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I Got Jizz on My Face at “Hell in the Armory”

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“Read this aloud. Your three minutes begins now…”

We hadn’t even begun searching for clues when suddenly, our band of four became a band of two, as demented pornographers and sick fucks who work for them tossed half our group down some oubliette, never to be heard from again — until we all met up for a drink across the street at the Armory Club half an hour later. So begins Escape: Hell in the Armory, kink.com’s third annual haunted house tour, which runs nightly through Halloween.

I will try my best not to give away any spoilers, because I hate those people, but maybe stop reading right now if you’re the type who doesn’t want to learn even one detail of the fate that awaits you. This year, you move from room to room trying to escape as sex-crazed demons give chase, while warped violins like some elevator-music version of Aaron Copland set the mood. It’s well worth the $45 (although tickets much be purchased in pairs, and you get two 20-percent-off tokens for the Armory Club, where a debriefing session over drinks will be helpful for your mental state).

There’s a lot of dark hallways, high-pitched scat, and being told “Don’t fucking move” by someone who might be a captive or might be your potential abductor. Psychological manipulation is the core of terror, and it’s no surprise that people who can satiate our perverse erotic drives also know how to scare the crap out of us. I have no idea how many people comprise the cast of characters, partially because I couldn’t see very well in the shadows, but it’s quite a few.

This crappy pic was the only one I got before being too frightened to think about anything journalism-related. (Peter Lawrence Kane)

The last time I went to a haunted house was last Halloween at the Groundswell Institute, the Radical Faerie commune and meditation center in Mendocino County that I later wrote a cover story about. It being a bunch of gays in the woods with only so much money to spend, we all mostly walked through it cooing with admiration at the art direction before going back to the dance party next door to drink some yohimbe-infused aphrodisiac punch.

The Armory’s version is much, much scarier. You need to be comfortable with fluids.

Upon meeting up the male-female couple whom we hadn’t seen since the start, they asked how it was.

“I got shit on my face,” I said, moving to the restroom to wash what was almost certainly J Lube out of my beard.

“Oh, I got semen,” the guy said.

I meant semen, and was just using the word shit in the colloquial sense, but the fact that he thought I had literal feces on my face says everything you need to know.

Hell in the Armory: Escape, nightly through Oct. 31, 6:30-11 p.m., $45, at the San Francisco Armory, 1800 Mission St.

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Peter Lawrence Kane @wannacyber

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