Close your eyes. Keep them shut. Not even a peep. It will break the illusion. One minute you are sitting in your home, on a familiar chair, surrounded by all of your belongings. A few minutes later, you are hearing things that you know consciously aren’t really there, but they feel so incredibly real. You accepted the invitation and are now fully open to the realm where interaction with these characters exist. You can feel them move around you, manipulate objects in your space, whisper softly in your ear, and lurk menacingly behind you. Even with the high level of vulnerability, you manage to remain in suspense rather than experience a truly terrifying encounter. The impressive advancement in phone technology to successfully deliver a high quality thriller illusion makes Darkfield Radio something you have never experienced before.
This October, Darkfield Radio is offering two audio based immersive experiences that will have you questioning the accuracy of your own senses. Using an app on your phone, headphones, and a partner, you can experience a fifteen minute immersive theater show from the comfort and safety of your home. Both Visitors and Double offer perfectly creepy immersions where participants will experience the sensation of something moving around them without anything really being there. It is incredibly impressive what the creators were able to achieve with audio. The technological achievement of both of these events can be appreciated in their own right. Both Visitors and Double are strong and it’s difficult to pick a favorite. However, Each experience has different strengths that distinguish them.
Visitors provides a clear narrative that is grounded in a home setting. The story line is easy to follow and is inclusive of your partner who is engaged in the experience with you. The strong narrative aspect sets it apart from Double which is more abstract in nature. Additionally, unlike Double, this event takes place completely in the dark which elevates the spooky nature of the experience. Participants are asked to follow directions and even get up from their seat and walk around during the course of the experience. It is absolutely incredible what the creators are able to achieve with sound. You can hear a presence as they move closer and farther away with shocking accuracy. The audio is so precise that I left feeling that I would much prefer the experience of Darkfield Radio to the same experience in person with a blindfold. Although there is not as much variety in the types of sounds as in Double, there is very well produced audio that exceptionally creates the illusion of visitors entering your home. Having to open your eyes and walk to another room in the middle of the experience can take the participant slightly out of immersion. However, the experience of being separated from your partner, ups the stakes and interactions with the visitors intensifies. There was perhaps a missed opportunity for your partner to interact with you directly through a medium which could have added an extra layer of creepy sensation to the experience. However, overall Visitors very successfully achieved a creepy home immersion using technology in a unique and exceptionally produced manner.
Like Visitors, Double very successfully creates an illusion that there is a spiritual presence in your home. However, a key strength of Double is the incredible precision and variety in the types of sounds used throughout the experience. Participants can very clearly orient themselves to a particular space in a particular time by listening to the layers of sounds coming from different sources around the room. The unpredictability of the visitor creates a feeling of suspense and unease as participants aren’t sure what will happen next. Having the lights on throughout this encounter helps maintain the mood as thrilling and suspenseful rather than terrifying. However with the lights on it becomes even more important for participants to keep their eyes closed in order to fully trick their mind into believing the narrative is actually unfolding in this reality. Double does a good job of orienting and transitioning participants into the experience. However, the narrative is complex and difficult to follow at times which may be intentional. Although the relationship between you, your partner, and the character becomes blurred during the experience, one haunting realization stays with you: you can’t trust anyone.
As mentioned earlier, Darkfield Radio achieves the same level of immersion as an in-person experience where the participant is blindfolded due to incredible feats of audio engineering. Especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Darkfield Radio provides quality immersive experience that can be experienced safely at home. The price of the Visitors and Double, at the general industry standard of $1 per minute, are reasonable and worth it. You can bring the spirit of Halloween to your home buy purchasing tickets for Darkfield Radio here.
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