‘Evil Dead: 40 Years of Fear’: The Mystic Museum Unleashes An Evil Force In This Immersive Horror Experience

Evil Dead

Love all things Evil Dead?

Well, grab your boomstick and chainsaw because we’ve got some groovy news for you!

The Mystic Museum has collaborated with Sam Raimi and Renaissance Pictures LTD to commemorate the 40th anniversary of The Evil Dead. Released on October 15, 1981, the film is known for its gore, practical effects, shaky-cam technique, deceiving deadites and, of course, adored anti-hero Ash Williams.  

Evil Dead

How ‘The Evil Dead: An Immersive Experience’ Got Its Start

Store owners Erick Wessel and Kiko Bailey joined forces with Ghost House Pictures’ Jose Cañas in 2019 to awaken the evil forces with “The Evil Dead: An Immersive Experience.” Now, they’re back with an event that’s bigger, better and bloodier than ever! 

The experience includes a prop exhibit, art show, interactive horror elements and photo ops. Sponsors include Shudder, Fangoria, Evil Dead: The Game and Camp Horror. In the words of Ash, “Yeah, truly amazing.”

As you enter the exhibit, you immediately get a feel for what it was like to watch — and even be in — the beloved splatter film that started it all and brought us Evil Dead II, Army of Darkness, Evil Dead, Ash vs Evil Dead, as well as other forms of entertainment, like video games and comics based on the franchise. 

“We wanted to make it feel like you’re transported back to 1981 when the first film came out, and you’re going to go watch this new movie for the first time. No one’s really heard of it, but what is this thing? The evil that’s in the movie just can’t be contained. So you’re kind of sucked into the world of itself — or maybe it’s burst out,” Cañas tells Dread Central. “There’s something that’s just so exciting about the franchise — it’s so visceral. We wanted to bring you into the theater and then bring you into the actual world of the woods themselves.”

Evil Dead

The team’s initial run of the exhibit ran from September to December 2019. It had original props on display for the first time ever. The idea was sparked by Cañas, who works with director Sam Raimi and his producing partner, Robert Tapert, at Ghost House Pictures.

“One day, I came across a wealth of props that hadn’t been seen in about 20 years — by anyone. They were just in a storage unit. At the time, no one really knew what to do with them. I kind of did because the horror fan inside of me was like, ‘This is like Christmas Day,’ being such a fan of the franchise. I knew that other people would have that same reaction,” he says. “Knowing the folks over at the Mystic Museum, Erick and Kiko, I just knew that other people wanted to see it. That’s kind of where the idea came from — putting a collection of props together from either Sam, Rob or private collectors and putting it out there for everyone to see.”

They’re Back, Baby

As one might expect, there was an outpouring of praise and support for the exhibit from horror fans everywhere. Thus, the idea of a second run at the exhibit had always been in the back of everyone’s minds, Wessel said.

“We always knew we wanted to expand on the original idea because there was so much limited space last time, and they’ve since grown as a store and as a company,” Cañas says. “There’s just been more opportunities to expand on our original idea to create this immersive exhibit.”

The “Evil Dead: 40 Years of Fear” exhibit has everything. It has authentic, screen-used props and replicas like the Necronomicon prototype; a boomstick replica signed by The Evil Dead cast; the original The Evil Dead script; behind-the-scenes photos and so much more!

Evil Dead

What to Expect from ‘The Evil Dead: An Immersive Experience’

“It’s so exciting to be face-to-face with these props. There are some details that you don’t originally see in the movie,” Cañas says. “For example, if you look really closely at some of those Necronomicons, there’s hand-stitched hair on some of the skin just for added realism. Just the way that the paint is chipped on some of the chainsaws — there’s a history there. There’s such craftsman-like attention to detail there that’s just so special.”

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to read the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis aloud? Take a ride in the Delta? Or travel back in time to 1300 A.D.?

Now, you can! Well, kind of. The exhibition has photo ops for just about every Evil Dead-related occasion (including chainsawing off your demonic hand).

In addition to the general experience, you can upgrade how interactive you’d like your visit to be. You can play a hidden numbers puzzle to unlock the door to the cabin and/or use an Evil Dead: The Game key fob to activate even more atmospheric spooks. 

As you look around, you’ll find one-of-a-kind artwork ranging from paintings, drawings and digital art to action figures, sculptures and mixed media pieces. 

Evil Dead

“We have a lot of our core artists that we always reach out to. But this time around, we really wanted to expand and give new opportunities to new artists in the community,” Bailey says.

Featured artists include: Atiana De La Hoya, Brian Reedy, Codey Doran, Colton Tran, Electric Zombie, Garrett Wareing, Hagcult, Jaylen Tate, Jon Fuller, Jordan Monsell, Josh Ludemann, Kara Walker, Mark Chavez, Robert Heckman, Ryan Ward, Samhain1992, Scrimshaw Designs, Syliva Leung, The Creep and Trashbag Ghost. 

The combination of props, photo ops, artwork and interactive elements makes this exhibit a must-visit for every die-hard Evil Dead fan! 

Are you ready for the ultimate experience of grueling terror? 

The Evil Dead 40 Years of Fear: An Immersive Horror Experience will run until January 2022. Tickets are $15 at the door. Exclusive licensed Evil Dead merchandise can be purchased in-store and online here.

Can’t make it to the exhibit in the flesh? Check out our photo gallery below!



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