Exclusive Interview with Netherworld Haunted House Co-Founder

Netherworld’s Co-Founder tells us about this year’s haunted house and more…

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Netherworld’s new Stone Mountain location.

Last week, I visited Netherworld Atlanta, one of the most popular and top rated  haunted houses in the nation. During the visit, I went through both attractions “The Awakened” and “Subject:Unknown.” Each were entertaining in their own way; the attention to detail of each haunt was impressive, and the monsters are realistic and lifelike, whether in the haunted house or roaming the grounds.

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Citizens residing in “The Awakened”

Once you descend into the pitch black hallways, you’ll find creepy, old authentic furniture, “jail cells” where monsters hide in the shadows and jump at you, and visual illusions like the vortex tunnel. Netherworld is pulling out all the stops this year and it shows.

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I got a chance to sit down with the co-founder of Netherworld, Ben Armstrong, to find out what it has to offer at their new Stone Mountain location.

ABD: How are you enjoying the new location? Is there anything you can accomplish here that you couldn’t at the old one?

BA: First off, we own the building now and 9.5 acres of land. So, we’re able to do what we need to with the structure to fit our needs. It’s been good so far; we have offices now, we have room to do escape games, for our monster museum and we have a ton more backstage space allowing the haunts to expand. All very important things!

ABD: How long have you been in the haunting business? How’d you get started?

BA: I’ve been haunting since I was a little kid. My background actually is in television, I worked in TV in Tallahassee, Florida for 18 years. I hosted a late night horror show, and produced segments of the Jerry Lewis telethon. When I moved to Atlanta, I realized there were professional haunted houses, like it was a business. That’s also when I met my business partner Billy Messina. One year, the guy who did the haunts we both worked on said “he was done with them.” And that’s where the first Netherworld started.

ABD: What does Halloween mean to you?

BA: It’s a unique holiday and one of fun. With haunted houses, it becomes a tradition and groups of people get together, go, scream, have a good time. I love when I see people on social media like “We’re going to Netherworld!” and see them getting scared as they’re on the way.

ABD: How many people does it take to keep Netherworld going?

BA: This year it took a big staff because we moved and had to recreate something we’ve been doing for over 20 years. Now that we’re open, we have an even larger staff, about 400 people. Around 100 to 150 people will work on any given evening.

ABD: What have you learned from all the years of doing this? Have you stuck to the same plan or do you often change it up?

BA: If you ever stop learning, you stagnate. If you think you know it all about any subject, that’s a sign that you don’t. I learn new things every year, really every day.  Some little shadow in the corner you didn’t think twice about scares people a lot, or fascinates them. It’s like a movie where some little character that doesn’t seem important ends up becoming the most popular character to fans.

ABD: Tell us more about your haunts.

BA: We have two new haunts this year, “The Awakened” and “Subject: Unknown.” Conceptually “The Awakened” encompasses all the things Netherworld is about. You’ve got supernatural, monsters, mythology, ancient cities; the traditional things you’d expect to see in a haunted house. “Subject: Unknown” is more the science fiction end of the scale. There’s aliens, robots, dinosaurs.

ABD: What can returning fans look forward to in 2018?

BA: We have 3 escape games we’ll be doing year-round. We have a large “midway” area where you gather after exiting the haunts. There’s a gift shop, food, games, TONS of photo ops. People love to take pictures and our live monsters running around will pose or maybe just “show up” in your pics!

We’re going to be doing additional shows that we will announce soon like a glow-stick very dark version of the haunted house, the weekend after we close, November 4th. We’ll also be doing a Christmas and Valentine’s show.

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Be sure to check out the Netherworld Haunted House in Stone Mountain! It’s $23 on weekdays and $25 weekends and Halloween for “The Awakened.” For an extra $5 on weekdays, and $8 on weekends you can experience “Subject: Unknown” as well. For $55 on any night you will get a VIP Fast Pass which puts you to the front of line once you arrive.

For escape games book on the Netherworld site.

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During escape games you’ll have to work together.

 

Atlanta Traffic

Best Events This Week in Atlanta: 5/7 – 5/10

Best Events This week in Atlanta: 5/7-5/10

We’re back with our weekly posts! We took a week to get our Calendar up and running, but now it’s looking nice and full for the week. Don’t worry, we’re going to keep these Best Events posts coming each week! It’s Shaky Beats week, but there’s plenty of music to get yourself hyped up – like Breathe Carolina at Opera. Not into EDM? Well the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has its free concert in the park! You can also check out the cast of Whose Line is it Anyway at the Tabernacle on Tuesday, or the open of Benjamin Franklin: American Gigolo for some laughs!

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Art:

  • Still looking!

Bars & Brews:

  • Still looking!

Clubs:

  • Still looking!

Comedy:

  • Still looking!

Food and Drink:

  • Still looking!

Music:

  • Butcher Brown is playing at Aisle 5 at 9pm. Butcher is a progressive jazz band reminiscent of those from the 60’s and 70’s. They add tones of modern funk and hip-hop to their music for a new twist. The opener is Visitors – an instrumental collaboration based in improvisation and mixed-meter rhythm.

Social:

  • Dad’s Garage is hosting their monthly game night starting at 7pm! They’ll have board games and video games, plus plenty of drinks for everyone. It’s free to come out and play so be sure to stop by and bring friends!
  • Come out to the All the Nerdy Ladies Meet-Up at Joystick! Ever feel like there are no other nerdy girls around? Well here’s your answer – All the Nerdy Ladies is a relaxed social hour open to everyone to come by and chat. The meet-up is from 7-10pm.

Sports:

  • Still looking!

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Art:

  • Still looking!

Bars & Brews:

  • Still looking!

Clubs:

  • Still looking!

Comedy:

  • Come out to the Tabernacle to see the crew of Whose Line is it Anyway on stage! Jeff Davis, Joel Murray, Ryan Stiles, and Greg Proops will be coming out with special guest Dave Foley. Get your tickets here. Doors open at 6:30pm, show at 7:30.

Food and Drink:

  • Still looking!

Music:

  • The Hot Club of Cowtown will be playing at Eddie’s Attic! The trio features a fiddle, a guitar and a bass. The group plays a combination of hot jazz and western swing, and recently has been playing a surge of acoustic styled folk and blues. Come see the Texas trio in action! Doors at 6:30pm, show at 8pm.

Social:

  • Still looking!

Sports:

  • Still looking!

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Art:

  • It’s the last week to catch Actor’s Express’ newest comedy: The Flower Room! The show will be ongoing from Wednesday-Sunday. It tells the story of an uptight academic that turns to writing lude novels to pay the bills.

Bars & Brews:

  • Still looking!

Clubs:

  • Still looking!

Comedy:

  • Still looking!

Food and Drink:

  • Still looking!

Music:

  • Brendan James will be playing at Eddie’s Attic! Brendan is a piano-based singer-songwriter. He’s just released his fifth album “Simplify” which is an elegant and emotionally direct collection of jams. He’s been featured on shows such as Private Practice, American Idol, Bones, So You Think You Can Dance, and One Tree Hill. Doors at 6:30, show at 7:30pm.

Social:

  • Still looking!

Sports:

  • Still looking!

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Art:

  • Intro to Watercolor is an ongoing workshop taught by local artist Crystal Desai. Students will learn about watercolor materials and techniques, as well as styles from realism to abstraction.
  • It’s the last week to catch Actor’s Express’ newest comedy: The Flower Room! The show will be ongoing from Wednesday-Sunday. It tells the story of an uptight academic that turns to writing lude novels to pay the bills.

Bars & Brews:

  • Still looking!

Clubs:

  • ContrastATL is holding its pre-Shaky Beats Techno and Future Industrial House night at 9pm. UUEIRD is exploring some deep and dark dance music in the forefront of the industrial EDM sub-genre. Your lineup includes Shift Mojo, Asesame, and CANVAS. Come out to Edgewood Speakeasy to dance like it’s 2020.
  • Come out to Opera to check out Breathe Carolina! The EDM duo hails from Denver and is comprised of David Schmitt and Tommy Cooperman. Breathe Carolina has had radio hits as well as huge hits within the EDM community. Come out and you’re guaranteed a solid show, Opera always kills it with EDM.

Comedy:

  • Come out to the Laughing Skull Lounge for Comedy Clubhouse! Comedians Andrew George and Bob Place host the Comedy Clubhouse this Thursday! Comedians will get 5 minutes to do 3 things: Prepare material, crowd work, and improv on a topic from “The Wheel”. Meanwhile Andrew and Bob will chime in with commentary, tags, premises, and jokes. Get your tickets here!

Food and Drink:

  • Still looking!

Music:

  • The Wonder Years are a Philly band made up of old friends, playing rock and roll music like they mean it. They’ve played in 30 countries and now they’re bringing their talents to the Masquerade. Get your tickets here. Show starts at 6pm.
  • Amanda Anne Platt and The Honeycutters are coming to Eddie’s Attic as part of a tour with their new self-titled album. They have an old-school country attitude with influences of rock and folk. Platt has been universally praised along with the rest of the Honeycutters. Doors open at 6, show starts at 7pm.
  • Head to the Atlanta Beltline’s Historic Fourth Ward Park at 7:30pm for an evening show with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Assistant Conductor Stephen Mulligan and Associate Concertmaster Justin Bruns will lead the ASO in a program featuring Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Rossini’s Overture to L’italiana in Algeri and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No.4, “Italian.” This event is going to be phenomenal, and it’s totally free! For the non-classically inclined, Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons is one of the most impressive pieces to hear live. See it, hear it, love it!
  • Venkman’s Free Early Show will feature the Atlanta Latin Jazz Orchestra. The Atlanta Latin Jazz Orchestra is Atlanta’s newest sound. Legendary music from Tito Puente, Dizzy Gillespie, and Perez Prado plus the newest Latin JAzz Big Band hits will keep you on your feet. The Orchestra is led by the talented Rob Opitz so you’ll be in good hands all night.
  • The Lil Smokies will be playing at Smith’s Olde Bar at 8pm. With their roots submerged in the thick buttery mud of traditional bluegrass, The Lil Smokies have sonically blossomed into a leading player in the progressive acoustic sphere, creating a new and wholly unique, melody driven sound of their own. The Montana quintet has recently won Best Band from the International Bluegrass Music Association.
  • CHEE will be playing at Aisle 5 at 9pm. South African producer CHEE has a unique hybrid design due to his heavy dancefloor drum&bass sound mixed with raw rap. Come too for Shield, Hiku, and Houman.
  • Lindsay Lou will be playing at Eddie’s Attic at 9pm. Lindsay has been featured in festivals from Scotland to California with their deep grooves. Come for the soul and intensity, stay for the themes and intimacy.

Social:

  • Still looking!

Sports:

  • Still looking!

[/expand]



Nothing interesting going on this week?

Check out our growing list of events that occur every week and you’ll have plenty of options!



Help us make this list complete!

If your business has an event or you know of an event that you would like added to next week’s list, submit an event!

We hope that together we can make our lists as complete as possible!

Atlanta Traffic

Best Events This Week in Atlanta: 4/23- 4/26

Best Events This week in Atlanta: 4/23-4/26

This is a week for comedy! Be on the lookout starting Thursday for the Laughing Skull Comedy Festival and Dad’s Garage’s World Domination Improv Tournament. Also BURGER WEEK. See your best resource right here. We’re getting this post out a bit late this week due to some upcoming site changes, so stay posted! I can’t say too much, but you’re gonna love it.

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Art:

  • Still looking!

Bars & Brews:

  • Still looking!

Clubs:

  • Still looking!

Comedy:

  • Still looking!

Food and Drink:

  • It’s Atlanta Burger Week! 40+ restaurants, $5 burgers, Monday to Sunday. Eat your hearts out Atlanta. But actually, you may need a coronary bypass after this. Your best resource for the burger week? Right here on ATL by Day.
  • Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company of Lexington VA is throwing a Trail Magic Beer Dinner, in which they’ll be providing a 5 course dinner and beers at Bluetop (5362 Peachtree Rd) in Chamblee. The dinner starts at 5:30pm and runs $70 but sounds absolutely delicious! Get your tickets here.

Music:

Social:

  • Still looking!

Sports:

  • Still looking!

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[expand title=”Tuesday”]

Art:

  • Still looking!

Bars & Brews:

Clubs:

  • Still looking!

Comedy:

  • Whole World Improv Theater (1216 Spring St. NW) will hold an Improv 101 class from 7-9pm. This is part of an 8 week course to teach you improv and scene study, so you’ll be learning a ton for the cost of $230. Toss in the free tickets to Whole World Shows, and that’s a damn good deal. See more info for sign-ups here.

Food and Drink:

  • It’s Atlanta Burger Week! 40+ restaurants, $5 burgers, Monday to Sunday. Eat your hearts out Atlanta. But actually, you may need a coronary bypass after this. Your best resource for the burger week? Right here on ATL by Day.

Music:

  • Septymber will be playing at Smith’s Olde Bar (1578 Piedmont Ave NE) at 7pm with openers Miki Fiki and Jacque Jordan. Septymber is a rap, scat, and soul singer. Tickets run $7 advance, $10 day-of.
  • Hadag Nahash will be playing at City Winery (650 North Avenue) from 8-10pm. Hadag Nahash means Snake Fish, and is one of the most successful Israeli pop acts today incorporating jazz, electro, rock, and Middle Eastern sounds.
  • Dead Horses will be playing at Eddie’s Attic (515 N McDonough St.) with opener Kate Rhudy. It’ll be a night of contemporary indie folk, so get your denim on. The show starts at 9pm, see tickets here for $12-16.

Social:

  • Still looking!

Sports:

  • Still looking!

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[expand title=”Wednesday”]

Art:

  • Still looking!

Bars & Brews:

  • Still looking!

Clubs:

  • Still looking!

Comedy:

  • Dad’s Garage is has their World Domination Improv Festival this weekend and Richard Kickers will be kicking it off with the World Dom Kick Off Jam! Come out at 8pm, the show is free!
  • Joystick Gamebar (427 Edgewood Ave SE) will feature Enigma: An Improv Game Show at 10pm. This game show gives you a chance to play along with improv comedians through a twisted game of imagination!

Food and Drink:

  • It’s Atlanta Burger Week! 40+ restaurants, $5 burgers, Monday to Sunday. Eat your hearts out Atlanta. But actually, you may need a coronary bypass after this. Your best resource for the burger week? Right here on ATL by Day.
  • Bellina Alimentari at Ponce City Market (675 Ponce De Leon Ave NE) will hold a filled pasta making class from 6:30-8:30pm. They’ll teach you how to make authentic rolled pasta and sealed ravioli! Then you get to take home and eat your fresh pasta. All this for $54 – get your tickets here.

Music:

Social:

Sports:

  • Still looking!

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[expand title=”Thursday”]

Art:

Bars & Brews:

  • Still looking!

Clubs:

  • Still looking!

Comedy:

Food and Drink:

  • It’s Atlanta Burger Week! 40+ restaurants, $5 burgers, Monday to Sunday. Eat your hearts out Atlanta. But actually, you may need a coronary bypass after this. Your best resource for the burger week? Right here on ATL by Day.

Music:

Social:

Sports:

  • Still looking!

[/expand]



Nothing interesting going on this week?

Check out our growing list of events that occur every week and you’ll have plenty of options!



Help us make this list complete!

If your business has an event or you know of an event that you would like added to next week’s list, submit an event!

We hope that together we can make our lists as complete as possible!

Atlanta Traffic

This Week: 4/16 – 4/19

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Art:

Music:

Sports:

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Art:

Comedy:

Food and Drink:

Music:

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Sports:

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Art:

Comedy:

Food and Drink:

Music:

Sports:

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[expand title=”Thursday”]

Art:

Comedy:

Food and Drink:

Music:

Social:

  • Atlanta Beltline CEO Brian McGowan will be hosting “Go Global“, a networking opportunity and walking tour of the Beltline’s Eastside trail. McGowan will use this tour to discuss the value of the Beltline as an economic development opportunity. Join him and other local activists from 5-7pm, starting at New Realm Brewing (550 Somerset Terrace NE).

Sports:

[/expand]



Nothing interesting going on this week?

Check out our growing list of events that occur every week and you’ll have plenty of options!



Help us make this list complete!

If your business has an event or you know of an event that you would like added to next week’s list, submit an event!

We hope that together we can make our lists as complete as possible!

Atlanta Traffic

This Week: 4/9 – 4/12

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Comedy:

Social:

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Food and Drink:

Music:

Social:

Sports:

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[expand title=”Wednesday”]

Food and Drink:

Music:

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[expand title=”Thursday”]

Art:

  • The ARTlanta Fair will begin this Thursday and will continue until Sunday the 15th. The Fair is at Historic Fort McPherson (1379 Bartow St. NW) and runs from 12-11:30pm, with a focus on the 18+ crowd after 8pm.
  • The Atlanta Film Festival begins at 4pm on Thursday and will continue until Sunday, April 22nd. See a full schedule of events here.

Comedy:

Food and Drink:

Music:

[/expand]



Nothing interesting going on this week?

Check out our growing list of events that occur every week and you’ll have plenty of options!



Help us make this list complete!

If your business has an event or you know of an event that you would like added to next week’s list, submit an event!

We hope that together we can make our lists as complete as possible!