Risen from the Grave
House of Shock “Resurrection” promises new thrills.
When House of Shock closed its ghastly doors at the end of the 2014 Halloween season due to financial issues, many people thought it was the end of an era, and in a way it was. That iteration of the famous haunted house, a popular attraction for 22 years, has passed on to the great beyond, giving way to the “Resurrection.”
House of Shock returns with a 100 percent retooled haunted house on October 2. It will be a welcome sight for the community of supporters who rallied to persuade the owners to continue the scares.
Ross Karpelman, owner of House of Shock along with partners Jay Gracianette and Steven Joseph, says the decision to return started with a Kickstarter campaign created by loyal volunteers and fans. “The campaign really raised awareness to see how the public felt about us coming back,” he says. Along with awareness, it raised $25,000. “The donations gave a resounding message, and what we heard was, ‘Yes, we want you back’ from the public,” he says.
Like many small business owners, there is a tangible emotional connection to the work. “When we dug down deep,” Karpelman says, “it was something we had dedicated our lives to and built into something of note with 300 volunteers who love it too. To see it go would have left a giant hole in our hearts, as well as those fans who make House of Shock part of their Halloween ritual.”
The Kickstarter campaign ended successfully before it expired, and a new investor (who wishes to remain anonymous) contacted the three owners. That person provided additional capital to rebuild and reopen one of the highest-rated haunted houses in the world.
“We made the call to stay,” Karpelman continues, “and we have completely torn down just about everything and are building two brand new events, including ‘The Bordello of Freaks’ and a 3-D area called ‘LAFF in the Dark,’ which includes 3-D glasses. We are providing more scares per square foot, and really compiling an all-out assault on you with clowns. If we were coming back, we knew we had to come back with a completely new event.”
Visitors will also be greeted by a new entrance, one designed to mimic the old LeBeau Masion, a plantation home in Old Arabi that burnt down in 2013. Resurrection will also incorporate feedback from visitor exit polls to improve wait times and provide more entertainment while waiting.
After being featured in magazines like Rolling Stone, Maxim, Playboy and Bazaar, House of Shock is internationally known and attracts tourists from across the globe. Some have traveled from as far as Japan and Israel just to cross House of Shock off their bucket lists.
“We love New Orleans,” Karpelman says. “We could have taken this concept anywhere but we are New Orleanians and this is a uniquely New Orleans event. We’re really happy to be back and have the support of the community.”
For the schedule and online ticket sales, visit HouseofShock.com.
Jennifer Gibson Schecter was once a tourist in New Orleans herself and is now proud to call NOLA home. Prior to New Orleans, she wrote for publications in the Midwest and New York City. She advises travelers to ask their cab/pedicab/gondola driver for their favorite restaurant and taking a chance.