VIDEO | The Soap Factory’s Haunted Basement: Behind the scenes


The artists behind this year’s Haunted Basement exhibit at the Soap Factory were kind enough to give me a tour of the exhibit this past Monday, October 12. Even though I didn’t see the entire thing, and not all the elements were in place yet, this is certainly a scary haunted house, definitely not something for the whole family. Keep in mind some of the video is very dark, but that captures the idea of the project and saves a lot of the scares and surprises for the audience when they attend. Think of this as a horror news segment.

My guide for most of the tour was Gabe Shapiro. He had this to say in regards to the project:

“We have always thought of the Haunted Basement as filling a hole left by the other Halloween offerings on the Twin Cities. There are tons of things for families, many are corny and predictable, and none pushed the definition of a haunted house beyond the stale stuff we’ve all seen every October since who knows when. We set out to offer grown ups who still love Halloween and who want something more scary, but also interesting, from their experience. Also, artists, not amusement park ride builders or a committee of parents designed the space, so our take on fear is probably a bit different.”

From the press release:

Now in its third year, this artist-designed performance project has an uncanny knack for manifesting and magnifying your worst fears. Shifting from last year’s theme of disorientation, The Haunted Basement 2009 takes a darker turn towards the disturbing. In addition to the total absence of natural light, the bone chilling dank, and the subterranean maze of lurid apparatuses, the Haunted Basement crew has added a few new things to the mix.

After a call for submissions, a small group of guest artists and designers have been chosen to create select rooms and costumes. Look for some signature dark work by artists such as Roxanne Jackson, who currently has an exhibition at the MIA’s MAEP gallery. The Haunted Basement has recruited a local scent manufacturing company to create revolting odors, so check your gag reflex at the door. Thanks to EVP recordings taken during the Twin Cities Paranormal Society’s investigation, the Haunted Basement 2009 also features a chilling soundtrack supplied by The Soap Factory’s very own spirits.

Imagined and Engineered by Ben Amel, Benji Conklin, Will Grant, Liseli Polivka, Chris Pennington, Gabe Shapiro, Eric Veldey
October 16 – November 1
6 p.m – 12 a.m. nightly
Mon – Thurs: $15, Fri – Sun: $20
Must be 18+ to enter event (due to mature and disturbing content)
All participants must sign a waiver upon arrival at the Soap Factory.