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Feel It, Smell It, Play With It: The Plague At Koldinghus As Haunted Castle Entertainment
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Feel It, Smell It, Play With It: The Plague at Koldinghus as Haunted Castle Entertainment

Ghosts, the Plague, an old Danish castle at the top of Kolding, with a view of the city. After the visit, we washed off the (artificial) blood from our faces before driving back to Copenhagen. No, we had not been assaulted. It was just ….. bloody play.

When Dystopia Entertainment asked if I wanted to visit their latest Haunted House show, hell yes!!!!!

Photo: Jacob Papsø

Photo: Tomas Vahlkvist

I talked my (reluctant) 19-year-old son into visiting the Black Death at castle Koldinghus. That’s in Jutland, and for us it is a three-hour drive from Copenhagen. In other words, a roadtrip with mom, who’s this superweird nerd whose work involves horror, haunted castles, genres of the fantastic and supernatural, monsters, death, blood, violence, and who at 52 is still fascinated with Otherness in all its fiction forms.

I’ve visited the Dystopia haunted experiences twice before, the first time alone in Vejle and the second time at Horsens Jail with students. It is always interesting to see what Dystopia Entertainment does with guests. At Horsens Jail we were treated like inmates: shouted at and ordered around in a harsh tone.

At Koldinghus we were given a riddle to solve: How to save the princess from the plague? Is there a cure? You go about the castle at your own pace to find clues, be pursued by ghosts, scared by spooky old hags, bloodied by creepy doctors performing odd treatments of  patients. It’s sticky, disgusting, revolting, fun, and makes you feel on your own skin how impossible it would be to avoid being infected. It is not so much a scary experience as it is spooky, intriguing, and sticky.

I especially found it discomforting being asked to eat and drink from plates and cups that were…. or at least, did not feel … clean. Yuck! Great!

Stumbling around the castle on your own, up and down windy stairs, in the old church filled with victims of the plague … and yes, some of them not quite dead.

You can see a trailer here: watch

I’ve earlier mentioned Margee Kerr’s wonderful study of  fear and haunted houses, Scream. If you want to know more about why we like playing with fear, this is a good place to start.

Kerr, Margee. Scream: Chilling Adventures in the Science of Fear. New York: Public Affairs, 2015.

 

The castle Koldinghus

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