We are officially Halfway to Halloween! And while there’s only a few short months until the start of the haunted season, why waste the opportunity to get a little spooky? Enter last weekend’s terrifying Club Carnage! Presented by Ashes Tales of Terror (a local horror company known for their unique storytelling and vibrant characters) and hosted by Sanford gothic music venue Manikins Lounge, Club Carnage was a pop-up, 18+ event featuring an immersive Halloween experience, special sideshow performances, live DJ, and walk around scaractor entertainment.
As a huge horror fan, I was THRILLED to experience this limited engagement event. I had an amazing time celebrating the upcoming spooky season and Halloween holiday. In this article, we’ll talk about all the terrifying things I encountered at Club Carnage, but first I want to give a huge THANK YOU to Ashes Tales of Terror for having me out!
One Quick Note: Club Carnage was a special, one-weekend-only celebration commemorating the halfway point to Halloween night. While Club Carnage has ended, Ashes Tales of Terror is hard at work creating more in and off season events for horror fans. Follow their Instagram and Facebook pages for all the latest updates.
A Warning: Club Carnage was an R-rated, 18+ adventure. As such, some of the content described in this article may be unsuitable for younger readers.
Club Carnage: An Immersive Halloween Experience
The centerpiece of the event was an immersive Halloween teaser leading guests away from their traditional surroundings and plunging them into a terror-laden, underground nightclub – filled with crazed creatures, pumping music, and reality-bending atmosphere.
Arriving at Club Carnage
After arriving at Manikins Lounge and asking where to find the Halloween teaser, I was directed to walk around the building to the right side. I knew I was in the right place once I found a few shady characters offering questionable pieces of candy. While tempting, I managed to avoid the peer pressure and officially checked in for the Club Carnage experience.
Before entering Club Carnage, Ashes’ staff offered me the option of wearing a glow necklace. While not necessary to enjoy the overall experience, donning this jewelry would indicate that I was open to higher levels of personalized interaction (including light touching from the performers) during my journey. Those that chose to avoid the necklace were still treated to an immersive, themed experience. The performers simply kept a safer distance and refrained from touching the participant. After putting on my necklace and walking the short, marked pathway; I was ushered into the club by this crazy creature:
Inside Club Carnage
Inside the Club Carnage walk through, I encountered a blacklight filled nightclub – with scenes including a dance floor, entrance booth, seating area, and even a bathroom. Each section was decorated with glow in the dark paint, key set pieces, and trippy decor. It felt like we could’ve been in a real underground nightclub!
But while the set design and atmosphere were, of course, amazing, what really makes Ashes Tales of Terror unique is the level of personalized interactions included in every experience. No two journeys through Club Carnage were exactly the same. I went through twice, and each trip had a different combination of scaractors performing a different series of interactions. And as someone wearing a glow necklace, I had a particularly intense set of experiences – such as someone shoving my hand in a toilet bowl, leading me down a hidden pathway, and being poked and prodded by several performers.
During my visit, the Club Carnage immersive experience exited directly into Manikins Lounge! The music venue was the perfect setting for a deadly afterparty – featuring beloved Venue 13 DJ Paul Vaine, drink specials, and late night dancing to goth, darkwave, punk, and more alternative music styles.
While the immersive Halloween experience was the centerpiece of the spooky celebration, Club Carnage also featured some incredible sideshow performances! Twice nightly, guests got to enjoy the stomach-churning artistry of Pig Pen the Clown. The local performer completed classic sideshow tricks like The Human Blockhead, pinching his tongue in a mousetrap, and “mental floss” (look it up if you dare). For the grand finale, audience members were encouraged to literally staple their (hopefully) generous tips to various parts of Pig Pen’s body.
Freaky Thoughts: Club Carnage
With talented performers, creative set design, and a variety of spooky activities; Club Carnage was a delightfully fun way to celebrate the impending return of the spooky season. Thank you, Ashes Tales of Terror, for another awesome event!
Club Carnage might be closed for now, but Ashes Tales of Terror is always working towards their next terrifying story. Read my coverage about their previous haunts: Santa’s Slaughterhouse and Carnies of Devil’s Bayou. And don’t forget to follow them on Facebook and Instagram for all their latest updates!