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Catharsis - A different kind of "haunt" in Orlando

PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:07 pm
by robbalvey
So tonight we experienced "Catharsis" which on their website is described as "an all-new immersive haunted experience unlike anything florida has ever encountered" which is most certainly accurate! The website goes on to say the following...

"this experience is not about simply startling you. this is not an "extreme" haunted house. catharsis is about reaching you on a deeper level. it's about the chill that runs down your spine. it's about the involuntary feeling of dread that consumes you as you step out into the unknown."

And yes, that would also be correct. This is *NOT* the style of haunted house where you go through close corridors greeted by "jump scares" or startles. In fact, we didn't encounter any of that at all, which is a nice welcome change from many haunt events that I've grown a little bit jaded of over the years.

This was more of an "interactive theater" experience set to the seven deadly sins, and while I won't go into much that happen actually in the experience as to not give too much away, we did have a really good time interacting with the characters. At no point would I consider anything too "scary" and there were no "gross out" gags, but it was all really interesting, fun, and very creepy depending on the type of person you are as it was more of a "psychological" fear than a physical one. I personally prefer this.

The actors are allowed to touch you but not in a mean way, it's all meant to play into the creep factor of it, and while things like this don't scare me or make me feel uncomfortable, others might, but really it's just a good time in some one-on-one settings with the actors in small sets playing out their parts and you enjoying it.

I know it's hard to describe because I don't want to give much away, but check out their website: http://www.fearcatharsis.com/

Here's a few photos from tonight and some of the images from the website that give you an *idea* of what to expect....

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We have just checked in to the Deadly Sins Bar to experience Catharsis! I have taken the liberty to underline my favorite deadly sin!

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We go down this hall and we may never be heard from again!

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The "Deadly Sins Bar" is the waiting area where you hang out until you are called to experience Catharsis. Tonight they had some very sinful acts going on which I did not mind one bit!

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Here's some of the vibe of the Deadly Sins Bar before Selena takes you back to experience Catharsis. Was a great freaky night!

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So we survived Catharsis. Cannot tell you what we experienced but Tom made some new friends!

Here's some of the images & videos from the website and you can take away what you want from these....
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Re: Catharsis - A different kind of "haunt" in Orlando

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 1:37 pm
by KBrylczyk
These types of halloween events could go either way, in my experience. Either it's pretty tame but with good ideas or it just becomes a mean hostage simulator. This, luckily, sounds more like the former. Since you didn't go into detail I have no idea just what happened and how far it went but it seems like you had a good time. With a dancer like that right out in the bar, who wouldn't?

Re: Catharsis - A different kind of "haunt" in Orlando

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 1:43 pm
by robbalvey
KBrylczyk wrote:These types of halloween events could go either way, in my experience. Either it's pretty tame but with good ideas or it just becomes a mean hostage simulator. This, luckily, sounds more like the former. Since you didn't go into detail I have no idea just what happened and how far it went but it seems like you had a good time. With a dancer like that right out in the bar, who wouldn't?

Yeah, it was certainly not the "mean hostage simulator" which I find that stuff also not fun and only for "shock value" which is IMO sort of dumb. This was (for me) not "scary" but I also am very desensitized to most haunt events. I can see where it may make other people nervous. It scores high on the "weird" factor, which I personally find far more interesting than jump scares because to be really "weird" you actually need talent. Anyone can bang a wrench against a wall and try to startle you.

Again, I won't give away any spoilers but for anyone who did "Alone" when that was at Busch Gardens Tampa, this reminded me more of that, and I really liked Alone!

Re: Catharsis - A different kind of "haunt" in Orlando

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 2:10 pm
by Samuel
robbalvey wrote:
KBrylczyk wrote:These types of halloween events could go either way, in my experience. Either it's pretty tame but with good ideas or it just becomes a mean hostage simulator. This, luckily, sounds more like the former. Since you didn't go into detail I have no idea just what happened and how far it went but it seems like you had a good time. With a dancer like that right out in the bar, who wouldn't?

Yeah, it was certainly not the "mean hostage simulator" which I find that stuff also not fun and only for "shock value" which is IMO sort of dumb. This was (for me) not "scary" but I also am very desensitized to most haunt events. I can see where it may make other people nervous. It scores high on the "weird" factor, which I personally find far more interesting than jump scares because to be really "weird" you actually need talent. Anyone can bang a wrench against a wall and try to startle you.


Well said, Robb. "Shock" and "startle," as well as "gross" for that matter, are thematic descriptions of houses that can totally dodge having actual interesting and memorable qualities. To your bang a wrench against the wall point, a fire drill at work recently startled me far greater than any gag at the recent haunts I've attended, and I wouldn't pay admission for a fire alarm to surprise me!

Catharsis looks interesting, and the site does a good job of keeping an aura of mystique to it. People really seem to be eating up these boutique interactive/elaborate haunts.

Re: Catharsis - A different kind of "haunt" in Orlando

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 6:55 pm
by robbalvey
Samuel wrote:Catharsis looks interesting, and the site does a good job of keeping an aura of mystique to it. People really seem to be eating up these boutique interactive/elaborate haunts.

I honestly think it's because your standard theme park haunts are getting a little "tired." I mean, look, I like going to events like HHN, HowlOScream and Scary Farm, but I'll be honest, a lot of the haunted houses *feel* the same year after year. Yes, you see some great sets, cool visuals, and different themes every year, but they all go back to some very basic scare tactics and when you've going through literally HUNDREDS of mazes like this over the last 20 years, and while I still do appreciate them today, sometimes I'm looking for a different more unique experience.

I really liked mazes like "Alone" that Howl-O-Scream did and the idea of stuff like "Trapped" at Knott's. Even the new VR thing at HHN sounds pretty cool. I wish we would see more unique things like this at haunt events. So an experience like Catharsis was exactly what I was looking for. Different and interesting from your normal haunts, but not some sort of weird violent or gross-out haunt either.

Re: Catharsis - A different kind of "haunt" in Orlando

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:10 pm
by PKI Jizzman
Great review and glad to see these style of "haunts" succeeding/getting solid reviews from experienced visitors. Chicago had a similar experience last year, but the small theater struggled (I was the only one during my time slot last year) and couldn't continue this year. Mega bummer. Hope we see more of these in the future!

Re: Catharsis - A different kind of "haunt" in Orlando

PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 6:28 pm
by robbalvey
They posted the pics of "Total Package Tom" aka TPTomTom on the Catharsis Facebook page today! Yes this happened...

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Re: Catharsis - A different kind of "haunt" in Orlando

PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 6:35 pm
by tomtom
I'm impressed, I think you may have captured the exact moment where I accidently elbowed the guy in the face.

Re: Catharsis - A different kind of "haunt" in Orlando

PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 7:00 pm
by edgeboy
This sounds very similar to Creep and Alone, which I have both enjoyed. More dark, psychological, immersive theater intended to unsettle and confound rather than shock.

I do also enjoy jump scares and gross outs, but it's just as much fun to enjoy other spectrums of fear. Some people are very, very disturbed by theses sorts of haunts, and others find them lacking. I think it depends on your expectations and personal comfort levels.

Re: Catharsis - A different kind of "haunt" in Orlando

PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 7:11 pm
by robbalvey
edgeboy wrote:This sounds very similar to Creep and Alone, which I have both enjoyed. More dark, psychological, immersive theater intended to unsettle and confound rather than shock.

I do also enjoy jump scares and gross outs, but it's just as much fun to enjoy other spectrums of fear. Some people are very, very disturbed by theses sorts of haunts, and others find them lacking. I think it depends on your expectations and personal comfort levels.

Personal comfort levels has a lot to do with it. Nothing they did made me personally uncomfortable, but I'm also very desensitized to this kind of stuff. That being said I could see where others could be made to feel very uncomfortable, but that did not take away from my enjoyment of the whole thing.

If you're talking about "Alone" that was at Busch Gardens Tampa, yes, this reminded me a lot of that, which was not a bad thing.