Modern haunted houses don't feature rubber bats and bowls full of peeled grapes masquerading as eyeballs, they screw with your phobias and recreate nightmares. I thought that going through with a thermal cam would be less unnerving. Wrongo.
The good people at Blackout Haunted House NYC were willing to let me test this little theory. First I went through alone (as everyone is forced to) and without a camera. It was a legitimately freaky and uncomfortable experience, with some moments very much still etched in my brain. Going back through with the thermal cam was even worse, though. Despite knowing what was coming, looking through this camera and seeing this Buffalo Bill-esque man in a dress slowly make his way toward me from the back of a long hall absolutely made my flesh crawl. His creepy, faceless heat-signature was way worse than anything I saw with my naked eye.
You can check out Blackout in Midtown every night (except Tuesdays) until October 27th. You've got to be 18, you need to get tickets in advance (which are $50 a pop), sign a waiver, and agree to a lot of rules, but if you really like being scared, it's easily the freakiest haunted house I've ever been through. Video was shot with the FLIR Scout-TS Series, which was unfortunately too telephoto to work in most rooms. Full review of the camera coming soon.