The Soap Factory's Haunted Basement is generally regarded as the scariest haunt in the Twin Cities. Crafted by a motley crew of artists, performers and DIYers, the long-running event -- now in its seventh year -- has garnered enough of a following to legitimize a month-long run leading up to Halloween and sell-out crowds. This year's experience, helmed for a second year by showrunner Noah Bremer, opened last night, and for this Haunted Basement vet, it didn't disappoint. Without giving too much away, here's a guide to give you an idea of what to expect at this year's freak-out show.
- Dress appropriately. When the website says, "You will get messy, dress accordingly. Pro tip: Bring a change of clothes and footwear," they're not kidding. Wear pants, sneakers with laces, and easy-to-move-in clothing, as you may be lying down or kneeling at times. Free coat/bag check is available.
- The scares at this year's event are largely psychological. If your biggest fear is fear of the dark, this may (or may not) be for you.
- If you're uncomfortable with being touched by strangers, be forewarned. This year's show features a heavy amount of touching, some of it fairly forceful (but not harmful).
- Be prepared to be onscreen. Infrared video cameras that project footage of basement-goers into the Spooky Speakeasy.
- Speaking of the newly-established Spooky Speakeasy, you now have a chance to unwind with a cocktail, beer or glass of wine after being freaked out, courtesy of Johnny Michaels, Bittercute Bitters, Eat Street Social and the North Star Bartenders Guild. We loved the chai-infused vodka concoction called "The Pain Can Kill Her" made with sweet corn cream, apple cider, Eat Street Mahalo bitters and "anguish." Other cocktail menu items include "Howl," made with whiskey, spiced muscovado syrup, Bittercute Blackstrap bitters and "tears" served up, and "Filthy Dirty Good," a blend of brandy, Eat Street Blood & Orange Liquer, lime and Bittercute Bolivar Bitters served on the rocks.
- You will receive a black X on your hand before admittance to the Speakeasy, so you may have some problems going out to bars and clubs later.
The Haunted Basement runs through November 3. The Spooky Speakeasy is open weekends and Halloween night. Tickets are $25 to $27, available on the Soap Factory site.
Check out the teaser video below: