The Haunted Basement gasped its first breath of filthy, spore-infested air during the autumn months of 2006, when a curious art gallery volunteer decided to explore the nether regions of The Soap Factory’s historic building in northeast Minneapolis and emerged with an idea to raise money for the gallery by sending groups of visitors through the dark corridors armed with nothing but rickety flashlights and a rope to guide them.
The idea was an immediate success, and through word-of-mouth became a seasonal attraction. With each year, the project mutated and grew as more artists and performers clamored to add their twisted imaginations to the depths of the Haunted Basement experience.
Within its first five years, the Haunted Basement earned its reputation as a premier “alternative” haunted attraction, boasting artist-driven environments with psychological horrorscapes that went beyond the usual tropes of vampires and chainsaws. This evolution was followed by a focus on performance, as the project added elements of dance, professional clowning, improv and theatrical experience to its stew of influences.
In 2014, Haunted Basement director Noah Bremer and his production company Live Action Set brought Dostoyevsky’s Crime & Punishment to the confines of The Soap Factory’s basement, mounting an ambitious immersive theatre performance in the spirit of the Haunted Basement’s tradition of varied performance styles and artist-created environments. This production brought light to the possibilities that could exist for our form of interactive performance, suggesting that there could be life for the Haunted Basement beyond the Halloween season.
The Haunted Basement celebrated its ten-year anniversary in 2016, ending its first decade with a bang by declaring its independence from its longtime host, The Soap Factory. 2017 brings a new chapter to the project, with promises of new locations, new experiences, and a fresh interpretation of our traditional style of artist-driven psychological horror.
What does the future hold for the Haunted Basement? In some ways we intend to expand on our past ten years of scaring the pants off the Twin Cities. In other ways, we are excited to return to basics. Expect us when you least expect us.