Blackout – A Fractured Memory of the 2016 Blackout Off-Season Experience

From the Editor: Usually when a article is turned in to be published, it comes complete. However, this one was not; I received only half of the Recollection in my email. I asked Jon Kobryn what happened, and all he said was “Check your mailbox.” I complied, and inside was a manila envelope containing a set of three pages, each telling the story of  the 2016 Off-Season experience for Blackout. While I’m not sure exactly what happened during this event or why the pages below look the way they do, I did know that I had to share this story with the community. Below is a fractured memory of the 2016 Blackout Off-Season experience -TMW. 

 

 

Congratulations.

 

This was the sign-off to an email I received from BLACKOUT, informing me that I was selected for one of their highly-coveted off-season shows in NYC.  More details would be provided the night before the event, but until then, all I could do was wait…

 

It had already been a year since I first started following BLACKOUT’s mysterious social media presence, in a desperate attempt to find any way to relieve that itching curiosity that I, like many others, had on my mind: What exactly is BLACKOUT?  Now that I finally had my chance, things had become all too real.  A panic I never anticipated began to emerge.  I was uncertain of what I had gotten myself into.

 

After a week of nervous anticipation, I receive an email at midnight with my set of instructions:  Arrive at the location that will from now until the end of time, remain secret. Come at the exact given time.  Not a minute late.  Not a minute early.  There you will meet a man in a black hoodie.

 

I read over the instructions again while I’m on the train to the location in Brooklyn, making sure I understand all the details in the email perfectly.  The description of a man in a black hoodie is vague enough that it could apply to almost anyone. Four people in my train car alone match the description. The thought that BLACKOUT could already be following me at this very moment sends a shiver down my spine.  Even in this public environment, I don’t feel entirely safe.  For the rest of my train ride, I am hyper aware of my surroundings and can’t shake off the paranoid feeling that I’m being watched.

 

I look down at my phone to see there’s only one minute to go.   It’s time.  My heart pounds as I hurry to the corner.  A speck of black looms in the distance, forming more clearly into a figure the closer I get. He’s been waiting for me.

 

 

Blackout Offseason - Haunted House - Josh Randall - Kristjan Thor - Extreme Haunt - NYC 2016

 

 

We lock eyes.  He immediately goes over a set of guidelines and makes me verbally acknowledge that I understand everything he just said.  Hesitantly, I confirm.  “Turn around and go through the black door,” he says.

 

I turn around.  Behind me is an old, battered RV, with a black door.   The vehicle is so large that I’m shocked I didn’t notice it before.  I’ve read stories of Blackout utilizing warehouse spaces and hotel rooms, but an RV is the last thing I expected, shattering all my expectations moving forward. Without further questioning, I march to the door.  I exhale and step inside, anxiously waiting for what’s to come.

 

What happened next, I cannot discuss, I will not discuss. My original manuscript was redacted heavily. What I surrendered myself to will be discussed for the first time below:

 

 

Blackout Offseason - Haunted House - Josh Randall - Kristjan Thor - Extreme Haunt - NYC 2016

Blackout Offseason - Haunted House - Josh Randall - Kristjan Thor - Extreme Haunt - NYC 2016

Blackout Offseason - Haunted House - Josh Randall - Kristjan Thor - Extreme Haunt - NYC 2016

 

 

For more fractured information on Blackout, please read our interview with the creators from The Overlook Film Festival or our review of Blackout 21. Also, check their website and follow their Facebook and Instagram.

Blackout Off-Season Blackout Off-Season Blackout Off-Season Blackout Off-Season Blackout Off-Season Blackout Off-Season

About The Author

Jon Kobryn
Jon’s fascination with immersive experiences started with haunted houses, but going through Punchdrunk’s production of Sleep No More opened up an entirely new world. A graduate of Temple University’s film program, he lives in Philadelphia with his cat and enjoys traveling, mixology, and Nine Inch Nails.

1 Comment

  • Matt on November 2, 2018

    Amazing, Jon. So well written. Glad you shared your story. It mirrored my own, and brought back some incredible memories of my experience in the RV. I’ll always be grateful to have the “reminder” wrapped in my hand that still brings me back to that Sunday afternoon. There’s truly nothing like being alone with Blackout. Perfect, mind-haunting brilliance.

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