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Event Report: The Immersive Nyctophobia Horror Attraction!

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Nyctophobia is one of the best ways to spook oneself during October, and it has been one of this writer’s favorite Halloween traditions since 2011. If this year’s walkthrough is any indication, Nyctophobia will probably remain that way until I die. This pop up art house styled Halloween experience has evolved since its first year, but this writer must admit, 2016 was the best it has ever been.

Nyctophobia is not a standard haunted attraction; it is so much more than that. It is an idea and that is what makes Nyctophobia mysterious. Created by artist/filmmaker Eric Striffler and his loyal crew, Nyctophobia has become a force of nature in many ways. Those familiar know that you’re in for a dark, immersive treat when it comes around and their first show in the Big Apple grabs you by the “feels” and does not let go until the end.

The story focused on a mysterious group of beings that are the reason why we feel bad. They’re in our ears all the time. Those little voices that pull out your emotions, that’s them, and they are everywhere. There is no escape, and in Nyctophobia, you’re stuck in the middle of it.

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To be honest, this writer gets very emotional when I attend a Nyctophobia show. I don’t know why exactly, but the experience does something to you where you genuinely feel like you’re in a movie the entire time. That is partly due to the creator being filmmaker and film enthusiast, and it shows greatly in Nyctophobia. Seeing things from the lens of your eye like a camera, you’ll meet strange characters, and you will see NYC in a way you’d never have thought as you follow a narrated arc that gently places you in the depths of the story and takes you on a journey unlike anything you’ve experienced before.

The scoring by composer Jacky Deng was so fitting, intentionally droning and emotional. At a certain point, this writer was thrown into a wheel chair, where I was fitted with frosted goggles and headphones. I was then pushed down a street, with cars driving by, the blurred lights of NYC and the shadows of those who passed as one particular tune played throughout. Unexpectedly, this writer was in tears by the sight and sound, and was left thinking about my life from the scene prior.  It all added up in the end with the finale which is simply too stunning to spoil.

The truth is Nyctophobia’s strength comes in its indescribable pull, and while that might leave some confused, this writer believes that the experience is best experienced cold. Nyctophobia has tested patrons such as myself with every passing year, but no year has left such a personal impact as this year’s installment. Nyctophobia is a truly unique, trippy, cerebral and personal experience not to be dismissed or overlooked. If these types of attractions are your thing, you’ll be into Nyctophobia from the second it starts and it will change you; hopefully for the better.

About the author
Will Puntarich
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