Ghosts and monsters mean summer chillsGhouls, monsters and fairies hailing from the far corners of the worlds of fantasy have teamed up to scare the heck out of you and your brood, leading to more than enough shivers and cold sweats to lower your body temperature during the dog days of summer.
The best part is, you don’t have to travel to Middle Earth, Narnia or Coruscant to find this phenomenon. Riding the No. 2 subway line to the COEX mall, home to the “Ghost Fantasy” exhibit, will suffice.
You begin the journey by meeting the denizens of this fantasy world. Homo sapiens are definitely the exception here, whereas Dracula, Frankenstein, zombies, mermaids and werewolves feel right at home.
As you proceed into the Hall of Adventure, you’re handed a map, and charged with solving a riddle to move forward and save the life of a prince who you’ll meet later on.
“Visitors are not just watching or walking through the hall; they are involved, because they are given a mission,” said Kim Keun-young, the event publicist.
Next comes the part with the maximum spine-tingling potential, according to Ms. Kim.
Instead of the robotic, mechanical spooks commonly seen at amusement parks, the ghosts and freaks roaming the Hall of Horrors are spirited actors in costume.
Wander through the mazes and eight vaults, and you’re likely to have an unexpected encounter, or three, with unsavory characters with nothing better to do than scare innocent folks. Beneath their elaborate disguises, they may be actors, but having practiced their roles for a few months, these guys and gals are darned close to the real thing ― the little ones might not know the difference. (Parents with young children in tow are advised to skip this one.)
Visitors who’ve made it this far can finally take a breather by indulging in a magic show or learning a few tricks of their own (just watch out for the ghosts wandering around). This is the most relaxing part of the trip, said Ms. Kim, when your stiff neck and tense body may gradually return to normal.
Having gotten underway last Saturday, the Ghost Fantasy show will continue to August 31. A trip through these halls of horror on the third floor of COEX takes about 50 minutes; groups of three persons are admitted at once at timed intervals to provide the greatest exposure.
This show took one year to plan, including six months to produce the sets. Designed mainly for children, the show may be disappointing to visitors who anticipate high-tech robots. In fact, Ghost Fantasy is rather low-tech, though labor-intensive.
It is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., with the last tickets sold at 8 p.m. Entrance is 8,000 won ($7) for children, 10,000 won for teens and 12,000 won for adults. The COEX center can be reached via Samseong subway station on the No. 2 line.
by Limb Jae-un