By Jacqueline Monahan
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Madame Tussauds After Dark:  The SCREAM Attraction

You’ve been there before, got into bed with Hugh Hefner, married the eternal bachelor that is George Clooney, maybe even laid a hand on the famous Jennifer Lopez posterior (making her blush).  The Johnny Depp is unnervingly life-like; the Jodie Foster seems tiny, as does Joan Rivers.  The well lit interior lets you get up close and personal with some of the biggest entertainment, political, and sports figures on the planet.


The Entrance Seems Friendly Enough...


That is, at any other time of year except late October.  That’s when the SCREAM exhibit plunges the museum into shall we say, darker pursuits.  All of your favorite stars are still there, but they take on an ominous presence as you pass them by, with only a four inch glow-stick (red) to guide you.  Suddenly, Liberace’s bling doesn’t seem so festive; and Judy Garland looks as if there’s a grimace on her face…just for you.

There’s a seemingly endless series of dark halls for you to meander, stroll, or scamper through.  These are populated by familiar figures – if you can make them out – and accompanied by other two-legged creatures that are able to move.  They aren’t shy, either.


...But Looks Are Deceiving!


Then you enter the area appropriately named SCREAM and realize there’s no turning back.  One of the hysterical inmates warns you to escape, even assisting you hurriedly into an elevator that takes you into another “scarea” (not area) of the creepy place.

Yes, you’ll encounter a Chamber of Horrors, complete with its own maximum security prison.  This one has been taken over by its unsavory, maniacal inmates and they wait…just for you.

Things rattle and clank; doors slam.  Someone yells behind you, sounding like an injured animal.  You feel something blow against your neck.  Turn back if you must, but you’ll only catch a glimpse of some menacing creature coming up fast behind you.  Is there something in his hand?  What did I just walk into?

The Unsuspecting Crowd

At some point you wonder if the hysterical shrieks are coming from you or your stalkers.  Their most devious act is hiding next to a wax figure in the dark, still and silent enough to make you think they’re one of them.  You might recognize a kindly blah, only to find that his neighbor makes a grab for you, cackling madly.

Strobe and flashing lights add to the asylum atmosphere.  There is no smoke, but once in a while you’ll catch sight of yourself in a pane of glass or mirror, and that might be the biggest scare of all.  That could be Madonna behind you, but not if she’s got an ax in her hand.  You might not be safe with Elvis, either.

Visitors are encouraged to stay together in a tight group.  Exits may be accessed at any time for panicky patrons, but once they escape, they won’t be allowed to return.  Imagine what the inhabitants would do with a second chance at the ones who got away.

Welcome With A Double-Sided Axe

This is serious scary fun, but you won’t be allowed to take photographs or videotape the creepy experience.  Ghosts, after all are hard to capture.  Visitors to SCREAM are another story.  What haunts these premises are creatures that move faster than you do, and they know it.  Part of what makes you scream is that you don’t, and by the time you realize it, their fang-filled jawbone is next to yours and it’s not to give you a friendly smooch.

The final door of the dark maze will lead you into the brightly lit gift shop, a final scream emanating from you when you get a load of the prices.  Just kidding.  The gift shop is one of the most welcoming spots in the SCREAM journey, the last enticing treat at the end of a sinister maze.  Getting there, you know you’ve survived.

For a great nocturnal wax attack, Madame Tussauds After Dark is a SCREAMing good time, and the more people you take in with you (six is the limit) the better the experience.  Just don’t do it alone.

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