13 Bands Who Should Make Their Own Haunted Houses
These days, haunted houses are an intrinsic part of celebrating Halloween. Every October, faux slaughterhouses, simulated zombie runs, and corn mazes full of monsters pop up around the world to elicit shrieks and laughter from pedestrians who love to be scared. Everyone’s gotten in on the action — massive amusement parks fill their grounds with evil clowns and chainsaw maniacs, while evangelical Christians host “hell houses” to show young parishioners the horrors of drug use and abortion (yet another thing the pious can add to their pile of appropriations alongside Christmas trees and Saint Patrick’s Day).
Only a handful of metal musicians have sponsored haunted attractions of their own, but the trend is beginning to pick up steam. Last year saw Slipknot hosting a disturbing haunted house in their hometown of Des Moines, Iowa, while Rob Zombie has two separate scare mazes at this year’s Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights. And while those two bands certainly deserve their own haunted attractions, we can think of plenty more whose terror zones we’d pay good money to shuffle nervously through.
Here are 13 artists whose haunted houses we’d love to see…
Enter the Necrophaze! Wednesday 13 has the horror metal distinction of writing music about all things nocturnal and evil. Vampires, serial killers, ghouls, devils — you name it, the duke of spook has done it all. That makes for the best kind of haunted attraction, with a new creature, theme, or look in every single room, all brought to you by one strange, skeletal ringmaster. Why scream at one monster when you can scream at them all?
One word: gore. The music of death metal kings Cannibal Corpse explores every form of carnal nightmare imaginable, from vaginal skin addiction to the simple terror of being followed home and killed. Their haunted house wouldn’t just be gory, but beyond gory, full of intestinal cranks, boiling flesh, and of course, hammer-smashed faces. What they really need to do is team up with Eli Roth — the horror director’s Las Vegas attraction Goretorium was a wonderfully messed-up ride that would perfectly suit these blood-drenched executioners.
“Haunted” is a flexible word here. Sure, Japanese black metallers Sigh have many a demon and dark spirit floating around their madcap music, but their terrors are more disturbing and psychological than spooky or scary. As such, their terror maze would be more like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride on acid, full of jarring imagery, panicked claustrophobia, and gut-deep fear of the unknown. Sometimes, the ghost pestering you is your own.
Fear can be instilled in many ways, and discomfort even more. Rammstein may not sing about werewolves and zombies, but topics like eating a man’s severed penis aren’t in any way less shudder-worthy. The Deutsche Neue Harte band’s haunted attraction would be like a Gaspar Noe film, seething with sex and unease as much as it does outright horror. Enter the catacomb of dildos.
Cradle Of Filth
The two guiding principles behind Cradle Of Filth’s music — have sex, be a vampire — could manifest into a devilishly fun haunted attraction. Picture this: you and your friends are taken to what appears to be an Eyes Wide Shut-ish cabaret. But bit by bit, it becomes clear that the well-dressed hosts aren’t alive, and want your blood. Suddenly, you’re fleeing through a haunted old manor, with the satanic undead popping out of every crevice. Fuck, we’re cackling in diabolical glee even thinking about it!
Zeal & Ardor
As author and educator Tananarive Due puts it in he documentary Horror Noire, “Black history IS black horror.” Zeal & Ardor’s combination of slave spirituals and black metal allows for a unique insight into the truly gruesome experiences of African Americans throughout history. As such, their haunted attraction wouldn’t need to delve into supernatural or cinematic tropes; instead, it could show the actual historical facts of slavery through extreme metal’s scathing POV. It would be a chilling experience, even if you wouldn’t leave feeling particularly awesome.
Maybe Hell is a club. That seems to be the driving idea behind Perturbator’s shadowy synthwave. It’s also an excellent setting for an interactive attraction a la New York’s infamous Sleep No More. Upon entering The Uncanny Valley Nightclub, attendees would get to dance, drink…and bit by bit realize that they’re being hunted by some sort of unholy force or creature. That false sense of enjoyment is a staple of classic horror stories, and is an eternal reminder as to why humans are such easy prey.
Splatterthrashers Ghoul might be the only act on this list who could pull off a haunted hayride experience. The cannibal quartet hail from Creepsylvania, a grave-strewn nation of nimwits alternately ruled by an evil dictator and a god made of mold. As such, the cannibal quartet need only load a wagon with unsuspecting “tourists” and take them on a long ride through their motherland to give them the creeps. Home is where the heart is, in a box, under the sink.
It would be too easy for Marilyn Manson’s haunted house to be full of satanic libertines and mechanical animals. No, the god of fuck would do something cooler: a reverse hell house. Instead of showing off the ills of the world from a self-righteous Christian bent, it would put attendees through the horrors of proper society via cultural witch hunts and right-wing protests. What’s scarier — a scarecrow, or a cop who’s decided you need a lesson in old-fashioned morals? Thought so.
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Ho boy, here we go. Pig Destroyer would probably throw the kind of haunted attraction where everyone has to sign a waiver beforehand. Full of gravedancers, amputees, and the public spectacle of Jennifer, the PxDx maze would be a descent into madness of the most jarring sort. If they could get their many cover artists involved — including tattoo artist Paul Booth and Baroness’s John Baizley — all the better. This one may be unpleasant at times, but hey, you can get a massage anywhere.
The beauty of Dutch black metal band Carach Angren’s horror is how much it’s steeped in European history. Their songs about Bloody Mary, the Black Death, and the good ol’ devils of Europe have a delicious medieval woodcut kind of quality to it. Add to that their swinging, harpsichord-driven rhythms, and you have a Danse Macabre the likes of which few other bands could pull off. This one’s begging to be created.
Author & Punisher
Modern industrial extreme metallers Author & Punisher have a unique kind of scary to them. The band’s incorporation of mechanical sounds and electronic beats make them feel cold, twisted, and heartless. As such, their haunted attraction could be a creepy look into our own digitized future, where humans are cattle and machines kill them as such. Imagine the unplugging scene in The Matrix through a black metal lens, and you’ll get the idea.
The Black Dahlia Murder
Let’s have a fucking monster mash. The Black Dahlia Murder’s macabre-yet-catchy melodeath has confronted every supernatural fiend and real-life killer in the book — why not let them all loose at a house party? Have the Statutory Ape shove passerby in closets while Cthulhu does a keg stand with Vlad the Impaler! All the while, the occasional sex murderer or hungry zombie would pop out at you and scream for blood before shoving a funnel in your mouth. Do you dare to enter sober?