Soap Factory’s Haunted Basement

There’s less than a week left before Halloween—which means there’s less than a week for you to stop being such a wuss and check out the Soap Factory’s Haunted Basement already. We dare you.

The month-long, artist-concepted spook house is now in its fifth year, so you’ve probably already heard rumors and horror stories about what goes on in the bowels of this creaky, century-old warehouse-cum-gallery space. The ghouls can reach out and grab you. You get blindfolded and strapped into a wheelchair. You’re subjected to corpse odors and extreme claustrophobia.  There are clowns. These things have all been staples of years past, and in 2009, the Basement set a record with more than 200 visitors screaming “Uncle,” a safe word that triggers an immediate escort out of the basement.

What’s in store for you this year? Well, we won’t give anything away, but we will remind you of this: the horror is engineered by artists. So don’t expect gratuitous gore or cheap, leap-out-of-the-dark-with-a-chainsaw BS.  The nightmares here are more conceptual, the scenes calibrated to twinge that tuning fork of trauma buried deep in your psyche. Think bad childhood memories. Elementary-school anxieties. Disturbing twists on traditionally safe comforts like romance and family feasts.

Curious? Of course you are. But if you’re just too freaked, you can arrange for a “’Fraidy Cat Tour,” and take a designer-guided tour of the project—with all the lights on, of course.

Haunted Basement
$21, 18+
Tuesday through Sunday (plus Halloween Monday), 6 p.m.
‘Fraidy Cat Tours October 24 and 30, noon–2 p.m.