Zombie Apocalypse Invades Headless Horseman
Over a month ago the video teaser for the Apocalypse World Tour circulated throughout the Hudson Valley's social media pages. The video was exciting to watch and created quite the buzz. So much in fact that this event sold out almost immediately, forcing them to extend the hours of operation to accommodate the mass amount of ticket seekers.
I purchased my ticket the day I heard of the event keeping my expectations reasonable. I assumed I'd be walking through some of the Headless Horseman houses and scenery much like their hayrides but with a laser tag type gun so I can "shoot" zombies. My experience went way beyond that! I've never been more excited, scared and thrilled at the same time before.
I was with a squad of three other people and before it was our turn to go, we started off in an escape room. This set the tone for the entire evening. The escape room was simple, we had three minutes to unlock a case containing "antidote" for the subdued zombie who was in there with us. The performance of the actor playing the zombie made me uncomfortable and, with the clock ticking down, I felt actual anxiety. Lucky for me, the rest of my squad was smart enough to figure out the combination and the zombie congratulated us and set us off to save the world.
The gun I was given was an infrared military training replica, nothing like the laser tag guns from the 80s & 90s. It felt realistic and when the gun was fired you'd feel a pop and the slightest bit of recoil. It was still light enough to carry, aim and shoot with no trouble at all.
Once we were given instructions on how to operate the guns we set off like a group of video game players ready to take on the zombies. My squad had the best attitude I could have hoped for, they wanted it to feel realistic so we all worked together covering our front and rear. This was necessary since zombies were coming at us from every direction.
It was easy to hit our targets which made the experience much more fun. The performers wore headbands like sensors and when you landed a headshot it was very easy to see because their headbands lit up. But what sold it was the performance of the hand-picked actors hired to play them.
I actually screamed when I heard a zombie coming up behind me in full sprint, I turned as fast as I could with my heart racing and successfully landed a headshot. The performer hit the ground, hard.
"This was a new challenge for our actors and they performed at the TOP of the chart! The guns help make the experience, however, the actors provide the realism and scares. If we get good feedback we will have another ZOMBIE SHOOT OUT" said Michael Jubie, owner of Headless Horseman.
Headless Horseman did not provide the guns, but they did provide the actors. Each actor lived up to the high standards of performance we know and expect from the legendary scare factory in Ulster Park. Whether or not Headless Horseman will do this event again in the future depends on the feedback they get on this first run. If they decide to host this event again, I'm first in line.