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Event Report: Fright Dome’s Lights Out Experience

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This writer has spent a lifetime doing Halloween mazes and would like to think that there’s nothing left that could possibly freak him out.

Oh, you popped out of the shadows and screamed? Good for you!

Look at you swinging that fully-gassed chainsaw. That’s nice.

I don’t want to sound like a cynic. I love this stuff. But once you’ve figured out all the tricks, you tend to just do these things to smile and admire the artistry. Most of these tactics are designed to only scare people like my mother. But me? I’m a hardcore haunt veteran. Not much quickens the heart rate these days.

So when I stepped into Fright Dome’s Lights Out (an original attraction, not to be confused with the film of the same name), I expected more of the same. Yet the wait time for this was longer than a traditional maze and when I got to the front, I could see why: They were only sending one person in at a time.

Stepping up to the entrance, I was beckoned inside into almost total darkness and handed a single flash-light. I clicked it and the light quickly cut out. I started clicking and banging on it again, before the doorman finally spoke up: “Oh, it’s working just the way it’s supposed to.” They might as well have handed me a ‘Fleshlight’ for all the good this did.

I started through the maze, aiming my strobing light at whatever I could make out. Sometimes it would cut off for long periods, leaving me to feel my way around in total darkness. I could make out very unsettling details as I went, the creepiest being a series of life-sized, stitched together creepy dolls…

Dolls that slowly began to move…. And for the first time in God knows how many years, I became legitimately freaked out.

The growing sense of isolation, darkness and terrifying imagery is enough to rattle the most jaded horror fan, and this maze breaks all the rules one would expect in a walkthrough. Without giving too much away, let’s just say that I didn’t even end the experience on my feet. What the makers of Fright Dome have accomplished with this one is nothing short of incredible.

Not only is Lights Out the real deal, it’s also worth the price of admission in and of itself, something you can rarely say when it comes to haunted attractions. But only those with upgraded Fast Pass tickets or on a VIP tour will be able to test their bravery in the darkness, so be sure to get your tickets now.

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