Essex County News

New Jersey’s Scariest Haunted House Explores Virtual Reality

The increasingly popular Bane Haunted Attraction is officially open until Oct. 31. Credits: Danielle Santola

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Known throughout New Jersey for having the largest indoor haunted house and the most intricately designed “Escape” rooms in the state, Bane Haunted House, located at 630 W. Mt. Pleasant Avenue in Livingston, is now delving into virtual-reality attractions.

According to owner Jennifer Condron, who first started Bane Haunted House in the parking lot of the Livingston Mall and now resides in a 4000-square-foot facility on Route 10 that is open year-round, Bane is on its way to having the first untethered virtual-reality Escape Game in the country. By fall of next year, Condron said she hopes to launch a full virtual-reality haunted attraction as well. 

“There is nobody else in the entire state that does what we are going to do,” she said. "It's surreal because it's difficult to take a business that was in a 4000-square-foot tent, and in less than six years be in a 4000-square-foot space on Route 10. It's definitely an accomplishment. We grow every year, but this year we are talking about bigger space, multiple locations—so our future definitely has a lot of expansion in it, especially with the virtual reality.”

Sign Up for E-News

Bane currently offers a single-player virtual-reality attraction, but intends to introduce a multi-player version in January, where participants will be able to see their friends playing right in the same room with them. Bane recently partnered with Rowan University for this ambitious endeavor.

The increasingly popular Bane Haunted Attraction officially opened on Sept. 22 and will remain open until Oct. 31.

In addition to its nightly haunted house hours, Bane also offers a “Happily Haunted” event on Sundays that is geared toward children under 12 years old. Since the zombies are sleeping from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., the children do not experience a scary walkthrough. In fact, they are even offered a flashlight as they venture through the house.

"What sets us apart is that we are not your typical haunted attraction,” said Condron. “And anyone will tell you that, from our competitors to our customers.”

Condron said that many of “your everyday haunted houses” are very theatrical—with dramatic lighting and set design, pristine makeup and remarkable costumes. In comparison, she said, “Bane is something that's going to blow your mind.”

“We are extremely immersive and we are a little aggressive,” she said. “We will touch you, make you jump, crawl, slide, spin, lay on your belly—we’ll put you in an environment that will make you extremely uncomfortable and you're going to want to get out as fast as you can. We're not very pretty, we don't have the best sets or the best makeup or the best costumes, but I guarantee you will leave shaking in your boots."

From the more tentative guests, Condron said the most common question she hears is whether they need to separate.

“The answer is yes, at some point you will be alone and it is mandatory,” said Condron. "We are actually the only haunted house that does something like that. You'll go to another haunted house and 40 people go in at the same time as you, and it kind of ruins the scare—so we are the only haunted house that I know of in the country that lets you in only two or three at a time."

She did, however, guarantee that any guest who comes to Bane with an open mind and doesn’t yell “Mercy” will leave with a smile.

"If you come to Bane and you don't want to get scared don't come,” she said. “If you don't want to enjoy yourself and come to an immersive attraction, then Bane is not the place for you. But I guarantee if you do at least try it, you'll have a great time."

According to Condron, part of what makes Bane Haunted Attraction more frightening than its competitors is that everything within it is completely live action and strictly organic, meaning that there are no animatronics involved and the scenes include real products—from the trees down to the dirt. The actors within the haunted house are also real people with a real knack for scaring people, she said.

Nearly 50 percent of the actors are veterans that have been with Bane since its inception in 2011. The other actors come from near and far and are found through many sources, including about three-to-four auditions every year.

"It's pretty much anyone who wants to get away for the night, forget about their stresses in life and just scare people for a living," said Condron. “You are paying top dollar for us to give you a top-dollar show.”

The Star Ledger has named Bane Haunted House the “Scariest Haunted House in New Jersey” for two-consecutive seasons. It has also been named No. 11 in the country by The Scarefactor.

Bane Escape games, where guests are given one hour to complete their mission to escape by solving puzzles and clues provided by the game master, are offered 365 days of the year and are available for birthday parties, bachelor/bachelorette parties and more.

Escape rooms are based on difficulty: the “Captive” room, which is the less-difficult theme, and “Maritime Grave,” which is more of a techy room. Click HERE to learn more about each game.

When the haunted attraction closes for the season, Bane will resume its monthly “Zombie Apocalypse” events, where participants use laser-tag weapons to shoot at zombies. In November, Bane will also host its annual “Purge” event, which uses the same weapons, but in this case the Purgers shoot back. According to Condron, “people love the Purge.”

In addition to its other unique aspects, Bane Haunted House is also 100 percent handicap accessible and free to all wheelchair-ridden guests; free to all active-duty military personnel and veterans; and offers a discount to college students on Thursdays. A group discount is also offered to parties of more than 20 people.

To learn more about Bane Haunted House or to reserve tickets, click HERE

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

SOMA

Village Coffee Sign Tweaks Starbucks, Clarus Twitter Trails, and School Shuffles

When Starbucks coffee opened in the new Clarus development complex at the former Maplewod Village post office site, some wondered what effect it might have on Village Coffee, the longtime java spot just down the street.

Village Coffee owner Ketan Patel sees no big impact as of yet and a visit to the shop finds the same customer traffic as usual.

One addition, however, is a sign posted at ...

Marshall School Recognizes Hispanic Heritage Month

October 18, 2017

It is Hispanic Heritage Month and at Marshall Elementary School Mr. Martínez’s 2nd grade class honored the histories, cultures and contributions of famous individuals whose ancestors or they themselves came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Hispanic Heritage Month is observed in the United States from September 15th through October 15th. These ...

Know Your Neighbor

For Desi, Cam, and Lily 

I am Puerto Rican. 

But, I have light skin and two blonde boys. I grew up in Upstate New York and now live in New Jersey, and have a very fortunate life. I am not the Puerto Rican portrait you might imagine.

During a college interview I was asked about my heritage and experiences with adversity.  I said then and can say to this day, ...

South Orange - Maplewood Board of Education Election: Felicia George and Avery Julien Candidate Statement

October 19, 2017

Putting Students First!

South Orange-Maplewood School Board candidates Felicia George (CHS ’12) and Avery Julien (CHS ’17) have unveiled their campaign platform focused on Putting Students First! The two first-time candidates and recent Columbia High School graduates are trading upon their on-the-ground experience as students in the school district ...

Supporting Diverse Learners: Statement from School Board Candidate Donna Smith

Supporting Diverse Learners

Our School District faces many challenges in serving diverse learners appropriately, but the Board has a duty to make sure it happens.

I believe there are three key ways that the Board can use its oversight to ensure that the needs of our diverse learners are met:

1. Implement Rigorous Monitoring of Special Education and Gifted & Talented Policies and ...

South Orange Police Blotter - Four Bicycle Thefts from Train Stations

October 19, 2017

South Orange Police Blotter as of October 19

Theft of Bicycle - An Orange resident reported that sometime between 3:30 p.m. and 11:15 p.m. on Wednesday, October 11, actor(s) unknown stole his black and yellow Mongoose brand bicycle that was locked and secured to a bike rack at the South Orange Train Station.

Theft of Bicycle - A South Orange resident reported that ...

Maplewood Police Blotter - 7 Thefts from Autos and 2 Vehicle Thefts Reported

October 10 - Shoplifting; At approximately 3:30 p.m. Wawa reported that a male left the building with several items without paying. Responding officers were able to locate the male a short distance away. The male, 51 year old Gregory Singleton of Union was arrested for shoplifting as well as an outstanding warrant.

October 10 - Malicious Damage; Sometime during the ...

SOMA Two Towns for All Ages to Host 'Repair Cafe' on Saturday, Oct. 21

October 19, 2017

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - There are over 1,000 Repair Cafés worldwide and the first one in New Jersey in coming to SOMA this Saturday, October 21, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Morrow Memorial Church (600 Ridgewood Road, Maplewood).

The Repair Cafe was suggested by South Orange resident Lorraine Graves, who brought the concept to Cathy Rowe, the coordinator of SOMA: Two Towns for ...

'Strut Your Mutt' Parade in South Mountain Dog Park on Saturday, Oct. 21

MAPLEWOOD, NJ -  This Saturday, October 21, is Strut Your Mutt, the annual Essex County Canine Halloween Costume Parade and Contest.

Two parades are planned, one at 2 p.m. in the afternoon (with registration at 1:15 p.m.) at the Essex County South Mountain Dog Park on Crest Drive in Maplewood/Millburn, and one at 10 a.m. in the morning (with registration at 9:15 a.m.) at ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, October 21, 9:00 AM

Lafayette School Parking Lot, Chatham Twp.

Paper Shred

Giving Back Green Home & Garden

Carousel_image_0c975a7a3f3ac99ac8ff_screen_shot_2017-10-11_at_1.52.35_pm

Sat, October 21, 9:00 AM

Scenic Lake, West Orange

A Home For All Run/Walk

Giving Back Health & Wellness Sports

Sat, October 21, 10:00 AM

Montclair Cooperative School, Montclair

Forest Street Festival in Montclair

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Sat, October 21, 11:00 AM

Turtle Back Zoo, West Orange

‘BARKtoberfest’ Pet Adoption Event Returning to ...

Giving Back

Donna Smith for BOE - one of hardest working members of our Board

October 16, 2017

I’m pleased to endorse Donna Smith for a second term of the Board of Education.

Donna has been involved with our public schools since 1998, first as a PTA mom and as a BOE member since 2015. Throughout her years of service, Donna has been an advocate for all children to have options and choices over their academic careers, in terms of subject matter and finding the course environment ...

Donna Smith - a fierce, consistent, commitment to improving the educational experience of all of our students.

Donna Smith stands out in the crowded field of BOE candidates. She has a long and continuous history of service to SOMA schools. She knows our past and has a vision for our future. Donna is level-headed, reasonable, practical, thoughtful, and hard-working. Most importantly, Donna has demonstrated a fierce, consistent, commitment to improving the educational experience of all of our ...

Family Health

Second Opinion on Breast Cancer Program Offers Peace of Mind

A breast cancer diagnosis can change a person’s life. And during such devastating news, the sheer amount of information regarding treatment and follow-up care can quickly become overwhelming. However, patients are not alone in this fight. Atlantic Health System’s Breast Cancer Second Opinion Program at Carol G. Simon Cancer Center, Overlook Medical Center, is helping provide peace of ...

Christie, Booker, and Baraka Show Strong Support for Newark to be Next Amazon HQ

October 17, 2017

NEWARK, NJ - A bipartisan trinity of New Jersey politico firepower assembled in downtown Newark to shoot the first salvo needed to score a major economic triumph for New Jersey's largest city: the construction in Newark of the new corporate headquarters for Amazon, the world's largest online retailer.  

All three of the prime politicians in place inside Rutgers Business ...

Former President Obama to Visit Newark to Campaign for Murphy

NEWARK, NJ - Former U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to roll into downtown Newark on Thursday to campaign for the Democratic New Jersey gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy as the battle to run New Jersey heats up in the race's final weeks. 

Obama's appearance in New Jersey's largest city less than three weeks before the Nov. 7 election on behalf of ...

Overlook First in NJ to Offer Carotid Artery Stroke Prevention Procedure

October 20, 2017

SUMMIT, NJ - Atlantic Health System’s Overlook Medical Center is the first hospital in New Jersey to offer an innovative new treatment for patients at risk for stroke due to blockages in the neck arteries, a condition known as carotid artery disease.

The minimally invasive procedure, called TransCarotid Artery Revascularization or TCAR, utilizes a new FDA-approved ...

Union Man Convicted on All Charges in 2013 Murder, Dismemberment of Cranford Girlfriend

UNION, NJ – A Union man was found guilty on all charges in the case of the murder and dismemberment of his girlfriend nearly four years ago, acting Union County Prosecutor Thomas K. Isenhour announced Wednesday.

The jury convicted Matthew Ballister III, 47, of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree desecration of human remains, third-degree hindering apprehension, and several ...

Mahopac’s Frank Lloyd Wright House Back on the Market

October 12, 2017

MAHOPAC, NY — If you have about $15 million to spare, you can own the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired home, which comes with its own island, on Lake Mahopac.

The iconic home, once rumored to have been purchased by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt (those rumors were false), is back on the market with a selling price of $14,920,000.

The sale is being handled by high-end real estate brokers ...

Train through Time Rolls on Four Centuries In A Weekend

October 20, 2017

Bring the kids, bring a friend, because once again it’s that time to ride the rails into history.

On October 21 and 22, Union County celebrates Four Centuries In A Weekend, when historic sites and museums across the County open their doors to the public, free of charge.

Many of the sites are within walking distance of the train stations across the County, with some sites offering ...

Partners in Awareness, Access and Action – Susan G. Komen North Jersey and City of Newark to Present Free Women’s Wellness Expo in Newark on October 28

Susan G. Komen North Jersey announced that it has forged an exciting new partnership with the City of Newark to present a free Women’s Wellness Expo. The inaugural Expo, to be held on Saturday, October 28, 10:00am-4:00pm at the JFK Recreation Center, will draw on resources from public, corporate and medical communities to raise awareness for breast health and healthy lifestyles, provide ...

Annual Maplewood Halloween Parade on Tuesday, October 31

Ghosts, goblins and witches will be roaming Maplewood Village along Maplewood Avenue at the Annual Halloween Costume Contest sponsored by the Maplewood Chamber of Commerce and Allison Ziefert Real Estate Group on Tuesday, October 31, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The festivities include trick or treating, music and dancing and prizes for best costumes.  

This year we are featuring ...