When HorrorBuzz first opened, I was still in the middle of my “extreme horror experience” phase. Ever since Norm tricked me…er, I mean, took me, to my very first BLACKOUT experience, I was enthralled. Now, here we are, 5 years later, and the extreme horror stuff just doesn’t do it for me anymore. Which is totally okay! As we go through life, our likes and wants change, and for me, discovering the extreme immersive horror joining happened at just the right time.
The down side of that is that we haven’t had a lot of coverage of that sort of thing on the site for awhile. Which, honestly, for a site covering all things horror, was our bad. We know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea (which, again, totally okay!), but we definitely want to make sure we have something for everyone. Which is where our friend Ron Lefevre comes in.
Ron wrote to me a few weeks ago that he wanted to do a write up on ABLUTION, an extreme horror show from LUCID. Like me, he had done a lot of extreme horror stuff in the past, and unlike me, continues to enjoy it. He was anticipating this new horror experience for weeks, was very excited about it, and of course, we wanted him to share his experience with our readers.
This is sort of like a one-off from Ron, though, as he doesn’t want to continue writing about these things (though, if you change your mind, Ron, we’d love to have you!). So, consider this a sort of special report more so than a review. Reading Ron’s words below, you can get a good sense of what he went through during ABLUTION. And, well…I’ll just let him explain. Everything after this point will be from him, so take it away, Ron!
THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM
LUCID: An Umbral Awakening is an immersive horror theater company that is located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Back in November 2019, they popped up as a suggested person I follow on Instagram. At the time, I was not aware of what LUCID was actually about, but the posts were intriguing. I reached out to them and I received a cryptic message about needing to wait a bit longer. They claimed they needed to test their methods before moving ahead.
A few months went by before they announced THE AUDIT, a show that would act as a sort of prologue to determine if they would want to continue with you (and vice versa) for a full show.
I was in communication with LUCID on and off for about a year before they invited me to a personal show called ABLUTION. They asked for my address, and once I gave it to them, I began to receive cryptic letters in the mail from “the Constellation”, a mysterious organization. I also got emails that came off disturbing, since they contained hidden messages that, when deciphered, that made me question their true motives.
A few weeks ago, I received one final letter in the mail, which only contained a date and a time: November 7th 9pm. It was official that I would meet the Constellation even though I had no idea where I was going to meet them. A few days prior to the date in question, I received an email from the medical team at LUCID. I had to fill out a questionnaire that was very typical of an immersive horror show, but a few elements about it threw me off. However, it did include a portion about what I was to experience, and if I wanted to opt out of certain things. But it ranged from pleasant things, such as “you will be embraced”, to negative things, and then back to pleasant again. It was mixed, and I felt like they were trying to bait me into the experience. But I filled it out and sent it back.
I arrived on November 6th to the hotel I had booked for it, and the second I did, the experience began. Once I checked in, I had to go back to my car to get a few more things. While there, I received a message from the Constellation telling me that they saw me. They identified my car, and told me that a letter was left for me at the front desk. I picked it up and rushed back to my room to open it. Four torn up pieces of paper were in there. I put them together, and it revealed a location to meet the following day at 5PM. It also contained a secret statement that I needed to say to this individual I would be meeting, someone who would be marked with “stars.”
It was raining when I went to go meet them. After a few minutes, a woman in the distance with an umbrella began to walk towards me. I gazed off and noticed that she had the stars mark, so I slowly got up to meet her. I made the statement, and she smiled. She made small talk about why I was there, what I was looking for, before she took out a book. Inside the book was a waiver, which I signed.
She gave me a letter and wished me luck. I ran back to my hotel as fast as I could to open the letter. In the letter were another four pieces of torn paper, black latex gloves, a key, and a black mask. I put the four torn pieces of paper together and it had the location and another secret statement that I had to say when I initiated contact with the member of the Constellation for the main show.
THE AUDIT AND ABLUTION
And then, it was time. It was a cold 35 degrees in Salt Lake City, as I paced back and forth on a dark bridge. When it was time, a member of the Constellation was waiting for me. I was hesitant to cross, but eventually got enough nerves to go meet them. She was holding an umbrella and starting off into the stars as I approached and said the secret statement. She looked at me and said “I know the way” and I followed her. She told me I would need to drive her to another location.
I opened the car door for her and I got in myself. The entire drive, not one word was said as she stared straight ahead, emotionless. Once we arrived, she instructed me to the take key and to open the door to this undisclosed location. I was very nervous at this time but followed the instructions. Upon opening the door, I was met with two female members of the Constellation who were well dressed in a suit and tie. They instructed me to give them any belongings, and also dress in something more formal. I was given a dress shirt and tie to change into. Once I was dressed appropriately, I was led out the back but noticed while walking that another individual was lying on the ground tied up and out cold. I had a feeling the Constellation was up to something that wasn’t going to please me. I was instructed to sit down, told to place a blindfold on, and to wait. THE AUDIT was about to begin.
I was met with a terrifying soundtrack from the Constellation and a few moments after, I was instructed to take off my blindfold. I saw the Auditor siting across the table from me. He immediately pulled out pictures of past audits and explained the importance of memories. THE AUDIT itself was a personal journey and each Audit is different. My Audit had very personal information in regards to my family, my emotions, and what others thought of me. It was a deeply emotional journey that made me question my choices.
I was presented with several disturbing questions that would attempt to question my emotional well being, and my empathy towards others. Often times, I felt that most of the questions wouldn’t have good outcomes regardless of the choice. It made me begin to question myself, if I was in fact a “good” person or not.
Eventually the unexpected happened and the roles were reverse. The Auditor asked me to question another individual (the individual who was laying out cold on the ground when I first arrived at this location) as he questioned me to determine his “honesty.” I was given a headset and the questions were fed through the headphones by another Constellation member on the other end. I simply just had to repeat what was being said to me. Sounds easy right? Well, it sounded easy but the questions were dark, brutal, and was designed to trigger the person I was questioning. The questions led to a deep, dark history of the individual, and I began to be uncomfortable with the questions. But, I proceeded to ask anyway. After the questions ended, the individual began to talk to me and gave me warnings in regards to the Constellation and how I needed to get out immediately!
I just stared at the individual and would look back to see if the Auditor would be coming…but he did not! We were alone. The individual began to speak louder and louder, and I then heard the Auditor come up to me from behind and begin to raise his voice at the individual. The Auditor turned and look at me. He began to question me to see if I believed in the Constellation or what the individual was saying. I looked at the Auditor and informed the Auditor that I believed in only the Constellation, but the Auditor had to test my faith. THE AUDIT was over and not ABLUTION was to begin.
The events for my ABLUTION truly tested my faithfulness to the Constellation. It ran the gauntlet of events, which truly brought out the extreme horror. At one point, my head was placed on concrete, while being held down, with a live engine running close by. My heart raced and raced as I had no idea what was going to happen. Eventually, I was rushed back inside, down a flight of stairs, and blindfolded. I was informed that the footage would be reviewed to determine my faithfulness to the Constellation.
I sat down and was in complete darkness. All I could feel was plastic bags around me as I moved my hands around. A few minutes later, a gentle female voice was heard and a personal conversation occurred in regards to her history with the Constellation. She revealed a personal tragedy in her life that tested my emotional limits as I began to cry from her story. The Auditor soon returned and informed me that the footage was acceptable and that my faith in the Constellation has been restored but certain tasks still needed to be completed regardless.
I won’t go too deep into them, but the tasks tested my emotional limits, physical limits, and included being completely naked in 35 degree weather with a “highly combustible liquid” being poured onto me and a simulated game of Russian Roulette.
LUCID puts on events that are a mix of immersive horror and a throwback to the days of BLACKOUT. Their shows are typically custom made and you must initiate contact with the Constellation to be considered for a show. The Auditor is one of the fiercest and yet subtle foes I have ever encountered. He is well spoken, well dressed, and composes himself professional throughout but he hides a dark side that has yet to be revealed. I am not looking forward to the day when his true intentions are revealed. LUCID: An Umbral Awakening shows are masterpieces of theater and immersive horror combined that should not be missed by any individuals wanting to take a step into an immersive horror show and become enlightenment.
For more information, follow them on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/lucid_an_umbral_awakening/