also able to walk about the venue, following and interacting with you. A full-contact event, these performers are allowed to touch, grab and, if you were this reporter, they may even ask you to undress.
If you’re a fan of films like INSIDIOUS, you will feel right at home here. Beyond being able to explore rooms and meet different ghouls, there is a fully fogged-out hallway where you can’t see anything, not even feet ahead of you so. When jump scares are an opportunity, you better believe the actors take it.
I had been given the Skeleton Key, which grants the user the ability to stay longer in the show and have a one-on-one interaction with the actors. This is where it gets weird: by the end of the show, I was whisked away by a ghost and brought into a room where I was asked to strip down and get into a bathtub. I had no issue with that really; I am a team player and I give myself to the experience. So, I get nude and sit in bathtub filled with ice cold water when a ghost nurse starts to psycho-analyze me. After coming to conclusion that I should probably reach out to my father, she takes out a razor blade and “cuts my wrists.” This happened out of nowhere and was quite jarring, to say the least.
Of course, this wasn’t real, but the experience felt intense. Really, really intense; when I finally came to my senses and got dressed, I left the room to find that everyone else but the actors had left. I was alone and they surrounded me as something in the mist go closer. They were chanting something that I dare not say aloud. I noticed that whatever was in the distance has red glowing eyes and was 7 feet tall. That is when I did something I never do at a haunted attraction: run.
Being chased by ghosts and some unknown beast with red eyes, I ran until I reached the surface, where I run into Dalton Dale himself. This writer gives him a hug, and we discuss what the hell just happened. I’m unsure just exactly what would have happened if I came face to face with that red-eyed monster, but I know that this experience was one I’d never, ever forget.
My final thoughts on THE UNINVITED: AN IMMERSIVE HAUNTED HOUSE? Fantastic! Better than SLEEP NO MORE in many ways, and I wish this attraction would happen more off-season as well. Dale assured this writer that UNINVITED will continue and pop up across the country as well as Europe. Keep an eye out if this creative, enthralling experience comes to your neck of the woods.