Blood Manor Haunted Attraction
163 Varick Street, New York, NY 10013View All Details
Restrooms On-Site, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, Special Events, “Hi-Tech” Attraction, You may be touched, Original Characters, Celebrity Appearances, Indoor/Outdoor Waiting Line, All-Indoor Attraction
Team Crypt Creepers reviewed this attraction on September 27, 2016.
Final Score: 8.15
Welcome to Bloodmanor, a place that definitely lives up to its name. With gallons of fake blood used on a nightly basis and plenty more covering its walls and sets, it doesn’t take long to see how it got its name; they are more than happy to send you home with some yourself (just make sure you’re not wearing your Sunday best). When we visited, every person who exited seemed to have a bit of blood on them somewhere. You can describe this haunt in two words: Sensory Overload! From the moment they start giving you the rules, you have a sociopath in your face and a feeling of “what did I sign myself up for?” The sights, sounds and, especially, the actors are over the top and you’re just constantly bombarded from start to finish. Any moment of seeming peace and sanity is interrupted by these dark denizens. You’ll want to take in the set designs and details, but you’ll also want to run and hide from these in-your-face freaks. Disguising itself in a seemingly-normal building in NYC, this haunt has a very dedicated cast that gives their all. It’s a non-stop trek through Hell in various forms, ranging from a serial killer’s den to a war-torn zombie apocalypse. Be careful though, there’s at least one creep who’s got an EYE out for you. If you survive him and his friends, though, you can visit their souvenir stand, where one of their top products is an “I pissed my pants at Bloodmanor” t-shirt.
If I can sum up the cast in just a few words: they are huge bundles of energy. From the moment they spring their attack all the way until you escape (if you escape), whatever room you’re in, they are constantly either in your face, or making use of their environments. They make use of the props they are given and, if they don’t have any props, then they use the room and what space they have available to their advantage. Crawling, bending, jumping, one second at the other end of the room and the next right on top of you, these actors take your personal space and make it their own. It’s a mix of script and improv; some of the actors stuck rigidly to what their character is supposed to say, while others would have fun with the guests, remarking on clothes, poor life choices, and other things. All were in character, though, and stayed believable throughout the whole walkthrough. There were definitely enough actors as well. Most of the rooms were a bit cramped, so having too many actors in them would be overdoing it. But, each room had at least one actor in it and the bigger rooms with enough open space had 2-3 actors in them. If you want to be made to feel uneasy and have your personal bubble not just popped, but violated, then the cast here gets the job done (and very happily I may add).
Bloodmanor has an interesting palette of makeup and costume ideas. Some costumes and looks are ultra-realistic, making you wonder if the wounds and grime are fake or if someone is actually being brutally murdered. Then, when you get to their 3D area, it becomes neon nightmares and fluorescent frights. But, then you have some in-between looks where a normal suit and tie are splashed with bits of neon paints. In a decent amount of areas it works, since there are some normal rooms with a blacklight or two to make the colors stand out. If you catch the actor at a bad angle or in a corner without a blacklight though, it may seem a little out of place. The costumes coincide with the rooms they are in pretty well, and do not bleed through to other rooms. You won’t find any strippers in the caveman room (sorry to the handful of you that may be disappointed in the lack of stripping cavemen). The only area where the costumes and surroundings didn’t feel completely in sync was the 3D maze, where a slew of actors charged at you and came around corners in wedding dresses. The makeup matched the walls, but the mostly white/gray dresses felt a little out of place. There were very few masks used and, in the room or two where they were used, they fit nicely and appropriately.
Customer Service: 8.5
The staff here (at least the ones that aren’t trying to kill you) are extremely helpful. Ready to guide you to the nearest chicken exit if you find you cannot handle the horrors inside or to chat with you about whatever comes up. The line outside has entertainment and actors scaring you but, once you get to the inside queue, you have a helpful staff member or two to answer your questions before guiding you to the next ravenous lunatic ready to disembowel you. You also have some waiting for you at the end of the haunt to ask you what you thought, give you a coupon for you next visit, or point you to the nearest port-a-potty. On the downside, though, Bloodmanor can be a little hard to find. It is smack dab in the middle of a Manhattan block, so it is unable to build a big façade to grab people’s attention. During haunt season, they have barricades lined up against the wall so people can form a queue, a truck selling tickets out front, as well as (usually) a small stage show or hook squad, so it’s not horribly hidden. But, on slow nights or for people who don’t know what they’re looking for, it may be a bit harder to find. It is wheelchair accessible and doesn’t have any dangers (besides its residents). Also, as I mentioned, there are line performers, small shows and other antic to keep you blissfully creeped out while you wait.
The issue mentioned above about the haunt being right in the middle of a busy Manhattan city block really shows in this category. With the inability to really “go to town” outside, the building and the cars racing by down the street just remind you that you are still in the city that never sleeps and not a place that makes you afraid to go back to sleep ever again. There is no music or sound effects outside and, if there are, the noisy cars and nightlife fade it out. The entrance is a narrow doorway into an apartment-type building and a short climb up a residential staircase. It’s not until you’re past their threshold that you realize what you’ve really walked into and, in a small way, it helps in that you go from 0 to 60 in a matter of seconds… rushing into that sensory overload that I mentioned.
Special Effects: 8.9
Bloodmanor incorporates a decent number of different special effects, some of which I have not seen much of in other haunts. Probably my favorite is the use of “maggot lights,” which are lights that, when shown on things like food and meat, makes it seem like maggots and insects are crawling around… and not just gliding freely, but actually moving on top of and in the item. The sound effect that goes with it makes it that much more realistic and, while you may not be able to see the colors and details of the maggots, it may make those who are squeamish of creepy crawlies hold back a gag. Also, tv screen-scares pop up a few times in this haunt and, while they became big for a year or two, I haven’t seen many of them lately. The details of the scenes is where Bloodmanor shines. A lot of detail is put into the rooms and they make you feel like you’re immersed in whatever chamber of horror you just walked into. Sure, it may be a bit weird to walk from an operating room into a jungle, but both are done with so much detail and effort that you may, for a moment, forget you’re still in the heart of NYC. The walls in the 3D maze are exquisitely done, distracting you from what fiends may be rushing from around the next corner. The lighting that’s used varies throughout the haunt, ranging from a dimly-lit hospital room and a dark and stormy graveyard to a narrow hallway where a single laser light is your only means of finding your path to redemption. There is no special effect that goes above and beyond here, but the amount of detail put into their little effects, in my opinion, make up for it.
If I had to give Bloodmanor a theme, it would be ‘chaos’. This isn’t one of those haunts where you sign up for clowns and get nothing but clowns or wait in line to see movie icons and get nothing but movie icons. When you travel from the living room of a protective daddy and his daughter to the deep jungle, fending off ancient creatures, to a meat locker where you may very well end up being tomorrows meat of the day, you never know what you can expect next… and THAT, is chaos.
Fright Effect: 8
I always find fright to be one of the hardest things to score. I, myself, am hard to scare, but watching the groups that were leaving Bloodmanor, clutching onto each other, gasping, one girl even crying, led me to believe that something was done right. Even Holly admitted to a scare or two. The main aspect to this haunt is sensory overload… and they deliver. With the exception of maybe two rooms in the whole haunt, you are constantly being bombarded by crazed killers, sparking lights, loud noises and visuals everywhere. The actors are always frenzied and on you, guaranteeing that every member of the group gets something. There are a small handful of distractions, but not many. There are some drop portraits, some pitch black rooms with sudden appearances, animatronics, loud effects, bright lights, and so on, so there are plenty of different types of scares. Their finale takes everything you’ve just been through and gives it to you with one last blast, utilizing lights, noises, air, detail, and some great actors.
The walkthrough took about 20 minutes for this haunt, and tickets start at $35 for general admission and go up to $50 for RIP Express access (skip the line). You purchase a ticket for a time frame and, thus, show up to wait in a short line for that time. This lessens the wait times for guests so, with that, you can enjoy the festivities going on outside. Ordering your tickets online saves you $5, but also comes with a $3.50 fee (still, a $1.50 savings). There are also group discounts for groups of 15+. The actors make very good use of the space available to them, and the sets look amazing.