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Photos: What To Expect At The Free 'IT Experience' Haunted House In Hollywood
If your idea of a good time is navigating your way through dark rooms in a dilapidated house full of creepy clowns, well, you're in luck. A two-story abode inspired by the upcoming film release of the remake of horror classic IT has been erected in the heart of Hollywood—and we managed to make it through the immersive haunt taking place inside of it (that's free and open to the public!) to give you the lowdown on what to expect.
"The IT Experience: Neibolt House" opens today and runs daily from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. through to September 10, and is seriously a hard one to miss on the corner of Hollywood and Vine. The creepy, 5,000-square-foot dwelling, complete with boarded-up windows and weathered wood panels, sticks out among its neighboring buildings, like the maroon Redbury Hotel and Capitol Records tower down the street. This home was built just for the Warner Bros. film on what was once an empty parking lot, which, in our opinion, has gotten a nice upgrade, and is now surrounded by hay, sunflowers, and a gnarled and twisted tree out front.
As for the importance of the house on 29 Neibolt Street that this haunt is based on, it serves a major role in Stephen King's over 1,000-page novel that was adapted into a two-part TV miniseries back in 1990 and now has an upcoming feature film remake that will be released in theaters on September 8. The Neibolt House is where IT (aka Pennywise the Dancing Clown aka Bob Gray aka "clown from our childhood nightmares who still makes us freak out whenever we look at storm drains") lives. It's also where members of the "Losers Club," a group of seven children who try to uncover the mystery of missing and murdered kids in their hometown of Derry, Maine, encounter the evil entity.
[Spoilers ahead. ]
In The IT Experience, "Georgie," who dons his iconic yellow raincoat and holds a red balloon, leads "Losers Club" groups of seven participants at a time for a tour through the creaky home. While the website for The IT Experience says the whole journey is 20 minutes long, at the early media preview we attended, our tour was about 7 minutes, so there's a chance yours might be shorter, too. (But for a free experience, we're not complaining!)
This haunt is immersive, but you won't have to worry about having to crawl on the ground or touch gross objects, or have any actors touch you. If you can handle a haunt at Knott's Scary Farm, you can certainly manage going through The IT Experience.
You start off on the bottom floor of the home, which is decorated like an old Victorian house, and Georgie will lead you up a spiral staircase to some impressively well-decorated hallways and rooms that depict different scary scenes inspired by the film. The rooms are dimly lit throughout the experience. There are some jump scares and you might find yourself or the person next to you screaming at times—and yes, there most definitely will be clowns. We don't want to give too much away, but one of our favorite rooms is the one where you have to guess where the real clowns are hiding, if that helps you sleep better at night.
In order to get to participate in The IT Experience and find out if you'll float, too, you have to be 18 and over, and reserve a spot on this website. Don't worry if you see spots are full, as more time slots should be released this week. You can add your name to a waitlist on the website.
As for the upcoming IT film, it's the first installment of a duology, and is directed by Andy Muschietti (Mama). The titular role of Pennywise is portrayed by 26-year-old Bill Skarsgård (Netflix's Hemlock Grove), who is much younger than the O.G. IT, portrayed by Tim Curry when he was in his 40s. Here's the trailer for the movie:
The IT Experience is located at the Neibolt House Hollywood at Hollywood and Vine and is open daily from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. through September 10th. Book free reservations here.