Museum haunted house is a scary virtual-reality journey

Museum haunted house is a scary virtual-reality journey

It may take place within a small carpeted space, but the new virtual-reality exhibition at the Houston Museum of Natural Science opens up a wide world that heightens the senses.

Through Halloween, the exhibition’s big draw is the virtual-reality haunted house. Visitors strap on a backpack and a mask to begin their journey.

The instructions from the museum staff are simple: Follow the bloody footsteps. Raise both hands if you’re frightened and want to leave the haunted house. Raise only one hand if you get lost and need to be redirected. And, remember, there are no walls inside.

Even with this intellectual knowledge, you can find yourself “pushing” open doors, carefully stepping along narrow planks to avoid plunging into boiling water and dodging a host of ghastly creatures.

The haunted-house experience is recommended for ages 8 and older, and it’s not for the faint of heart. Children who would be spooked in a traditional haunted house will be just as scared, if not more so, in this one. Still, museum docents say children as young as 5 have explored the haunted house and asked to go again.

Outside of the haunted house, the exhibition includes several virtual-reality kiosks and games and an augmented-reality screen. Admission is separate from regular museum prices because the experience is designed to be stand-alone.

More Information

Virtual Reality Haunted House When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily Where: Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park DriveDetails: $12 for adults and children, $8 for museum members, VR tickets do not grant access to the rest of the museum; hmns.org

So far, the exhibition has been wildly popular, said Latha Thomas, VP of marketing and communications for the museum. Visitors have spent hours on a single VR game. “Some of our staff members come here every morning,” she said. “It’s a great way to start the day.”

In the augmented-reality portion near the exhibition’s entrance, visitors watch themselves on a screen, similar to seeing yourself in department store security camera footage. Then it gets interesting.

A dinosaur approaches and crosses your path, rain clouds emerge and pour rain on you, a cheetah ambles up and turns on his back, seemingly asking you to scratch his belly. An astronaut in exploration joins you on the screen. Dolphins jump through ocean waves.

Nearby, a row of kiosks are loaded with interactive games and experiences. Using a mask and holding an orb, you can enter a space station and take pictures for friends down on Earth. Or navigate the Colosseum in Rome. In space, you can scoop up planets and moons, then throw them around.

Other, more “normal,” offerings include the chance to play archery or use a slingshot. Using a virtual-reality MRI, you can even complete a body scan.

Devonnie Young visited the VR haunted house with her 13-year-old son. “He thinks it’s neat,” she said, adding that he had not before visited a full-reality haunted house. “It was real enough,” she said. “He was tense the whole time.”

Parents can stand nearby to watch their kids explore the haunted house. After completing the mazelike walk inside the haunted house, museum officials point out the footpaths participants took, which seems very small compared to the length of the VR journey.

The VR exhibition is a beta program in partnership with developers of commercial VR technology. Moving forward, all new museum exhibitions will include some sort of VR component, Thomas said. That might mean more trips for you to the museum.

Source: Chron

Leave a reply

About The Author

Christiana Polycarpou

Communicatios Officer

Upcoming Events

Jul
4
Wed
all-day World Congress on Dance Research
World Congress on Dance Research
Jul 4 – Jul 8 all-day
You are invited to showcase your work at the Dance Research Congress. This unique event is open to all forms of dance: ballet, modern, folk, ballroom, Oriental, tango, therapeutic, recreational, revival etc. Venue is the[...]
Jul
5
Thu
all-day #EARTH2018 Digital Environments ...
#EARTH2018 Digital Environments ...
Jul 5 – Jul 7 all-day
#EARTH2018 Digital Environments for Education, Arts and Heritage
INTERNATIONAL AND INTERDISCIPLINARY CONFERENCE Download the program here For more information and registrations click here
Jul
6
Fri
all-day FutureFest 2018 @ Tobacco Dock
FutureFest 2018 @ Tobacco Dock
Jul 6 – Jul 7 all-day
Occupy the future at FutureFest 2018 FutureFest, one of Europe’s largest festivals of the future, invites you on a breath-taking journey designed to explore how the most pressing challenges of our time could be tackled[...]
Jul
10
Tue
all-day “Electronic Visualisation and th... @ British Computing Society offices, a central London venue near Covent Garden.
“Electronic Visualisation and th... @ British Computing Society offices, a central London venue near Covent Garden.
Jul 10 – Jul 12 all-day
"Electronic Visualisation and the  Arts" - EVA London 2018 @ British Computing Society offices, a central London venue near Covent Garden.
We are excited to announce that the EVA London 2018 conference will take place from Tuesday 10th July – Thursday 12th July 2018. In addition, there will be a Pre-Conference Symposium on Monday 9th July 2018[...]
Aug
12
Sun
all-day “45th SIGGRAPH Conference on Co...
“45th SIGGRAPH Conference on Co...
Aug 12 – Aug 16 all-day
"45th SIGGRAPH Conference on  Computer Graphics and  Interactive Techniques"
SIGGRAPH 2018 is a five-day immersion into the latest innovations in CG, Animation, VR, Games, Digital Art, Mixed Reality and Emerging Technologies. Experience research, hands-on demos, and fearless acts of collaboration. For more information click[...]
Sep
5
Wed
all-day 24th Annual Meeting of the Euro...
24th Annual Meeting of the Euro...
Sep 5 – Sep 8 all-day
24th Annual Meeting of  the European Association of Archaeologists- EAA2018
Barcelona has been an urban laboratory since the high Medieval Ages. A place of diversity, a backdrop for  a multiplicity of social and cultural processes on multiple scales that reflect different ways of constructing the[...]
all-day EAA 2018 Annual Meeting in Barce... @ Faculty of Geography and History
EAA 2018 Annual Meeting in Barce... @ Faculty of Geography and History
Sep 5 – Sep 9 all-day
The EAA Annual Meeting, Barcelona proposes six main themes for discussion, all of them with a focus on thinking from within the framework of Archaeology and Archaeological Heritage about our future.Themes The Annual Meeting themes,[...]
Sep
24
Mon
all-day Communicating the Museum – CTM18...
Communicating the Museum – CTM18...
Sep 24 – Sep 27 all-day
Communicating the Museum – CTM18 Chicago
The Communicating the Museum (CTM) conference will travel to Chicago from 24 to 27 September 2018. Chicago’ leading cultural institutions will host the 21st edition of CTM, the rendez-vous for communication professionals working in the[...]
Sep
29
Sat
all-day CIDOC Annual Conference
CIDOC Annual Conference
Sep 29 – Oct 4 all-day
CIDOC Annual Conference
CIDOC organises an annual conference which typically incorporates: Plenary sessions with papers and reports on documentation issues and initiatives Workshops and tutorials on specific issues Working Group sessions during which members of the Groups pursue[...]
10:00 CIDOC 2018: Provenance of Knowledge @ Heraklion
CIDOC 2018: Provenance of Knowledge @ Heraklion
Sep 29 @ 10:00 – Oct 4 @ 16:30
CIDOC 2018: Provenance of Knowledge @ Heraklion
The ‘Provenance of Knowledge’ is a core element of good practice in documentation and so is the theme of the next annual CIDOC conference, in Heraklion from 29 September to 4 October 2018. As an[...]
REGISTER NOW!