Warning: Today’s article will contain images and content of a graphic nature. If you are easily offended by foul language, detailed descriptions of body mutilation and concepts that the general population may find disturbing, turn back now. Enjoy a wholesome article about penguins instead.
Sometimes scaring people is just in your blood. In the case of Lucas Godfrey, he was practically spoon fed horror flicks by his mother since he was extremely young. He grew up watching classic horror movies from the 80’s and for better or worse, became attached to those films.
His fondness and appreciation for the genre followed into his adult life. More importantly, he started to follow the works of several horror pioneers like Rick Baker and Tom Savini, guys who turned the old slasher films into an art form by creating revolutionary makeup and special effects.
As a grown up living just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, Lucas has made horror his profession. He has helped stage several different “zombie walks” throughout the streets of the state capital. Almost any horror fan will tell you, zombies are a huge deal in Georgia these days, as “The Walking Dead” television series is shot there. Lucas also brings his set design skills to the series, helping to give the sets an aged and weathered look.
In addition, he helps host the “Buried Alive Film Festival,” in downtown Atlanta, as well as “Splatter Cinema.” Splatter is a monthly movie festival for horror fans where they focus on a different classic horror flick and recreate a scene from the flick being shown in the lobby.
After doing this for several years, he accumulated a decent amount of custom-made props, costumes and sets from the reenactments. So what’s a guy to do with it?
Several members of the horror fan community in Atlanta saw that there was an old abandoned factory that wasn’t being utilized just behind the Masquerade and Lucas and his friends seized the opportunity to create a completely unique haunt experience.
One of the biggest problems is “Netherworld,” one of the world’s largest and most successful haunts was right down the road and they needed to set themselves apart. Instead of creating a traditional conga line experience where there is no rhyme or reason to what effects go off when and if you even get to see certain elements at all. So the decision was made not to really compete with them, but offer an alternative to that type of “chew ‘em up and spit ‘em out” type of attraction.
He looked at what was popular at the time and realized that films like “Saw” and “Hostel” were dominating the box office and clearly audiences took to them. So he went out to create a haunt that took some of the most gruesome moments from those films (without using those franchise names) and would bring guests in eight at a time and create individual scenes. While they couldn’t possibly do the numbers of the bigger houses – Lucas believes in quality over quantity.
From that basic idea, the Chambers of Horror was born. They knew that it was getting harder and harder to scare people, as people have seen it all by now and they knew if they were going to stand out, they wanted to do something different. So that first year they created a house that was slightly adult and had more of a PG-13 vibe. The response was lukewarm at best. Any true horror fan will tell you that if a horror movie is rated PG-13, it sucks. Chambers of Horror then started experimenting with doing an adults only version of the same haunt after 10 p.m.
The response was overwhelming, but also problematic. They first had to cycle everyone out of the family friendlier version… go and change props and often costumes and then re-open. This would take at least a half hour and put a halt to the entire operation. However, the line waiting to get into the adults-only version of Chambers of Horror was far longer than the one earlier in the night.
By their second year, they knew what they had to do.
Year two brought in a new storyline and a completely new adults-only experience. The back story is guests are visiting a nightmare factory called “TortureCo.” If you’ve got the dinero, “TortureCo” will bring pain and agony to those who have wronged you in life… or just innocent civilians if that’s your sort of thing. Just like a true R-rated horror flick, Chambers of Horror doesn’t hold back when it comes to things being overly gruesome or adult. Many of the victims and even those doing the torture are wearing extremely skimpy costumes or are completely naked, depending on the scene. This house isn’t for kiddies.
After chatting with Lucas for a while, I asked him if there is one thing that is considered the most shocking out of the house that he could share without giving too much away. Yes, friends, there is. Every year in the Chamber of Horrors – someone is getting their dick cut off. Most haunts, even if they were to attempt this, the scene would be scene with the guy’s back facing the audience and you never really get to see the mutilation. Not COH, as they have created a prosthetic penis where, after it gets cut off, is waived in front of the audience. In addition, the prosthetic frank and beans is connected to a supply of warm water, which gives the audience the sensation of… well… you know.
Speaking of, I asked what the audience reaction was to the Chambers of Horror, ya know, on the extreme end. Lucas told me that nearly every night, someone literally pees their pants.
To be fair, the haunt offers a bar outside so people are literally filling their bladders while waiting in line. Also, many times throughout the season, the performers will smell what they think is initially fart… but it lingers, for the over 20 minutes that it takes to get out of the building. Yes friends, you read it here on TPU first. People do literally shit their pants while in Chambers of Horror. I feel fulfilled as a journalist.
Personally, my favorite little detail that Lucas told me was, every once in a while, just after the first room in the haunt, some guests just don’t want to proceed and turn around within less than five minutes. This happens in every haunted house all over the world – often. No refunds are offered in a haunted house like this, however, that doesn’t mean the scaredy cat can’t enjoy themselves. What often happens is they offer that person to go behind the scenes further in the house. They promise not to scare them and there will be no effects going off. However, they get the scared guest to act as if they are being tortured… often to the amazement and fear of their friends as they watch their buddy, who clearly left after the first room be dragged down the hall to a fate of God knows what.
So if you’re interested in an extreme house that is guaranteed to be more adult-oriented than the kiddy haunts you visited when you were a child, you gotta take a trip to Atlanta and experience Chambers of Horror. It might just scare the piss out of ya!
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