For those who love the spirit of Halloween but hate the horror of a haunt, a treat is coming your way. Halloween House Long Island is a brand new autumn attraction in Westbury, sans scares.
"Every year, I try to get friends to go with me to haunted houses and it’s like pulling teeth. Many people like Halloween but they just don’t enjoy actors in their face, jump scares or a claustrophobic atmosphere," says owner/creator Justin Schwartz, who grew up in Lawrence.
INSIDE THE HOUSE
Located on the second floor of the Samanea Mall (formerly the Source Mall), the attraction has taken over two storefronts spread across 10,000 square feet. This 45-minute experience will take visitors through 10 different rooms led by a tour guide.
"This is a completely immersive Halloween experience," says Schwartz, 33. "You will get the feeling as if you are in a Halloween film in every different room. Our set decorators have worked on professional movies and TV shows. Each room has special lighting, music and some animatronics but no live actors."
The Trick or Treat Room is set up as if you are going house-to-house trick or treating. If you knock on a door, someone will answer it and give you real candy. In the Mischief Room, guests enter an outdoor scene with a giant tree. They are given toilet paper as they get to "TP" the tree. Bring your dancing shoes to the Monster Mash Room where guests can boogie with a variety of monsters.
There will also be a Pumpkin Patch Room, Glow-in-the-Dark Room plus rooms dedicated to "Stranger Things," "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and more.
Good news — taking photos and shooting video are both completely allowed throughout the entire attraction.
"We encourage photos and videos, in fact, our tour guides will even take them for you," says Schwartz. "There’s tons of photo-ops and the tour guides explain how to get the most out of each and every room by pointing out the little cool details."
In terms of scare level, there are no worries as the scenes are tame but visually stimulating.
"The spooky level is very high but the scare level is zero. We won’t have any gore," says Schwartz. "We provide more fun and less fear than a haunt. Our goal is to go for a ‘wow’ factor not a scare factor."
A special bonus to admission is access to "Halloween Heaven," which inhabits the mall’s food court area. Here there’s a gift shop where guests can purchase pumpkins, costumes, T-shirts and Halloween toys. There will also be a sweet shop serving seasonal treats like candied and caramel apples, pumpkin, apple and sweet potato pies, popcorn, pretzels, cotton candy and cookies in a seated area. Additionally, there’s more eye-catching Halloween madness.
"There are several interactive scenes to see in the ‘Halloween Heaven’ such as a Spider Infestation, Skelly Town, The Witch B-Room, Bug City USA and Kitty’s Inflatable Row," says Schwartz. "Jack-o’-lanterns carved by top artists will be on display plus Halloween carnival games to play."
In terms of COVID safety, all staff will be vaccinated or masked. Groups will be admitted individually and by reservation in 30-minute lots.
"We want people to make this place a Halloween tradition," says Schwartz. "Every time you walk through it you’ll get a bit of a different experience."
HALLOWEEN HOUSE LONG ISLAND
WHEN | WHERE Open Oct. 1-Nov. 7 daily: Monday-Thursday 3-9 p.m., Friday 3 p.m.-1 a.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Samanea Mall, 1500 Old Country Road in Westbury (formerly the Source Mall)
ADMISSION $30 adults, $25 kids (10 and under)