It’s been over fifteen hours since I’ve been freed from unthinkable psychological torture, yet my heart still beats rapidly whenever I hear those three words: The Nightmare Realm – the name itself is enough to send shivers down your spine.
The Nightmare Realm is a walk-through horror house that brings you through different scare zones and scenarios that in my opinion are the biggest testament to how ballsy you really are. Creepy music, crackling sounds and moments of complete silence in the dark, why would anyone willingly put themselves through that?
“IRELAND’S MOST TERRIFYING HALLOWEEN SCARE HOUSE
AN EXTREME WALK-THROUGH HORROR EVENT PREYING ON YOUR DEEPEST FEARS AND NIGHTMARES AND TWISTING THEM INTO A DEADLY REALITY”
Well I can only speak for myself and there’s just something about increased heart rate and sweaty palms that come from watching horrors, that I can’t seem to turn my back on. So when the opportunity to attend the pre-opening of The Nightmare Realm with my friend Lorna at the RDS yesterday, I thought I’d be well able for it – boy, was I wrong!
If there is only one learning I can take from yesterday’s experience, it is this: in order to survive The Nightmare Realm, you have to be prepared. Without a little bit of preparation, it may be a complete nightmare – and not the kind that you’re hoping for!
So without further ado, here are my top tips:
- Comfortable footwear is fundamental to surviving any scare attraction because you are going to be running for your LIFE! Avoid heels, ditch the sandals and don’t even think about flip flops. Runners are your best bet here, after witnessing Lorna nearly losing her shoe, I can’t stress this point enough!
- Loose clothing is a must! With all the physiological effects this experience will have on you, the chances are, you won’t come out of it half as cute as you looked going in. You might as well wear your gym gear as you will be bathing in your own sweat by the end of it. Runners, yoga pants… treat it as a gym sesh.. except instead of a personal trainer yelling at you, you’ll have Emily Rose telling you she likes the smell of your flesh.
- Go with a group. Going as a duo might sound like a good idea, but after being put into a group yesterday, I think having a crowd around you definitely makes you feel safer. There’s a lot of comfort in knowing that those around you are going through similar feelings. In a way, it brings you closer – it really is a bonding experience, to say the least!
- A reassuring voice among your crowd makes it all the better. There has to be someone with a voice of reason, who will let you cling onto them all the way through. If you go with someone whose only instinct is to search for the emergency exit, then you’re setting yourself up for a bigger scare than you would like!
- Take turns going first! Going from one scary zone to the next is probably the most bloodcurdling thing about this whole experience because you never know what to expect. It would be unfair to burden one person with such a duty. Take turns being the leader, it might even toughen you up!
- Zip everything up! Be sure to choose a zip up bag and clothing with zip-pockets for the walk-through. Otherwise, you may lose your belongings and give the monsters something to feed i.e the energy they need to catch you! Okay,bad joke…. but do keep your phone in a safe place!
- Remind yourself it isn’t real. This isn’t a no-fail tactic, but I found that reminding myself that the scary clowns were just performers who wouldn’t physically harm me did prevent me from having a complete mental breakdown.
- Make eye contact with the enemy! This might sound ludicrous to some of you, but I can only speak from experience here and I found that the more I looked away or closed my eyes, the more I was targeted by the sinister clowns and zombies. Look them in the eye, show them you’re tougher than they think!
- Expect everything and anything! I expected very little from this scare house and I think that’s part of why it was such a numbing experience for me. If you expect the worst, maybe it won’t seem that bad? Not a guaranteed tactic, but hey, I’m just trying to help!
- Enjoy it! These things are meant to be enjoyable as much as they’re meant to scare you. At the end of the day, none of it is real and that is the beauty of it all! It may feel like you’re in a never-ending scary maze at some points. But remember, it won’t last forever so you might as well get maximum enjoyment from it all– have fun with it!
The Nightmare Realm is in the RDS Dublin & Albert Quay Cork from today – 5th November. Full details here.