Location: 2 Brighton Ave, Passaic, NJ 07055
Brighton Asylum features two attractions; “The Tunnel,” and the core haunt “Brighton Asylum.” Each attraction is stylistically unique yet boasts incredible scene and set designs that transform the grim warehouse into interactive horror theater. Brighton Asylum is an intense, creative show that does not cut corners regarding scene development, and use of budget intensive special effects as well as interactive scenes. Each season the attraction reinvents itself, growing each season, and finding innovative ways to target the fears of a diverse customer base. Mainstream media exposure on the “Today Show,” “Cake Boss” and visits from celebrities such as James Franco, has put Brighton Asylum on the map and each season commitment to excellence ensures a new exciting show.
Brighton Asylum is an artistic masterpiece which each season has moved in a direction defined as a surreal tribute to horror. While maintaining a core “asylum” themed focus, Brighton Asylum focuses on creating imagery that encompasses a variety of horror themes. Brighton Asylum features two full length haunted attractions boasting fantastic budget busting scene designs that transform the entire atmosphere. It is easy to become lost in the visual experience that is the Brighton Asylum as the attractions have evolved into living breathing horror-inspired art. Many haunted attractions feature professionally done press images that typically not representative of the actual show. However, at Brighton Asylum this is far from the case as the intense detail of each scene brings photogenic realism that defies expectations. Each scene, from the immersive set designs to fantastic scare acting is representative of the often-overused cliché’ “a horror movie come to life,” a genuinely impressive attraction that has achieved excellence in artistic design.
One cannot impress that this is the closest we have been to a “movie” come to life, as extensive into each scene featured in both attractions. This season we visited Brighton Asylum during its Friday the 13th, event, which added vintage horror movie icons seamlessly into the attraction. Despite a massive crowd, Brighton Asylum has focused efforts on keeping groups small, and for the most part preventing line-backup within the attraction. It is easy to become lost in a merely watching the talented scare actors play out their horrific roles upon some of the most detailed backdrops one will ever see in a haunted attraction. Every single season, Brighton Asylum raises the bar regarding creative scene design and innovative use of technology, finding innovative ways to surprise and entertain each guest.
While Brighton Asylum’s design and artistic design exceeds most haunted attractions, it is important to note that extensive effort is placed into developing talented “scare-actors,” and maintaining a professional staff. Scare acting is an art mastered by few haunted attractions and in most of the attractions visited, very rarely do we encounter actual “actor.” Brighton Asylum’s actors are genuinely talented, and each actor immerses themselves in their respective “characters.” First-class make-up and costume designs coupled with an ability to modify performances based on personal reactions is a hallmark of quality scare-acting, and another reason why Brighton Asylum is a must visit entertainment event!
“The Tunnel” attraction is a journey “below” the asylum, featuring endless catacombs and steampunk inspired scenes of horror. “The Tunnel” is an isolated experience and a journey which builds anticipation and invoke a sense of paranoia. Fear of the unknown is a powerful tool employed by this attraction and “The Tunnel” is more cerebral regarding fear than its counterpart the “Brighton Asylum.” The Tunnel typically always felt almost like an unnecessary addition to “Brighton Asylum” and despite its detailed set designs lacked in energy. This season “The Tunnel” has received extensive upgrades with a mind-blowing start that injects a renewed sense of life into this attraction. Without spoiling the experience, “The Tunnel” features an opening, interactive simulation, a trip through the “decontamination” unit, that is breathtaking. Following this experience, a trip down the “elevator” shaft features a scare-actress that is genuinely creepy, creating an up close and personal experience set the tone for a revamped “Tunnel” attraction. Once in the actual “Tunnel “system, most of the attraction is similar in design to last year’s show, but actor pacing has vastly improved. Despite the massive crowd on Friday the 13th, we never encountered any other group along the journey. Scare actors roam and create insanity around each corner, and a variety of different thematic scenes featured cover a wide array of horror genres.
“Brighton Asylum” is the centerpiece attraction, an extensive journey that has grown each season to become one of the strongest theatrical, and interactive haunts ever visited. Extensive upgrades to the entire attraction have been undertaken to create an experience that is photogenic, a tribute to the horror genre. “Brighton Asylum’s” design is above and beyond most haunted attractions, and the meticulous attention to detail reflects in an adventure that is truly a spectacle. “Brighton Asylum” creates a theatrical presentation, and scare actors are at their best during this attraction. On Friday the 13th “Brighton Asylum” built-in special scenes featuring a variety of horror icons. Simply adding these characters to the haunt was not enough, and the attraction itself changed to recreate scenes based on each icon. One of the highlights of the evening was encountering an ax-wielding “Jack Torrance” of “Stephen King’s Shinning” appear in a set inspired by the actual movie, and a disturbing display of horror carried about by an amazing representation of “Freddy Krueger.”
On this special night, movie inspired scenes flowed seamlessly with the rest of the core attraction and even the brief appearance of “Jason” felt authentic. Authenticity and an intensive budget show is the best way to describe the incredible scenes and designs, with nonstop special effects enhanced by interactive scenes and lighting which creates an environment of artistic horror excellence. “Brighton Asylum” features rooms that become a part of the show themselves, forcing guests to interact with the talented scare actors and high impact animatronics. Careful planning and construction of each set ensure that the attraction never has a moment to disappoint and aggressive scare actors use their scenes to depict unique characters. Extreme attention is placed into managing lines within the attraction and even on the most crowded of nights, it is rare to encounter another group.
“Brighton Asylum” has grown to become a spectacle, a horror-themed artistic expression that embraces diverse themes and design excellence. On our visit, we could move through the attraction in a small group. “Brighton Asylum” becomes truly terrifying when isolated from other groups, and we were able to enjoy the attraction at its best. However, we did run into a larger group towards the end of the attraction as this group moved slowly, and was genuinely disrespectful to the actors who always hurt any show but this was a minimal issue. “Brighton Asylum” also can enhance its finale, as the attraction’s ending is the same as previous years, but a quick journey through a bubble-room adds a fun bonus ending that adds a final layer of “surprise” to this incredible haunted attraction.
Brighton Asylum’s photogenic realism is a selling point on why you should visit an attraction that genuinely strives to outdo itself each season. Promotional imagery and videos often videos you see online are on display, and Brighton Asylum strives for excellence. False advertisement and hype images are the norms in the haunt industry, and one cannot stress enough how detailed every single scene is.
Brighton Asylum is a spectacle haunt that hosts a variety of themed events and off-season attractions throughout the year each which warrant a visit. Events such as “Santa’s Slay” and “Dark Valentine” allow haunt lovers the chance to celebrate their passion for fear throughout the year. Furthermore, for those who are looking for a more “extreme” or immersive show, Brighton Asylum hosts a variety of “contact nights” throughout the season. Brighton Asylum is always focused on the future, embracing a competitive spirit that denies complacency. An obsessive commitment to excellence drives the continued growth of this popular attraction.
Creative and management team behind Brighton Asylum never rest and are actively developing a new third attraction, “The Bleeding Grounds,” scheduled to launch next fall. Brighton Asylum is one of the must-see shows every single Halloween season and continues to provide entertainment for those looking for an off-season horror fix.