If you live in the UK (like I do), and you love all things spooky (like I do), then chances are you are interested in watching TV shows about spooky things. And one such show you’ll no doubt be interested in, is a US reality series called Spook Show 17.
But there is a possibility you’ve not heard of Spook Show 17, and this is because the series has not made it all the way over to this side of the pond. Spook Show 17 is currently available in the US via Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Google Play, and Tubi, but us Brits haven’t had the full experience just yet.
I say, we’ve not had the ‘full experience’, because we have been given a taster. The opening episode to Spook Show 17 is currently available to watch on YouTube, and if you are really into horror, and adore anything to do with haunted houses, then you will want to check it out.
Spook Show 17 is a series about a team of people who design, build, and operate the world’s most extreme haunted house The 17th Door. This is a haunted house unlike any other, and really has to be seen to be believed.
Featuring 17 unique scare rooms, a collection of special effects, over 60 enthusiastic actors, and an ongoing storyline, The 17th Door is a full-contact, fully immersive, nerve-racking experience. The scream-inducing event – located in Fullerton, California – lasts over 30 minutes, and requires all guests to sign an insurance waiver before they step foot in the door.
The 17th Door is owned and operated by husband-and-wife duo, Robbie and Heather Luther. These guys have been working on this event for years, and after building, developing, and expanding the 17th Door with each new season, they are now keen to take audiences behind the scenes, to show them, in Robbie’s words, “how truly f**king awesome The 17th Door is.”
Gathering together a team who operate the cameras and all the behind-the-scenes TV wizardry, Robbie and Heather front the show, alongside their hardworking crew of prop builders and engineers. Each episode they discuss the challenges that go into making The 17th Door the success it is, whilst at the same time they unveil some brand-new rooms that are being added to the experience.
Across the course of the 14-episode season Robbie and Heather are replacing nine of the existing rooms, adding all-new imaginative themes and effects along the way, and are introducing a new VR experience too. All of this has to be completed in a tight five-month window, to ensure The 17th Door can be fully operational in time for opening night.
Now, as I mentioned earlier, I’ve only watched the first episode of Spook Show 17 (directed by Wyatt Barclay and Robbie Luther), but this 55-minute season-opener acts as the perfect introductory point for the series. It explains the background to the show, the season-long premise, and introduces all the key players.
This first episode also makes it clear what kind of reality show this is. This isn’t a squeaky-clean, glitzy, glamor-filled series; it is a dirt-incrusted, blood, sweat, and tears kind of show, complete with nuts, bolts, bad language and creepy crawlies.
Before the episode airs, there is a disclaimer, warning audiences of ‘adult content, graphic language, offensive humour, and incidental violence’. The show is intended for mature viewers, with discretion advised, and it is designed for those who want to get their hands dirty in the construction of a scare-fest, without having to leave the comfort of their sofa.
The first episode focuses on introductions, as well as the construction of two new scare rooms: ‘Roach Room’ and ‘Truck Smash’. The former is a room designed to be filled with real-life cockroaches, while the latter involves a special effect, which will send a full-sized fibreglass truck hurtling towards guests.
Crazy? Quite possibly. Inventive? Most certainly.
And that’s ultimately what this show is about. The series is designed to demonstrate how Robbie, Heather, and the rest of the crew have continued to expand The 17th Door, often taking bizarre and outlandish concepts and turning them into a reality.
As the series progresses, it promises to look at the construction of the remaining rooms, while also dealing with the day-to-day running of a haunted house experience. Problem solving, workload pressures, dealing with the daily grind, and guest attendance will all be put into the spotlight across the course of the series.
The show promises a bit of drama, but also plenty of down-to-Earth fun too. The feeling I got from watching episode one was that I was witnessing a group of ordinary people bringing the extraordinary to life, and I am keen to see more.
I am in no doubt the rest of the series will wing its way over to the UK in the not-too-distant future, so for now this is a ‘heads-up’ for anyone who wants to keep Spook Show 17 on their radar. The first episode on YouTube certainly whets the appetite for more, and I’m now very eager to see how the rest of the series plays out.