Terror gets personal at The Nest haunted house at Rawhide - East Valley Tribune: Events

Terror gets personal at The Nest haunted house at Rawhide

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Posted: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 12:30 pm

Creators of the legendary The Nest haunted house unveiled the world’s first integration of social media and scare tactics for a personalized fear experience. Using a program that combines Facebook Connect and RFID tracking technology, guests are given the option to sign in and get a credential badge to wear through the haunted house.

Should visitors sign in, photos will be posted straight to their Facebook pages as they get spooked on the way through each haunt, leading into the grand finale of the replicated home of legendary serial killer, Jacob Kell.

But it gets better.

Treading through The Nest’s main haunts that total in 50,000 square feet, guests see their names on cemetery gravestones. Zombies, clowns, bloody butchers and Jacob Kell himself call them by name, just before a newscast playing outside of Kell’s kitchen lists them as his latest victims.

“It’s fantastic stuff,” said Glenn Rea, The Nest’s co-producer. “Now, we can personalize your terror.”

The Nest was inspired by the grim, true story of Kell, who was said to have killed more than 30 people near Northern Arizona in 1945. Rea said the home’s details were replicated down to each room with the help of authentic photographs and local historians.

Rea explains this is “the best year we’ve ever done,” as far as detail and innovation.

Nearly $1 million was spent in animatronics and special effects, and has received national acclaim by MTV, “Good Morning America,” and others.

For the new social media feature, Rea assures guests can revoke access of Facebook at anytime after they visit The Nest.

“It used to be weird to give out your password to things, but it’s just not that way anymore,” Rea said. “These are the things that are new and cutting edge, and the younger crowd loves it.”

The Nest has been haunting guests for the past six years, working its way around the Valley from Avondale, Queen Creek and Chandler. Rea and fellow producer Steve Kopelman have been building haunted houses together in Arizona and other states for about 25 years. Rea credits Kopelman to being the mastermind behind the social media feature, noting that Kopelman “amazes” him every year.

Once you enter The Nest, a brisk walk into the barren field just past Rawhide, you’ll find Bleak, a pitch-black, narrow hallway that spans out to nearly half a mile with surprises waiting inside. Next is the 3-D attraction that aims to put guests on a sensory overload with twisting colors, moving floors and clowns.

Before getting into Kell’s barnhouse, a maze and zombie cemetery lead the way to a brush with Kell, a walk through his slaughter room, and a bizarre butcher, among other things.

“It takes you out of everyday life,” said Rea. “We’ve really gone over the top.”

Enter if you dare.

The Nest will be open until Halloween at Rawhide, 5700 W. North Loop Road in Chandler, on the Gila River Indian Community near Ahwatukee Foothills. General admission tickets are $25 and children under 12 are not recommended to go through the attraction.

Rawhide also provides fun, slightly less terrorizing attractions for younger children and the entire family.

For more information, visit frightened.com.

Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dmartinez@ahwatukee.com

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