Warning! Spoilers from It lie ahead. Read on, if you dare…
This past weekend, I ran some errands and soaked up the last bits of summer. You know, nothing *too* out of the ordinary. Except for the fact that I went to “The It Experience: Neibolt House Hollywood” and came face to face with the horrors from the film IRL.
Because there’s nothing like having your nightmares realized in a haunted house.
Accompanied by HelloGiggles’ Associate Editor Anna Gragert — who I’m convinced I’ve traumatized after bringing her along to a screening of the film and now this — I approached the house where Pennywise the Clown lives (this time at Hollywood Blvd. and Vine St.).
The house was creepy and uninviting, sure. But Anna and I were determined to see what was inside — even if there was a sign that said “NO TRESPASSING.” Go ahead and call us rule breakers. WE WON’T STOP YOU.
* Ooops! 💁 *
Our guide was “Georgie,” the younger brother to Bill (Jaeden Lieberher). He meets a gruesome death in the film when Pennywise chomps his arm off and drags him into the sewer so he can float, too. (Georgie should’ve listened to that ‘ol saying, “Never trust a clown in a sewer!”)
The “undead” Georgie led us through the house, taking us to recreations of some of the film’s scariest scenes.
First, we popped into a room full of fake clowns. But they weren’t all fake. While we watched another attendee open a coffin, slowly and carefully in case anything or anyone was hiding inside, a clown sneaked up behind Anna and me and scared the bejeezus out of us.
Then we went to a room that recreated the slideshow scene, in which the mother in a family photo transforms into Pennywise. Thankfully, none of Pennywise’s friends squeaked up behind us that go around. *Phew* But that feeling of relief was short lived because next, we entered a room that recreated the “SCARY,” “VERY SCARY,” and “NOT SCARY AT ALL” doors.
Attendees were asked to open them, and one opened the “NOT SCARY AT ALL” door to find an automated clown inside. So yeah, not scary at all. Another opened the “SCARY” door and when it looked like the coast was clear, someone said, “Ah, it’s nothing!” Spoke too soon, my friend, because soon after, an undead-looking figure leapt out of the door screaming and flailing, and frightened the living daylights out of all present.
And what would an It haunted house be without Pennywise in the flesh?
As we moved our way through what looked like sewer tunnels — where Pennywise hangs out, probably working through the ‘ol watch list, and definitely not feeding off of the fear of children — we saw the creepy clown. But Pennywise was automated and not Bill Skarsgard. * Tears *
Still, emboldened by the fact that we survived the film and were nearing the end of the haunted house, Anna and I were no longer terrified out of our minds. (Sort of like how, in the movie, Pennywise loses its power when the kids say they aren’t afraid.) I’m not saying you should call us brave, but you can if you want.
Because we did make it out alright, and didn’t even float. So take THAT, Pennywise!
Sadly, Sunday was the last day of “The It Experience.” But, It is currently in theaters. So give it a watch. That is, if you’re feeling brave like us.