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The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

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The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Cayo Industrial Horror: Not Your Traditional Haunted House Experience

Cayo Industrial Horror: Not Your Traditional Haunted House Experience
Instagram / @cayoindustrialhorror

While some people embrace the autumn season by watching Halloween films, carving pumpkins and savoring apple cider donuts, others prefer to fully immerse themselves in the eerie and frightening elements of the spooky time of year. Cayo Industrial Horror, located in Rome, N.Y., is one of the few haunted houses in the area and is a perfect activity for those who enjoy a Halloween thrill.

Owner and creator of Cayo Industrial Horror, Joshua Reale, started Cayo in 2003.

“It came together after combining various interests such as filmmaking, interior design, acting and, of course, the love of Halloween and horror,” Reale said.  “I had no idea how to create the attraction, nor had ever been to another haunted house, with the exception of when I was little.”

Reale explained that he had a vision for the haunted house, which he stayed true to throughout its development; he did not use concepts or ideas from any outside sources or other haunted houses.

“For Cayo, it is a year-round endeavor, from writing the theme to room concepts, and construction takes many months,” Reale said. “Cayo is seen as an art platform […], and I do all [of] the creative aspects, from designing the advertising to all [of] the construction design and implementation.”

Interestingly, Reale says that nothing inside of Cayo is traditionally Halloween-themed. Instead, the haunt is based upon the horrors of human nature and societal events.

“There are no aliens, Frankensteins or witches,” Reale said. “Cayo has four attractions titled Biowar, Biotech, Revelation and Archana Asylum. The themes includes tensions of war, animal processing, human nature and insanity.”

Reale explained that Cayo’s interior is intricate and detailed, and actors help to underscore the eerie atmosphere; they are a key aspect of the haunt.

“The maze has scenes depicting a post-apocalyptic setting upon entry, with elements of terrorism,” Reale said. “We also have a bloodbath where customers walk over a bridge with blood circulating through the vent. [There are] many realistic props.”

Seniors Mary Huntley, Eliza Farris and Lauren Miller recently visited Cayo Industrial Horror as a way to get into the spooky spirit.

“My friends and I have always loved finding new activities outside of Hamilton,” Huntley said. “We also just love scary things and horror movies and stuff, so the haunted house became a new tradition for us last year.”

Another draw to visit Cayo Industrial Horror is that it is only about 40 minutes out of Hamilton and costs only $25 for entry. This makes it a budget-friendly and convenient way to embrace the Halloween season.

Eliza Farris was excited to continue her and her friends’ haunted house tradition this season, as they were very impressed with the haunt last year.

“It did not disappoint,” Farris said. “The scenery was super spooky and detailed and the actors were dressed in full costume and makeup. The actors do a great job of scaring you when you least expect it. Some had actual chainsaws and fake blood all over them. They would kind of stalk you throughout the warehouse and then pop out and scream and follow you to the next room.”

Farris explained that different rooms throughout the warehouse have different themes, like an abandoned airplane and a hospital.

“One guy had a pig mask on and was super tall and intimidating,” Farris said.

“They kind of follow you for a bit to keep you fearful until the next real scare,” Miller said.

Miller, Huntley and Farris shared that although they were frightened, the experience was thrilling and exciting and definitely lived up to their experience at Cayo Industrial Horror last year.

“Last year, one of my friends, Becca Kaplan, was so scared that she ran out. She didn’t come back this year. It’s definitely really scary for some people,” Miller said.

“Cayo is open during weekends in October, attracting all ranges of people,” Reale said. “We have also expanded into an elaborate escape room that is called Atrophy Escape Ward, which is based inside an asylum.”

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About the Contributor
Amy Grunther
Amy Grunther, Baker's Dozen Editor
Amy Grunther is a senior from North Caldwell, NJ concentrating in political science and minoring in English. She has previously served as a staff writer for the Commentary section. On campus, Amy is involved with the Swinging Gates as both a member and the Publicity Chair.

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