Beyond trick-or-treating and visiting haunted houses, the Halloween season has expanded to encompass activities with some edge. Here are three ways to embrace the darkness:
1. TRY TO ESCAPE
Submit to being trapped in a horror-themed room for 60 minutes where the only way out is to use your mind.
“There’s a bunch of puzzles that will help you break out. If you figure one out, it will lead you to the next one or give you a piece that will help you later on,” says Chris Purcell, co-owner of Challenge Escape Rooms in Franklin Square. “All of the puzzles are different — some deal with math, others are riddles.”
There are three Halloween rooms to choose from. Get trapped inside a psychic reader’s lair in “The Psychic,” be shackled to a wall in “Killer Countdown” or get caught in a sinister carnival with evil clowns in “CarnEVIL.” Each room holds four to 10 people who need to act as a team. No live actors are used, but there are animatronics. A countdown clock keeps time.
“The most important tool is an active line of communication and collaborating with each other,” Purcell says. “Some rooms are gory, some are spooky and some provide jolt scares. They all have different feels, which increases the intensity and the fun.”
The success rate is only 20 percent to 35 percent, which makes the task very challenging.
“There’s a huge sense of accomplishment if you get out,” Purcell says. “But either way, you have a great time.”
WHEN | WHERE 6-10 p.m. Mondays, 6-11 p.m. Thursdays, 5-11 p.m. Fridays, 2-11 p.m. Saturdays, 12:30-10 p.m. Sundays, 922 Hempstead Tpke., Franklin Square. Kids younger than 16 need parent supervision.
INFO 516-888-0202, challengeescaperooms.com
2. SIT WITH A SERIAL KILLER
History and horror come together in the two-hour staged production “Killer Subjects.” Sit in a 360-degree black box theater with an audience of 30 as Mr. Ridgeway interrogates five of history’s most notorious serial killers: John Wayne Gacy, H.H. Holmes, Lizzie Borden, Madame Delphine LaLaurie and Albert Fish.
“This is like watching a documentary about a serial killer, except you get to walk through the screen,” says co-creative director Robert "Doc" Frankenberg, who plays Ridgeway. “We want to totally submerge people in this world. It’s intense.”
The show is very interactive as audience members are allowed to ask questions to the killers, who are chained down and seated at the end of each aisle.
WHEN | WHERE 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, 8 and 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, and 10 p.m. Oct. 17-19 at Tribal Dance Long Island, 26 Vernon Valley Rd., East Northport. Suggested for 16 and older.
ADMISSION $15 ($10 advance)
3. GET DECKED OUT & DANCE
Usher in Halloween by moving about to underground sounds at “The Amityville Horror — All Hallows’ Eve” event, which mixes gothic rock, dark wave and electronic body music.
“The night will have the perfect soundtrack for the occasion,” says show producer Tom Conklin. “It will be a celebration of darkness.”
Bands such as Night Gallery, Esoterik, Espermachine and Disorder will perform in the main room as vampire Baron Misuraca emcees the night.
A monster-themed costume contest will name “King and Queen Ghoul” of the evening.
If you don’t have a costume, professional special effects makeup artist Jocelyn Sayard of ImmacuLOOK can provide you with a zombie-style makeover ($10-$20).
DJs Siren, Lugosi, Dreamtrancer, Tyranny and Xtrakt spin industrial metal synth pop in both the main room and on the outdoor patio.
In the backroom, DJ Freaky Frank will play dark techno music as classic and modern horror movies run.
WHEN | WHERE 7 p.m. Oct. 30 at Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. 18 and older.
ADMISSION $15 ($12 advance)