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Saturday October 26, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday October 26, 2013 MYT 9:00:15 AM
by andrew sia
Oooh, scary! Watch out for spooks rising from their crypts in i-City. -SAMUEL ONG/The Star
It’s Halloween every day at this scare-shack full of make-believe ghosties and synthetic spectres.
SKULLS litter a gloomy graveyard while a headless horseman nearby makes his eerie presence felt. The bathtubs are bloody and something ghastly threatens to pop out of barrels at every turn.
Welcome to the House of Horror, the latest attraction at i-City in Shah Alam, Selangor.
Bodies wrapped in bloodied white fabric hang in sinister silence from a ceiling, covered with cobwebs that glow under ultraviolet light. Are these mummies, or perhaps hantu pochong?
For some visitors, such details don’t seem to matter – as a hideous spectre spins round a table in a flash of surreal light, some young women scream a little and hold onto their male companions for succour. The men smile comfortingly.
The ghosts, ghouls, goblins and other assorted nasties inhabit some 1,394sq m (15,000sq ft) of real estate in i-City, a mixed development of office blocks within a theme park.
Most of the scares are provided by mechatronic (machine + electronics) monsters. You have a disembodied torso inhabiting a bleak jail cell, perhaps inviting viewers to imagine some long-forgotten prisoner who remains only in spirit form. A phantom menace rears up from its sarcophagus within a graveyard that comes complete with its mangled medieval fence.
In short, there’s ghoul-o-rama galore here, but they spew out nothing more hideous than spooky lights and hissing compressed air. However, be warned: some of the spectres are real. Human, in fact.
“We have some actors inside the House of Horror that can surprise visitors at certain corners,” smiles Tang Soke Cheng, i-City information manager.
I recall a childhood horror house in Seremban, a fun-fair type of thing which became infamous in town when some of the human ghosts inside became a tad too physical with guests.
But Tang reassures me: “The actors are college students of the performing arts and they only scare you through sight and sound. They are not allowed to touch visitors.”
Most fright theme parks strive to “scare the hell out of” their visitors. But this is not the main objective of this House of Horror.
“The idea is to thrill visitors in a dark place, not so much to scare them so badly that they can’t sleep at night,” says Tang. “It’s a way to relief stress and tension, maybe by laughing at others who are scaredy-cats.
“The concept of the place is to provide a fun, wholesome adventure for teens, young adults and families. They can experience spooky thrills and excitement here. Then again, some children have come out of the place crying.”
The thrill factor is more about tantalising visitors with the beauty of Night Art, which conveys the imagination of the artists who set up the place in a mysterious and bizarre manner, she adds.
“We have incorporated two core values into our theme park attractions: to be fun and educational. We have high hopes that the artistic expressions here will trigger the creative senses of our visitors.”
Another objective is to cultivate the talents of performing arts students to express their theatrical imaginations.
After emerging from the House of Horror, there are many other attractions to tune your mind away from any haunting thoughts. There are the signature electronic “light trees” forest, a Trick Art Museum and the country’s first wax museum, called RedCarpet@i-City.
Both museums are good for fun photos. At the arty one, you can be “eaten” by sharks and dinosaurs or pretend to be a matador as a Spanish bull “charges” at you.
At the RedCarpet, you will encounter some 100 wax figures of movie stars, sports icons, world leaders and historical personalities. You can “fight” Bruce Lee with nunchucks, rub the stubble underneath Yasser Arafat’s chin, give a “press conference” alongside Presidents Obama and Putin, and shout “Merdeka!” next to Tunku Abdul Rahman.
This is also the place to get a real sense of just how large and small certain human Guinness world record holders are, such as the tallest man, the biggest muscles and the longest tongue.
Why, you can even “meet” Annie Hawkins-Turner, the American who has the world’s biggest breasts with a bra size of 102ZZZ.
House of Horror ticket prices (at the door) for MyKad holders are at RM25 (adult) and RM20 (child), while non-MyKad holders pay RM30 (adult) and RM25 (child).
Substantial discounts are available online at iticket.i-city.my. Before Oct 30, visitors enjoy a special rate of RM30 for two while avoiding the hassle of queuing up at the ticket counter.
As part of the upcoming Halloween celebrations, visitors dressed up as their favourite cosplay horror character will get free entry.
Tags / Keywords:
Horror, Theme Park
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