Before I attended the last Heretic show called Iso Dread I was told to go onto Craigslist and look for a Mr. Lonely under missing connections. I found the ad which featured a faded image of a person you couldn’t make out. It was listed under T4T. You were supposed to respond to him with your phone number and tell him that “you have the key”. The description of Mr. Lonely was that he was someone who couldn’t leave his house because he had two broken legs.
A few weeks went by and the night before the Heretic show I received a call in the middle of the night with someone at the other end saying, “You responded to my personal ad”. He asked me if I was alone and that “they” were watching. I was told to slowly take off all my clothes. The voice on the other end said that if I didn’t believe him they would come and knock on my door. The caller then hung up and I received a second phone call about a half hour later. This time it was what sounded like a male voice whispering. Every time I asked him to speak up I heard a woman in the background say to me, “I can’t hear you Jennifer”. The male voice said something to me which sounded like, “If you go you’re going to die tomorrow”. He also said something that sounded like, “there’s a ghost in your room, if you don’t believe me look under your bed”. Then he hung up.
I received an email a short while later which gave me the address of where I was supposed to go. The email said “Your end is near” and “Welcome death”. It also said that where I was supposed to show up was very far from the actual location. I had received prior emails that had told me to write Heretic in ink on my hand so that I’d be recognized when I showed up. It also told me not to bring anything valuable and to bring a waterproof bag to put my keys in and duck tape to tape my pocket. An earlier email had asked me if I knew how to swim. I was told to meet a man on the street with a broken arm and help him move boxes.
I didn’t know what to expect when it was time for me to show up. There were many rumors about this particular show and even some friends I know who always go to these types of events said they weren’t going to do it because they felt it was going to be unsafe and too hardcore. I learned a valuable lesson and that is not to tell people that I’m going to do something like this beforehand. One of the emails I had received told me not to tell anyone where I was going or where I was when I showed up. I also had to sign a waiver that said that anything could happen including death. So basically I could be killed and Heretic would be covered. My friends and family told me that these are very sick, dangerous people and masochists and that I should stay away. All of the negativity and warnings I let get to my head and did not come mentally prepared for this type of experience. When you do a horror show like this it’s imperative that you come mentally prepared with no fear and a positive attitude. I had psyched myself out before it had even started.
When I arrived at the location I was actually met by a friend. He told me to give him my glasses and I was concerned because I told him I had heard the actual location was very far away and I didn’t know if he would be there to give my glasses back at the end. He told me not to worry and led me to the back of an unassuming house. We went through one door that had a long hallway where it was hard to see because there was a light at the end and what appeared to be fog. I thought we were just stopping here to turn in my waiver. I was told to walk to the end of the hallway and halfway down I was violently grabbed by a huge man dressed in black who seemed to have bandages covering his face. He took me to the side of a dark room and pushed me under what appeared to be a plastic tarp. He started choking me and covering my mouth and nose at the same time so that I couldn’t breathe. Then someone came to the side of us and shot me with what seemed and felt like a staple gun. I didn’t know how extreme this was going to get and the negative comments from the people I had talked to before hand were running through my head. After a few moments of being in pain and thinking I had staples all over my side I said the safety word “Nebraska”. Everyone immediately broke kayfabe (that’s a wrestling term for staying in character) and Adrian appeared out of nowhere. They checked on me and made sure I wasn’t hurt too bad or bleeding too much. Even the person doing the choking asked me if I was okay.
After a moment Adrian asked me if I was okay to continue and I told him I was. It was amazing how quick everyone was able to get back into character. My hands were then bound and I was blindfolded. I was then lifted up and was led around into what seemed to be another room. I don’t know why I did it but I said the safety word again. My biggest fear was that they were going to put something gross into my mouth. That’s the one thing I can’t handle with these types of haunts. I was afraid at the moment, but I felt vulnerable and didn’t know what to expect next. I was brought into a lit side room where Adrian asked me once again if I wanted to continue, but the CEO of Heretic said no. I was very disappointed. They said it was only going to get much, much worse. The rest of the experience had you being stuffed into smaller and smaller boxes until you experienced extreme claustrophobia and I assume came face-to=face with Mr. Lonely.
I think I would have had no problem completing this if I hadn’t been psyched out before hand and if I wasn’t worried about having something put into my mouth. Like I said in my last Heretic review I didn’t know what to expect going in including possible death. But, I saw from this experience how professional and caring the actors are as is Adrian. One of the tormentors even offered me his last cigarette outside. I don’t want to break kayfabe for Heretic, but these are some of the nicest people I’ve met inside or outside the extreme horror industry. I don’t believe they’re sick like outsiders say, but rather brilliant and creative, many of them even having IMDB credits. If they are sick it’s in a good way.