Scene of curious and tragic happenings

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Please be cautious if you spend the night in a bedroom in the Gravesend Inn. Photos by Mary Frost

Among the many towering hotels in Downtown Brooklyn’s booming hospitality scene, the Gravesend Inn is a special case.

The Inn, open only once a year in the week leading up to Halloween, has been the scene of chaotic happenings, mysterious deaths and even an earthquake.

Piercing screams have been heard coming from the basement below the Jay Street lobby. Rumors have it that the earthquake was not an earthquake at all, but an “unnatural phenomenon” of sorts. More than one guest has been carried out on a stretcher.

Produced by Theatreworks, New York City College of Technology’s (City Tech’s) resident theatrical troupe, this amazing Halloween attraction has been thrilling Brooklyn’s more adventurous children and adults since 1999.

Students and faculty of the college’s Entertainment Technology Department design, build and operate the multi-room Inn – described as “theme-park-quality” – at City Tech’s Voorhees Theatre every year.

The production includes animatronics, sophisticated lighting and audio systems and a video playback system.

When people exit, they can sit in the theater and watch a live display of other visitors as they journey through the rooms, said Darya Dubouskaya, an emerging media major at City Tech.

“The camera catches so many interesting moments. I really like the reactions of people in the kitchen,” she told theBrooklyn Eagle.

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Darya is a member of the 30-person camera and projection crew. Other crews include groups operating sounds, lights, construction, details, electronics and security, along with actresses in spooky gowns, she said. Students man all the crews, under the supervision of professors. An extensive backstory, written by adjunct professor Norma Lee Chartoff, includes newspaper articles describing various horrors that have taken place over the past century at the hotel.

While some visitors are not afraid, “Some people scream during the show,” she said. “Lots of girls are so scared. It’s so much fun to watch the cameras.”

We don’t want to reveal what especially surprises the hotel’s explorers – but just know it’s amazing. “People don’t expect it,” she said.

It’s not giving too much away, however, to say that many people are afraid of the “mirror room.”

“Usually people look at the mirror,” Darya said. “Then they realize there’s something moving on the ceiling . . .”

Her favorite room is the last one, Darya said. “It looks very scary and is just perfect.”

The attraction runs on Oct. 30 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Oct. 31 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m., and Nov. 1 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. at Voorhees Theatre, 186 Jay Street (north of Tillary), in Downtown Brooklyn. Admission is $5 for students (with ID) and groups, $8 for general sales, and is free to New York City College of Technology students.

Call 718-260-5592 for recorded information, or 718-260-5588 during regular business hours. To reserve tickets visithttp://theatreworkscitytech.org/get-tickets/

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