13th Floor Experience at Circus Circus
My last Vegas story ends on a happier note. Upon arrival in the city, I learned that Frightdome was happening at Circus Circus, where they turn their theme park into haunted mazes for the month of October.
Well, only on the weekends in the month of October, which proved to be a problem since we had the wedding on the Sunday, and the stag on the Friday, and well...no one was in any shape to do anything on the Saturday in between. Foiled again.
BUT it turned out Circus Circus also offered The 13th Floor Experience which takes place on the 13th floor of the hotel (and as you may know, it's not common for a hotel to have an actual 13th floor). $13 for a 13 minute tour of the haunted 13th floor. Sign me up.
We were greeted by a tiny undead bellman (much smaller and with more character than the tall ghoul in the picture) and taken up the elevator as he told us stories about our destination and how the past inhabitants of the 13th floor have once again taken up residence. I thought it was a nice touch that he told part of the story with his back to us as he leaned into the opposite corner.
I don't have any pictures to share, and instead of going into a full narrative, I'll tell you what these folks got right and why smaller is sometimes better. First, there wasn't a chainsaw in sight (or earshot). There were startles and scares, but no chasing.
Every time you came out from a room, you didn't know what would be waiting for you in the cramped hallway, lingering, slunk down in a corner or slowly making its way towards you. Slow, creepy, stealthy. Kudos for that. And of course there was a mad character who hungrily followed us and ran his straight razor along the wall. Subtle. Persistent. Well done.
And when you walked into a room, you didn't know where the live actor was amongst the static props. One room had a werewolf actor on top of a tall dresser that was behind the group after they entered the room (NO ONE saw him until he made noise). The most startling (and gruesomely funny) was the room with a HUGE grotesque 600 pound woman prop in a bed. It was explained she died in labour, and an actor popped out at us from between her legs. Again, nicely done. I like to be fooled, and I don't get fooled often.
But the best moment had to do with the maid. Each time you came out into the hall, the dead maid stood in the most awkward poses against the wall or draped over a room service cart. Always still, always watching. It was actually quite beautiful. So here I am at the back of the group (lagging behind a little just because I wanted to see more details in the decor before I left each spot). And because I was the last one in the group, I was privy to what I thought was the most subtle and effective "scare" of the whole tour.
I looked back down the hall. Everything was in silhouette. And just as I'm about to follow the group into a room, one of the more aggressive characters lunged at the always still maid, taking her to the floor in an attack, bringing her to life with a muffled scream. And the crazed man with the blade suddenly had a spring in his step as he hurried to them to join in on the fun.
I'm sure she was gently brought to the ground in reality, but with the lighting and the fact that I caught most of it in the corner of my eye, it looked like the character had lunged at her and literally brought her down in one movement, from one side of the hall to the other. It was the most believable thing I've ever seen in a haunt.
I actually said "Niiiiiiiiiiiiice" aloud to them as I reluctantly moved into the room.
I'll take that over some big moron with a chainsaw any day.