Great American Nightmare's

Great American Nightmare | Blackout: Elements | Scary Rock Sunday

I accepted an invitation to attend opening night at Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare. 
It was one fun wild ride and here is why:

Greeted by the great Christopher of Sinful Celluloid upon my arrival, walked down the red carpet, and gazed upon creatures like these roaming the Bloody Boulevard. 

Collectively waiting outside in the dark for the mazes to open to the public – my eyes brighten up and I start to smile, quickly realizing that all three of these mazes are built INSIDE. No waiting in the cold for me, which scored serious points for me. 
Check out my Vine videos and photos to further explain my whole Nightmare experience . 


1.) Visit the three mazes collectively as many times as you’d like in one night.

3.) Be ready to walk through complete darkness while THIS SONG is blasting on repeat and to possibly get separated from your group in the The Lords of Salem maze – I walked out of there thinking, “So, this is what hell is like?”. I also held Crazy Craig’s hand throughout this maze - who was a complete stranger at the time. However, it inspired him to talk about me on his Podcast (begin at 21:35) then invited me as a guest the following week (my first time on the air waves!

4.)  Say “YES” when you are approached by the man holding the bloody knife in House of 1000 Corpses asks, “Do you like being touched?!” because you’ll end up like this:

     Blood on your face and scare actors really touching you.

5.)    Ride the carousel:

6.) Don't be afraid to meet new people who are also marked and laugh about how much fun you all just had in those mazes.

Count Crazy Craig, Elissa John
Jill Kill & Sinful Celluloid
Photos courtesy of Sinful Celluloid

7.)    Check out the photo index on the GAN website. If you can’t take the images, then you can’t handle the real thing. 

Also: I was a blood on body virgin before this night. First time I've ever had fake blood on me - for fun. Can you tell I was into it? So much that I did a photo shoot with a friend of mine (less than one week later) who does special effects makeup and she made me bloody for a second time, it was a blast.  

In conclusion: Zombie did a great job at creatively focusing on three of his films and executing them all very differently. It was fun ride with high energy, good actors and fun scares, which makes me wish this was a year round attraction.

There was also a moment when someone sent me a link that turned out to be a photo of me that I didn't remember taking : Which is also a review from this site called Inside the Magic - covering GAN. Check out the article and random picture of me here. 

Lords of Salem honestly made me (somewhat) conquer my claustrophobia fear straight on with the bag over my head in complete darkness for about 15 mins – THIS is what made me question if I, Summer Rose, could possibly ever take on Blackout.

Blackout: ELEMENTS
Back Story: Why I never thought I would ever do this.

It all began when I decided to open my mouth and share my Great American Nightmare experience to my coworker. Telling her how it was inside the Lords of Salem maze and thinking “I wonder if that’s how Blackout really is, I've always read/heard crazy reviews, but would never try it.” She (not knowing what Blackout was) and me (not knowing much but proceeded to forward her the YouTubeteaser video) resulted into her emailing me minuets later with ”Meet me by the printers in 10 minutes.” in the subject line. I do. As the paper lands into the feed, she hands it to me and says, “Meet me in downtown LA at 7 pm this Sunday, we are doing Blackout.

Terrified for days, I honestly didn't know why I was so scared. I've only been truly scared once and it was last year at Jason Blum’s haunted house (which I talk about on the podcast on 25:19– another troublesome claustrophobia experience.)

Reflecting: It has now been days since my Blackout experience. Taking me a bit longer than expected to gather all my thoughts.
Blackout was something else. NOT a typical commercial haunted attraction – falling into its own dimension.
By its own dimension I mean the following: you are either crawling, running, or stumbling around a black tarp maze path.
Extremely aggressive, uncomfortable, with it’s own breed of scare tactics. I have never been so scared to enter a haunted house in my entire life.
Throughout the whole duration of your stay, you are constantly being asked: “A or B” “Left or Right” Promising no two experiences the same

You start at “x”, waiting. Staring at a flight of stairs to your left, you know this is your starting point. Adrenaline rushes as you're instructed to "run up the stairs and turn left at the door."  
Run up, catch your breath, enter door way, only to get tackled by a stranger as they literally pick you up and order you into a room. The door slams shut, its pitch black. Assuming I was standing alone, his voice shouts at me, ordering to take off my shoes and my socks and to get on my knees. My heart is racing. “What am I doing here?” enters my mind.

A series of questions are asked of me: “Do you have epilepsy? Do you know the safe word?” A hooded poncho lands on my lap, I put it on as the man tells me to not turn around, shutting the door behind him. A red light then illuminates the room, I see that I am kneeling in front of a toilet, now realizing the music blasting through the walls:

I close my eyes, listening to the melodies, trying to calm myself down. My heart is racing. Door opens, grabbed by two men and then I am shoved into a dark passage.

Alone, walking in darkness, I am handed a small glow stick and hear the words, "When you find the man, shout "THE SKY IS FALLING" "
He directs me towards a tunnel and says to crawl. I don't crawl, because I can walk perfectly fine. Until I step over a small ledge and my bare feet are suddenly in two feet of shockingly cold water. Elements. Walking through what seemed to be an elongated bathtub, presented with shower head after shower head spurting cold water. I am soaked, shiveringly frustrated - I am contemplating on using the safe word - how much longer? 

I see a figure in the distance and shout, "THE SKY IS FALLING!" 
"WHO TOLD YOU TO SPEAK?!" the figure shouts back at me. My arms are reaching out, I hear him shuffling through the water, getting closer. In the matter of seconds I feel him breathing on me. Grabs my glow stick and shoves it in my mouth. My face is in the palm of his hand, his grip is tight. Slowly - almost sensually - takes off my hood, exposing me to the shower head, tilts my face up. My eyes are closed as cold water enters my nostrils, my mouth, my hair. We are here together in the darkness for the longest minuets of my life. I'm so cold. He whispers in my ear and asks, "Do you wish to kneel before me?" "No." I said. 
Aggressively, he pushes me down to my knees and tells me to keep crawling. This time, I do. 
I see a dimmed light ahead, my eyes adjust, and these tarped walls are enclosing, I crawl faster.

I see a near-naked man approach me on all fours. He is grinning, so I smile back at him. 

I am soaking wet. Crawling, he directs me into a room and asks to face the corner and get on all fours. My knees are throbbing. There is a large fan blowing in my direction, I’m upset because I’m cold. He begins to massage my shoulders - then demands me to turn around. “Milk me” he asks. So what do I do? My face is in sight of his nipple, and I begin to suck. (I KNOW. Under those kinds of circumstances, I didn't know what else to do.) He begins to moan  - then laughs, so I laugh, and lets me free.
As I rise up I hear "End of the world" by Skeeter Davis playing, a woman comes out from behind a curtain and reaches out her hand to me. I’m relieved, I trust her. I don't know why.

She asks me "A or B" I chose "B" and "Left" for everything:

“I want to be a part of Blackout and I want Blackout to be a part of me. I am prepared to be marked. I give myself to you” I am forced to shout this as I write these words frantically in marker on the wall – more than several times... she's watching me. Lifts her dress, a spandex gag is placed on her upper thigh. She proceeds to take it off and place it on my head, fitting perfectly inbetween my lips. 

“B”: we’re in another room, dimly lit, she begins to whimper as she takes off all her clothes. I am sitting on my knees, forced to watch.
Hands me a marker and requests me to write my number on her body. As I do this she is now crying… louder and louder.

Two men roughly lead us both to the next room where a plastic bag is forcefully shoved over my head. I hear her body being thrown to the ground.
She’s crying hysterically, there’s so much tension in the room. Everything is happening so fast. The man yells at her to shut up, she won’t, he turns to me and says, "Summer, You chose "B" for her, you brought this situation upon yourself. Shut her up! Tell her,"Shut up!!"
I do, once. Softly, puzzled at the thought of him calling me by my name. She cries, I tell her again in my soft spoken voice to shut up- it is demanded of me to shout it. I begin to shout as a handgun gets placed in my hand - I am asked to pull the trigger to “shut her up once and for all.”
She is begging for her life, calling me by my name as she rolls around on the ground, I’m pointing the gun, I don’t know why. I start to smell hay. Elements

They grab the gun from my hand  and next thing you know I am face to face with a long coffin. It’s open. (You can see this exactly in the teaser video) “Get in there, face up.” Lying on my back, the lid is slammed closed. I close my eyes and begin to inhale and exhale slowly. Before you know it the naked woman is thrown on top of me. She’s still crying and banging on the lid to get out.

The lids gets open, they lead me out and I’m side by side someone who directs me to run and get my shoes on and grab my socks. Slip on my boots, stand up, he pushes me against the wall and tells me to “never speak of this experience to anyone”. Directs me to start running down the stairs – this is where I began.

My appointment was at 7pm, got into my car at 7:45pm. Short? Sure. Worth the money? Sure. Would I do it again? YES. Especially in NYC.

I had mentioned earlier that it took me a few days to gather these thoughts.
Let me also mention that within those days I went back and forth deciding whether or not
I truthfully enjoyed my experience. My decision has been made.

This photo was taken after my drive home from Blackout: Self explanatory

Walking alone makes for an experience like no other. My knees took a full day to recover.
My curiosity psychologically fed my mind that if I survived this, I can certainly survive any other haunted attraction with no worries at all. Not to mention being faced with my claustrophobia fear numerous times, and conquering it - which is great. 
I’ll go as far as saying that nothing will ever top Blackout. However, the production value is anything but top notch – mentioned earlier, black tarp maze path.There is no art direction involved, but wasn't a deep concern of mine.If you want beautifully detailed interior horror mazes, go to Universal. 

I highly advise to read the rules before thinking of buying a ticket. 

Anyway, thank you reading this, hopefully you can decide for yourself if you would want to experience it on your own or not. 

For more reviews/ different perspectives on the haunts that Los Angeles has, check out these other great sites:
Jill Kill 
Sinful Celluloid
Shock Till You Drop

Scary Rock Sunday 
Recorded in Glenn Danzig's back house in Los Feliz, Crazy
Craig graciously asked me to be a guest on his show - as I mentioned at 2.) above. 
Hear us talk about everything from my intro to all things horror to where I recently watched The ABCs of Death on mute while listening to Sunn O))) . It's my first time ever hearing a recording of my voice. I sound like a baby but it's all fun and games. I also received these awesome Verotik comics as parting gifts.

Thank you for reading! Stay spooky everyone, until next time!

Like Crazy Craig to stay updated on his Podcast

Photos by Michael Sandoval of M.U.S.E. 


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