We're almost halfway through the month of October, and the Halloween festivities on Long Island are well underway. If you have been following our 2013 Haunted House Review Series, then you already know that there are tons of great haunts in Nassau and Suffolk that are ready and able to give you big screams and scares you’re looking for this season. In Massapequa, Darkness Rising is raising the bar on dishing out Halloween terror, all for a great cause - a perfect combination for haunt seekers that are also looking to support their local community.
Located at the Massapequa Fire Department on Brooklyn Avenue right off of Sunrise Highway, Darkness Rising is run by Jim Kennedy and Frank Baird, who work full time jobs with haunting as a hobby. Kennedy has been scaring locals for over 14 years with his not-for-profit haunted attractions. He originally started a haunt in his own backyard but after an overwhelmingly positive response, the traffic grew to be more than the home could handle, and he had to close up shop. Seeing no other alternative, Jim listed his haunt props up for sale on Craigslist when he was introduced to Frank, who at the time, also ran a home haunt. The duo became fast friends, and shortly after meeting decided to collaborate on a new, bigger haunted house; and so Darkness Rising was born. All the proceeds from the attraction go to two local Long Island charities: YES Community Counseling Center and The Anchor Camp. Kennedy and Baird have invested countless hours into the haunt to ensure that its a top quality production - this event may be for charity, but that doesn't mean that it isn't filled with high-quality scares!
“It’s great ‘cause we get to give back,” Kennedy said about running the haunt.
The 12,000 square foot building provides a significant amount of space - perfect for creating a bigger, scarier haunt than Jim and Frank were able to at their homes. The haunt's staff is made up of over 50 volunteers who donate their time, efforts and scaring expertise each year. This will be the last year for Darkness Rising unless the troupe can find a new venue to host their horrifying haunted house. The building these haunt owners are currently using will be torn and the space will be used for other purposes established by the town of Massapequa.
This season, don’t miss out on all of the thrills and chills that Darkness Rising holds for its scare seekers - here’s a sneak peek of what you’re in for:
Upon entering the haunt, you must go into an elevator - it fills with eerie whispers which echo in the small space. In a matter of seconds after the elevator door closes, it begins to rise into darkness. You move up, down and side to side as the elevator quakes and shakes. The motion becomes more and more violent, making you lose your balance and hold on for dear life. Your mind begins to race - what will happen next?
After exiting the elevator, you must enter a room that is maze-like and pitch black - forcing you to find your way out with little to no sight. Being in complete darkness is a major theme for this haunt - you remain left in the dark for the majority of the walkthrough. Going in alone sure is a brave move, and something only for those who can truly handle being terrified! There is no place to hide, either - every corridor and corner is infiltrated with zombies and monstrous creatures that have been waiting for some fresh flesh to arrive. As you continue to try and escape, it becomes absolutely impossible to see anything, and you must walk slowly and use your hands to feel your way out while avoiding barriers.
With hidden obstacles in nearly every single scene, you squirm and hesitantly pass by props which hang off the ceiling and walls, unavoidably touching you. The chamber-like walls are so tight and narrow that only one person at a time may pass. To top it all off, a variety of smells, sounds and other effects bring all the horrors to life - amplifying the eerie claustrophobic feeling that has suddenly enveloped you. Foul odors emanate from each room, and blood drips down the walls from the undead trapped in metal cages - even in the dark, all of your senses can feel the terror that surrounds you.
At one point further down, you reach a long hallway with a distraught girl at the end yelling “the infection is spreading!” It feels like you’re in a scene from a horror movie, as the sound of a large metal axe scraping against the floor permeates the hallway. You back down the path behind you, but you only see darkness. As you continue to pick of the speed, the scraping of the axe becomes more prominent - it fills your ears and poisons your thoughts, but still - you see nothing. Suddenly, you are at the end of the hallway and…well - we wouldn’t want to spoil that surprise for you!
“We really look forward to scaring people,” Kennedy said - and scare people they sure do.
Darkness Rising is not a place to visit alone. With all the effects you will find yourself holding your breath the entire way through. You will feel chills go down your spine, and your adrenaline rush at this terrifying haunt that makes you wonder - is it just my imagination, or should I fear what goes bump in the night?
This is the latest Haunted House review of the season - be sure to check back soon for the inside scoop on more of the hottest haunted attractions on Long Island!
For more info on Darkness Rising Haunted House including hours, pricing, and location, click here!
This review was made possible by our partners at LIHauntedHouses.com!