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Stepping Out

Peeking inside the crypt

Haunting season has arrived, so beware of what lurks nearby


There are always plenty of concerts and sporting events at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum, but come October some other happenings are going on at the arena.

Some terrifying creatures, known as the “League of the Undead,” are skulking around there this month. They’ve settled into Blood Manor, which takes up residence at the Coliseum shortly, ready to haunt Long Islanders through Nov. 3.

The creepy phantasmagoria that is Blood Manor, known to horrify those who dare enter its doors in lower Manhattan’s Hudson Square neighborhood, is back on Long Island for its second season here. Zombies, chainsaw wielding murderers, bloody ghosts, perhaps a mental patient or two, or a werewolf, even a clown, inhabit “Crypts of the Coliseum.” They’re waiting to terrorize all who dare cross their path.

Double in size of the original Blood Manor, visitors will find themselves enveloped by an overwhelming sensory experience as they navigate 10,000 square feet of dimly lit corridors, chambers and hidden places.

Each room has a different theme, all filled with gore. In one room, you mighty find rotting flesh oozing out of a refrigerator. In another — the old morgue — a rotting corpse on a table awaits passersby, with other corpses popping up at any given moment.

“The effect is one of shock and awe,” according to those involved with the project. “You turn every corner and there are creatures everywhere.”

The macabre beings — 40 to 50 of them — are in constant motion, ratcheting up the fear factor, building to a terrfying 3D conclusion.

“Blood Manor has a great following,” says Nick Vaerewyck, NYCB Live’s vice president of programming. “Many people go down to their haunting every year. We were blown away by the all-immersive experience when we first visited.”

It’s a formula that takes the classic haunted house experience into the 21st century, ratcheting up the scares with high-tech UV lights, animatronics, and gore-filled state-of-the art props.

“We felt really good about the response last year,” Vaerewyck says. “People were eager to come through a second and third time. This year we’ve added some elements that will make the experience even better.”

All in the action happens nearly completely in the dark. Visitors can’t even feel their way around since there’s no sense of depth, with constant bombardment by the strobe lighting.

For this season the Blood Manor team changed the layout and added more details. That means one thing: more frights.

“Four rooms have been completely redesigned,” Vaerewyck says. “And the characters are more seasoned and ready for much more visitor interaction. It’s going to be a totally different feel.”

So watch out! And just when you think you’ve witnessed all the frights, there’s that explosive conclusion that leads everyone into a disturbingly absurd nightmare, enhanced by 3D glasses.

“The floor is popping, the colors are popping, it’s such a cool experience,” Vaerewyck says.

In essence, for those who enjoy a good scare, there’s something for everyone.

And adding to the — frightful — fun this year, stop by the Fear Garden and carnival, on the plaza. Visitors can partake of food, beverages, and entertainment, along with a Ferris Wheel, Riptide ride and carnival games, and some special (creepy) guests may even show up.

“We’ve enhanced the city experience here,” says Vaerewyck. “Since we have more room, we’re able to do things on a grander scale.”

“It’s never the same and always evolving. People will be blown away by how much fun they’re going to have. Scream, laugh at your friends, Blood Manor is all about bringing people together and having a good time."

Blood Manor’s Crypts of the Coliseum

When: Oct. 5 through Nov. 3, times vary. Not recommend for children under 14. $30-$50 for R.I.P Express Entry Pass for all dates except Halloween weekend (Oct. 26-31), $35-$55; available at www.ticketmaster.com, www.nycblive.com, or ‪(800) 745-3000.

Where: Nassau Coliseum, Hempstead Turnpike, Uniondale.