When I first read a walkthrough of New York City’s Blackout I remember thinking how wonderful and horrible it sounded. A few things that made it standout from everything else out there:
- You have to be 18.
- There is a safe word.
- You must go through ALONE.
I had sent the link to my brother months before and after not hearing back I assumed that he wasn’t interested. Then, out of the blue, he called and asked when we were going to do it. Before either one of us could consider what we were doing, we signed up for the 9:30 show on October 12th.
….and then we had plenty of time to sit and wonder what exactly we had gotten ourselves into. We read the online walkthroughs from years past that included descriptions of people being water boarded. We knew the “show” changed every year. Would they try and go bigger? Scarier? Personally I think waterboarding would be pretty terrifying all by itself, so what demented things could they bring to the table?
Fast forward to last night. I had already had a couple of cocktails before taking the train into the city to meet Mi Hermano. Once I arrived we wandered over to nearby restaurant where we had a couple more drinks (for courage) and had a frank and descriptive discussion of what we considered to be “too far”. Drowning. Body fluids. Eating things. These were on my list of items I was hoping to avoid. Then we had a discussion about what could they legally do to you if you signed the waiver. How much touching could they do? Could we be assaulted? Taser? Where exactly is the line? What were we signing away with this waiver? My brother was hoping to avoid being peed on. The point is that your mind is your worst enemy. I can imagine some pretty terrible things and up until the time I entered the “Vortex Theater” I assumed everything was possible.
So if this is the point where you expect to read what happened, you will be disappointed.
You are just going to have to trust me when I say not knowing is half of the excitement. Trust me I wanted to know. I wanted to at least have an idea of what to expect. I searched the internet for someone with a big mouth, but found little. I think that is the way it should be. Bloggers, Tweeter, Facebookers I implore you not to share this experience. I don’t think you could do it justice anyway.
I do have a bit of advice:
- Don’t wear your Sunday best. Don’t wear your Monday through Friday best either. Wear something that you are willing to part with.
- Remember the safe word.
- Remember they can’t REALLY harm you (At least I don’t think so..)
- Read the waiver. Read it again.
- I would consider a breath mint before you go..
Without giving anything away I have a few comments about my experience.
1. My only criticism is that after being forced to read the rules over and over, I knew that I should not talk. When I was spoken to, I didn’t want to answer and get kicked out. I probably appeared dimwitted when they would have to ask everything at least twice before I would answer anything. Maybe the rule should be “Only speak when spoken to.”
2. The experience was different for different people. That much I am sure of. My brother (also known as #32) had a different experience than I did. Even the parts we had in common were slightly different. So go again and you may have a different experience.
3. I don’t know her name but she was amazingly beautiful and haunting and creepy at different times. Bravo. My apologies for the cider and pickle breath.
Was it worth it? For me absolutely. If you like scary and like new experiences you need to do this at least once.
Thanks for an experience I won’t forget. See you next year.