R-Rated Halloween Haunted Houses Freak People Out

ashlee 6By Ashlee Godwin

Haunted houses have evolved from homemade versions with coffins, ghosts, spider webs and jack-o-lanterns to gruesome frightening live theater experiences.

The Freakling Bros., creator of some of the best haunted-house attractions in the Valley, premiered in 1992. By 2000 the company had three separate haunted houses raising the stakes in 2011 with a new hands-on thriller.

Gates of Hell is the only R-rated haunted house in the State of Nevada, according to Freakling’s website. The Gates of Hell requires participants to be at least 18 years old as they must sign waivers before entering. This is because people can be touched by the actors and may feel some pain.

James Milner, a security officer for Freakling Bros. Trilogy of Terror, said, “People go into the Gates of Hell thinking ‘Oh, I won’t get shocked or I won’t get tazed’ because they don’t read the waiver. If they read the waiver, it tells them they get shocked.”

For people that can’t handle the minor touching in The Gates of Hell, they won’t want to stay after midnight to see it transform into The Victim Experience II: Gates of Hell Uncensored.

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The Victim Experience II brings people into a real-life horror movie. It relies on primal fears and the art of theatrical illusion to scare people deeply. Screaming, cursing, touching and ripping clothing may be part of the experience. The performers rely on various forms of psychological, emotional and sensory affliction to freak people out.

“Everything that happens is explicitly stated in the waiver and everything in there is safe for human consumption,” said J.T. Mollner, creator of The Gates of Hell. “There’s nothing we have in there, even if it seems unpleasant, that’s unsafe.”

“I would be worried about the potential for a lawsuit if someone felt they were touched inappropriately,” said Christian Wloszczyna, a CSN student. “Even though there is a signed waiver, I would imagine that a lawyer could find a way around it if a person decided that they way they were touched or treated was beyond what they deemed appropriate or expected.”

Everybody is told a safe word before they enter the house. The safe word is used to get people out who don’t want to be in there anymore. People are not being forced to stay in the house; it is all by choice.

“You say the safe word ‘Purgatory’ and we have staff and crew that immediately pulls people out,” Milner said. “When people get harassed you’ll hear ‘Purgatory’ every once in a while but other than that it’s pretty tame. They keep a tight ship here.”

There are a few other houses like The Victim Experience II around the United States. All of them have the same requirements and have waivers to prevent lawsuits.

“I would not be a part of this type of activity but I realize and understand that there are people who do like this kind of stuff,” said Susan Sancrant, CSN student. “There should not be any repercussion against the company from those that decided to take part of it.”

This kind of entertainment is definitely not everybody’s cup of tea. Even Mollner knows that his creation isn’t for everyone.

“It’s very specific to what people are looking for as well as the other four or five touching extreme haunts that are in the entire country,” Mollner said. “So a lot of the people that like them will fly around the country and go to all of them.”

The Trilogy of Terror being promoted this Halloween season includes Gates of Hell, in addition to other experiences Circus of Horrors and Castle Vampyre.

Other options include The Fright Dome, which is equivalent to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios in Los Angeles and Orlando, Fla. The Asylum and Hotel Fear are haunted houses that are separate from the amusement park scene.

For more information on The Freakling Bros. go to http://freaklingbros.com/.

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