The Gravesend Inn is produced by Theatreworks, City Tech’s resident theatrical troupe, with design, construction and operating support provided by students and faculty of the College’s nationally unique Entertainment Technology Department, this theme-park-quality Halloween attraction has been thrilling children and adults alike since 2000.
In other words, it’s an animatronic and walk-through haunted house in Brooklyn constructed by college students. And it’s awesome. The environs include a few live actors (sometimes hard to tell if they are alive or not!) for spook factor and non-mechanical movement, really good lighting throughout, and some clever uses of space. Here’s a basic tour (very incomplete, probably only 40% of what’s on view).
After passing through the entrance (sign, above), you walk down a stairwell and are greeted by a non-verbal actor in full-cloak, sweeping. He points your way to the first room:
The second room lasts only a few seconds, thus no photos – but it was the best, with a sudden flash of light and a full-sized boar/pig that emerges towards you from a wood oven! Actually scary!
You walk down another hall with a phone that buzzes and an operator who tells you the person you’re looking for is…DEAD! There’s also a locked door with screaming and flashing lights going on inside, and some other nooks and crannies filled with things. You come around a corner to observe a bear head, who suddenly starts moving and growling:
You emerge into a very complete room, with dining set, bookshelves, and mantle talking picture:
This guy informs you of your impending doom, before spinning away into the netherworld.
But the real beauty – nerd alert! – was the control system running the whole show. After you complete the tour you’re deposited into the Voorhees Theatre whereupon you can see on two large projection screens, one displaying the 16-camera system embedded in the haunted house, the other the map and show control system interfaced by technicians inside the theater:
And they’ll replay your own journey through the House after you appear in the theater, so you can of course laugh at yourself, and others you know who just emerged!
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