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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    How to survive the Slaughter House

    Rebecca Marie Sasnett

    A volunteer walks out of a room with hanging fake dead bodies in the Slaughter House’s City Meats haunt on Thursday. The Slaughter House plans on changing the City Meats and Carnevil haunts for the next Halloween season.

    Halloween weekend marks the Slaughter House’s last open weekend in Tucson this year. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of being chased by a crazed, chainsaw murderer this year, you should probably purchase a ticket.

    The Slaughter House features five main haunts, each with their own twisted theme to make you wish you never left the comfort of your own home.

    However, if the prospects of the Slaughter House’s haunts don’t make you cringe, the building’s history certainly might.

    “This used to be a Farmer John’s Slaughter House,” said Bobby Sutton, owner and manager of the Slaughter House, dating the origin of the house back to the 1950s.

    “People would bring their cows, horses, sheep — anything you slaughtered in the West, they brought over here,” Sutton added.

    On top of deranged clowns, zombies and dead livestock, the Slaughter House occasionally hosts a wholesome family group called Suspension Merriment. Team S&M performs an act in which the husband and wife duo suspend themselves from hooks, piercing their skin at various parts of their body. The show is not for those with weak stomachs and issues regarding blood.

    “It’s intense, it’s over the top and it’s very extreme,” Sutton said. “If that’s your thing, it’s here, and it’s crazy.”

    The Slaughter House actors include staff members of several years, iconic actors such as Big Bobby, the in-house chainsaw murderer and even high school drama club students. However, according to Sutton, the majority of volunteers come from fraternities, sororities and non-profit groups trying to raise money.

    If the building’s fleshy history is enough to pique your interest, here is some advice from both Sutton and I to survive the utterly terrifying haunts at the Slaughter House:

    1. Go hug a butcher.

    But not just any butcher. Find one with a history of violence, a little foam around his mouth, a gas mask and chainsaw. Only then will you be prepared for the Slaughter House’s City Meats haunt.

    You may be asking yourself, “Is the hug really necessary?” The answer is, “Yes.” The brutish butchers at City Meats aren’t afraid of showing you a little love, up close and personal.

    2. Fire up your favorite first-person zombie shooter.

    One of Slaughter House’s newest haunts, Apocalypse, features something even the most experienced haunted house goers will find new and exhilarating.

    The interactive post-apocalyptic haunt is overrun by zombies, and they need your expert marksmanship to help clear the grounds of the soulless corpses.

    “Through the evolution of some cheaper weapons systems, we created the top-of-the-line, military training, tactical weapon,” Sutton said. “We brought that over to the entertainment side, and it’s revolutionizing the industry.”

    Having personally been thrust into the dim, dank, zombie-ridden haunt with only 150 rounds to fend for myself, I can say it’s well worth going. Always remember: Aim for the head.

    3. Become well-acquainted with your local cemetery.

    At night. With some of the dead walking around.

    If you’re a fan of tight spaces and never-ending mazes, then you should definitely consider going to The Graveyard at the Slaughter House. I couldn’t walk through this one quickly enough.

    Not only were there way too many places for something to jump out and scare the living daylights out of me, but I made the mistake of feeling sorry for a little girl crying for her lost sister… Trust no one.

    4. Drop any fear you might have of clowns. Right now.

    Carnevil was admittedly the first haunted house I visited, but that detracts in no way from this horrendous experience.

    When your guide asks you if you want the 3D glasses at the entrance, say yes. The black-light lit haunt with neon paint splattered all over the walls becomes a completely disorienting experience from the very start.

    With rabid clowns abound and pressure valves releasing around you at any given moment, there’s no time for rest until you’re breathing the cool night air outside the haunt’s walls.

    5. “Don’t look like you’re afraid.”

    Sutton wants his customers to try to be brave when visiting the Slaughter House.

    “If you’re walking across the lawn and a guy with a chainsaw chases you, don’t run, because he’s coming after you — hard.”According to Sutton, safety is but an illusion inside the Slaughter House.

    Sutton said the strategy of hiding behind your friends is a fruitless task because his crew is trained to identify and provoke those who look like they are hiding, both within and outside of the haunts.

    On Nov. 1, the Slaughter House is planning something special for students at the UA. During the Slaughter House’s Fear Fest event, Benny Benassi will be performing while a few of the haunts remain open for visitors to indulge their masochistic desires. If you are looking for a time to go, Sutton said this will be the night for you.


    Follow Ian Martella on Twitter.

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