A Midsummer Nightmare

There are those among us who fervently wish that every day was Christmas. Those people are cowards. Get your off-season Halloween on, with the pants-wetting gore of A Midsummer Nightmare Haunted House.From two veteran theater guys weary of being mocked for having feelings, Nightmare's a three-week-long, adults-only, choad-curdlingly terrifying haunted house that opens just as summer begins, when your biggest fear's usually impending shirtlessness. Eschewing kitschy props like rubber bats, unconvincing goons, and spaghetti for Hostel-style voyeuristic macabre (elaborately bloody scenes depicting violent sexuality and disturbingly scatological bathroom horror, plus "complete and total darkness"), Nightmare holds sacred one inviolate rule: you must go in alone -- defying the one inviolate rule of every other haunted house, "convince your girlfriend to go with, then valorously walk behind her". A paltry five bones gets you in, while $12 lets you bravely bypass the line; $1 extra nabs you a shot of whiskey (max 2), which you can take upon entrance to sack up, or upon exit as a "Thank God I'm alive!" toast before joyously bounding onto the West Side Highway.Despite their background, the founders are quick to assure that Nightmare isn't some sort of non-terrifying theatrical exploration -- then again, what's more frightening than every day being Phantom?