Through the door, down the stairs, and to the left. I’m wearing a shirt stained with someone else’s blood, tiptoeing through a deserted house, following a trail of candles. The silence weighs heavily on me; I start to wonder that maybe they just forgot about me. Then, a shadow moves. A flash of a grin in the darkness. fear house
Fear House is a horror bar and haunted house in the city center of Prague. They offer a regular tour, and a hardcore tour – both will vary slightly on the night, depending on which actors are available. The regular tour takes around 15 minutes and sets you back $20 per person – for a maximum group size of five. No extreme techniques are used, however, actors will touch and grab you. The hardcore version, for those older than 18, is experienced all alone and utilizes very aggressive and extreme techniques. This tour costs about $53 dollars and takes approximately 25 minutes, including a waiver signing. Expect to leave with stained clothes and a couple of bruises.
Fear House had been high on my list for some time – and specifically their solo hardcore tour. Several extreme haunt-minded friends had wholeheartedly recommended the place, while urging me not to underestimate the intensity. Online, I found a number of reviews, showing off bruises and strongly telling people to avoid the place. Still – I thought “How bad can it be?..” Fear House is a horror bar and haunted house smack in the middle of the center of Prague, an area that attracts hordes of visitors and sightseers. The bar is delightfully tacky, with dark, gothic interiors, spooky lighting, and gooey candy eyeballs garnishing tiki cocktail mugs. Clearly a tourist trap, and definitely not an ultraviolent extreme haunt hiding in plain sight.
Well… about half an hour after signing a waiver, I was dragged back into the bar, and soaked in fake blood. Half of my tongue was numb, and parts of my face felt like the blood might not all be fake. People casually chatting and having drinks fell silent, as I was presented at my table, trapped in a headlock by a beastly butcher, and subsequently dragged away again into the bathrooms. A few minutes later, still an absolute mess, I had trouble trying to relay my experience. Partly because I was seriously taken aback by what had just happened and had no idea where to start. Partly because of a tongue that was still slowly coming back alive, leaving me to lisp my way through my incoherent story. I have swam a fair bit in the full-contact haunt waters, and some of those waters have been pretty deep. And I can assure you – that Hardcore Tour brand is no joke. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this shook.
Fear House was quite the introduction to Prague, as we had come straight from the airport to the experience. I guess the question is – should you? Well, first of all, Jesus Christ, how I pity the unsuspecting tourists who end up signing up for this tour. The negative reviews of shocked, bruised attendees make a lot of sense now. But, on the other hand – if you know you are looking for something along those lines, away from the beaten path, more intense, more real, and if you have done your research – then this could be exactly for you. And yes, I screamed in pain, and I had tears streaming down my cheeks. Yes, I had some bruises, a small cut, and the next morning felt like a bad hangover – only in part due to a couple of large jugs of Czech pilsner. I am still of two minds about how safe the show actually was – whether parts that felt dangerous were actually hazardous, or just brilliantly executed. But importantly, after that first morning, I was perfectly okay. Bruises fade away. In the show, I had also laughed, been amazed, and caught completely off guard. Same goes for my friends who experienced roughly the same. Initial shock and awe, and then praising the show for its raw brutality. This was no cheap knock off. It’s a short, very sharp burst of extreme horror, unrelenting and uncompromising. Fear House is one of those places I am truly happy still exists in a world where everything is more and more sanded down and baby-proofed. So – if you are into extreme haunts, if you want to be pushed, and if you vaguely know what you are in for, then hell yes! You should do this.
And if not – they do offer a regular tour. Me and my girlfriend, who had wisely decided that the Hardcore Tour might not be the right choice for her, gave it a go – and it’s genuine good, spooky fun. This, I recommend to anyone. But, keep in mind, even in the regular tour, Fear House actors are allowed to touch you, and they don’t mind over-delivering just a little bit – five minutes into the regular tour, I had the pleasure of watching one of my tormentors from the previous day dragging away my girlfriend by her feet, both of them disappearing behind a curtain. Judging from the mix of screams, growls, and laughter, they had a pretty good time.
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