Essex County News

New Jersey’s Scariest Haunted House Explores Virtual Reality

86fe17718c0d3df6fab1_IMG_2702.JPG
The increasingly popular Bane Haunted Attraction is officially open until Oct. 31. Credits: Danielle Santola
7c060e7c5868514f3ac7_IMG_2680.JPG
dee4633bf58639845330_IMG_2688.JPG
42b8483179eaf040eb74_IMG_2678.JPG
3e37c49225b59254e794_IMG_2683.JPG
ac404f20e99ea40d2322_IMG_2684.JPG
6ee76a08b3e5489cda5a_IMG_2712.JPG
9d55335cda86a2725e55_IMG_2691.JPG
445493406a2a44bdf20e_IMG_2693.JPG
44a1472b961b347ec062_IMG_2708.JPG
919765e79486ca08e20a_IMG_2716.JPG
48a39b443121066fc50c_IMG_2695.JPG
5507fcb15bd1bca7687e_IMG_2699.JPG
6c8c221f3cff2b88ce37_IMG_2697.JPG
c2cfaa976f1b0d8a45e0_IMG_2709.JPG
a2048216a1f9d66eb565_IMG_2698.JPG
45bad00ff00c524b1bd6_IMG_2701.JPG
aa11ee4622c19a91499b_IMG_2703.JPG
05b292705d786d578841_IMG_2705.JPG
d3dfd1cedf20794d219b_IMG_2710.JPG
04b7c7db896296db36ad_IMG_2713.JPG
5856ab0ff9cc8e200afd_IMG_2714.JPG
12755f8a5d74a5353c6d_IMG_2715.JPG
86fe17718c0d3df6fab1_IMG_2702.JPG

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 Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

SOMA

A Tale of Two Very Different Town Administrator Searches

Both Maplewood and South Orange are looking for new town administrators at the same time, a rare occurrence.

And their approaches couldn’t be any more different.

Maplewood, whose long-time administrator Joseph Manning is retiring May 31, launched its search last month the old-fashioned way: hiring a recruiting firm and letting them do the heavy lifting (or more appropriately the ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

Maplewood Police Blotter - Two Teens Arrested for Theft from Auto

February 20, 2018

February 12 - Theft; A resident from Burroughs Way reported that sometime over the past day, a snow blower was stolen from an open garage.

February 17- Theft from Auto; At approximately 5:15 p.m., two males were observed going through vehicles on Hillcrest Rd.  Officers responded to the area and were able to locate two males fitting the description. The males, 18 year ...

South Orange Police Blotter - Two Arrested for Robbery in South Orange

Adult Arrest - Robbery - Shawn Ray Newsome, a 20 year old Newark resident and a 17 year old juvenile were arrested on Saturday, Feb. 3, at approximately 10:45 p.m. for robbery. Two male victims reported that as they were walking on South Orange Ave near the Newark border, they were approached by three actors (described as black males wearing dark clothing and black masks) who ...

Women's Club of Maplewood Donates $300K to Maplewood Library Foundation Capital Campaign

February 23, 2018

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The Maplewood Library Foundation's Capital Campaign received $300,000 from the Women's Club of Maplewood on Thursday, the first major gift since the campaign began on Feb. 22, according to a release from the Maplewood Library.

The capital campaign is raising funds to renovate the main Maplewood Library "that will serve the community for generations to ...

Maplewood Chili Cookoff this Sunday Combines Food, Family Fun, and Fundraising for a Good Cause

Update on February 23: All Tasting Passes to the Maplewood Chili Cookoff are sold out. A few more spots are left to submit a chili, which can be done here.

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - There's a new annual tradition in SOMA: The Maplewood Chili Cookoff. Back at The Woodland for its second year on Sunday, Feb. 25, the cookoff has local residents sharing their best chili ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, February 24, 7:00 PM

Grand Summit Hotel, Summit

The Burlesque Ball

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back Other

Carousel_image_337d02082fcbf48f3beb_mms_presents_r_h_cinderella

Sat, February 24, 7:30 PM

Maplewood Middle School Auditorium, Maplewood

Maplewood Middle School Presents Rogers & ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Carousel_image_8e821e02ba44390d688c_olympics_oh_feb_2018

Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

Camp Riverbend, Warren

Camp Riverbend "Wacky Winter Olympics" Open House

Education Other

School Walkout Efforts Reach West Orange High School

February 22, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Hundreds of West Orange High School (WOHS) students participated in a peaceful walkout Wednesday afternoon in support of their fellow classmates in South Florida, where a gunman killed 17 people last week.

“They want to see change [in gun control],” said WOHS Principal Hayden Moore, who was present during the impromptu student-organized walkout.

Indictment Handed Down in Millburn Carjacking

TRENTON, NJ – An indictment was handed down in the November carjacking in Millburn where a 13-year old girl was allegedly grabbed by the neck and the suspect threatened to kill her. 

The 11-count state grand jury indictment charges Ahmed Anthony, 30, of Newark with conspiracy, carjacking, robbery and making terroristic threats among other charges. The conspiracy in the first-degree ...

Dunkin Donuts Approved for Abandoned Checkers Location on Rt.22 in Springfield

February 24, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Longtime Springfield residents Mr. and Mrs. Sailesh Patel of Hillside Avenue were approved for a drive through Dunkin Donuts at 30 Route 22 in Springfield. They are doing business as Soni Realty LLC. 

The site currently has an abandoned Checkers' restaurant on the property. Safety was a concern of Board members at the meeting Tuesday night. The meeting ...

Hackensack Resident Charged with Sexual Assualt and Child Endangerment at Hackensack YMCA

HACKENSACK, NJ - Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo announced the arrest of Timothy Smith of Hackensack on six counts each of Sexual Assault by Contact and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. The arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office under the direction of Chief Robert Anzilotti, and the Hackensack Police Department under the ...

My Clutter is Taking Over! With Jamie Novak at the Millburn Library

February 24, 2018

The Millburn Free Public Library is pleased to welcome back Jamie Novak to the library to talk about your clutter on Thursday, March 22, 2018 at 7:00 pm in the auditorium.

If you can't open your drawers, if stuff topples out of closets, and you haven't seen the top of your kitchen table in a while then run, don't walk, to this de-cluttering comedy show! Welcome back to ...

Weekly Specials at Ashley Marketplace & Cafe - Feb. 23 to March 1

Shop Ashley Marketplace & Cafe for your everyday needs!

This week's specials are:

Alaskan Cod Fillet $9.99lb (Ashley Fish Market)
Chuck for Stew/Stroganoff $6.99lb (Meat)
Thumann’s Deluxe Ham $8.98lb (Deli)
Midnight Moon $18.99lb (Cheese)
Red Globe Grapes $3.49lb
Cavendish Hash Browns 2/$5
Beef Meatloaf $6.99lb (Prep Food)
Polly O Ricotta $5.99 ...

Free Cardiac and Concussion Screenings for Young Athletes

The Matthew J. Morahan III Health Assessment Center for Athletes (MJM) at RWJBarnabas Health will provide free cardiac and concussion baseline screenings to young athletes on Saturday, March 3, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at South Mountain Recreation Complex, Codey Arena, 560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange, NJ.

When preliminary testing to identify serious cardiac problems is provided to ...