Wish your haunting experience at Philadelphia’s best Halloween attraction was more… giggly?
You’re in luck!
This fall, visitors to Eastern State Penitentiary will be treated to a new interactive experience: tickle monsters. Attendees will still walk through the attractions they have loved in years past, with the addition of fuzzy cuddly monsters around every corner, waiting to cram their furry hand into armpits and neck hollows.
“Visitors to our attractions were becoming bored with being simply grabbed or shaken by our performers,” said Terror Behind the Walls organizer Terry Bloodthurst in an official statement. Bloodthurst was appointed head of the Terror division after attendance declined last year, with many claiming that going through the same attractions each year was no longer scary. “We decided if we can’t make our attendees pee in fear, they can pee in laughter.”
While ticklers will be spread throughout the attractions, the largest of the creatures will be a many-armed tickle monster, capable of tickling up to 6 visitors at one time. Handsy, the puppeteer who built this behemoth creature, commented that it was “the creepiest thing [Handsy] has ever built, and that if it doesn’t touch you, you’re probably too short for the operator to see you inside the puppet. Otherwise there’s no escape.”
The addition of ticklers has brought a surge of employment, providing jobs for 43 new performers, and 18 puppeteers. “I was really concerned after Fringe Fest ended,” stated mime and musical theater artist Janine Garrumfallow, “I was finishing a completely silent interpretation of William Inge’s the Picnic, and I had no clue what to do next. Now I get to put my hands in people’s armpits!”
Attendees to the attraction are starting to build anticipation, too. “Yeah, I’m pretty excited,” explained attendee Jeremiah Turnenbach, “I don’t laugh a lot. At all, really. Or get excited. So this seemed like a good idea to try out that whole ‘emotion’ thing.”
Another attendee had a different reason to be excited by the new attraction. “I love getting scared,” stated Georgia I. Ball, “and nothing scares me more than physical contact from another human being.”
Will you be one of the many courageous visitors to be tickled by complete strangers in fuzzy outfits? Buy tickets now to be one of the first. Runs through November 7th.