Over 13 days, 31 people screamed as a madman stole their lives. The bitter, vengeful whispers of the dead urged him onward—drove him to slaughter—until he could bear it no longer and dug a grave for himself. He used his bare hands, scraping his knuckles raw, until the earth collapsed over him. Only then did the town quiet.
But the grave has been unearthed, and the horrors of that killing spree once again haunt the living. Inside the abandoned family mausoleum, visitors encounter dismembered bodies, a bride whose throat spills blood onto her white gown, and a skeleton with rotting flesh still clinging to its bones. As guests creep through hallways covered with gory handprints and stumble past broken fences, the grave’s fleet of masked monsters leaps out, raising goose bumps with impolite greetings—ranging from growls of “fresh meat!” to “arrrrrrgh!”—that would make Emily Post scream in horror.
The Wizard World Big Apple Comic Con “Spring Edition” herds international artists, writers, and celebrities together into one superpowered carnival atmosphere. Attendees can wander the pavilion's floor and meet their film and comic-book idols face-to-face, asking penetrating questions about their artistic processes, favorite projects, and availability to join a vigilante crackdown on line-cutters. The day’s program features events and guests, including a Q&A with Chandler Riggs of The Walking Dead renown, appearances by Harry Potter’s Tom Felton and Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark artist Greg Horn, and a writing panel featuring Eisner Award–nominee Matt Kindt.
Beside the Rhine River in Germany or in sun-soaked fields in Tuscany and California, vines grow heavy with ripe fruit. These jewel-toned morsels fill bottles at PRP Wine International, whose consultants then share the global terroir during special events and private tastings at home. Each staff member has a library of facts about wine production and consumption on the tip of their tongue, as well as several varieties of corkscrews hanging from their mandated utility belt. Their mission is to cultivate an appreciation of fine wines by introducing clients to global varieties—from beaujolais to chianti—while sharing food pairing ideas and recipes, and educating clients about the winemaking process and wine in general.
An online shop organizes varietals, such as montepulciano and gewürztraminer, by their taste profile and country of origin, and sparkling wines are searchable by price point. To deepen their client's connection to their favorite bottle, they may either be etched or emblazoned with custom labels that commemorate an event or deliver a dry thank you.
While Alcatraz Brewing Company doesn't require incarceration for a visit, fans of beer may be fine with someone locking them in and throwing away the key. Dave Moody, the award-winning head brewmaster, crafts signature and seasonal beers, such as Court Order Porter, Boneyard India Pale Ale, and Pop's Blue Ribbon, an American-style light lager. From the brewery's kitchen, chefs top burgers with garlic puree or roasted jalapenos, smoke pork with dark ale, and hand-toss thin-crust pizza. Waitstaff ferry plates and beer flights to Alcatraz's patio and around the San Francisco-themed dining room, which includes a to-scale replica of the Golden Gate Bridge and a stray wisp of ever-lingering fog.
So successful were the three original Lamppost Pizza establishments that the eatery has grown to 37 locations since its inception in 1976. Friendliness and fun unite with the pizzeria's penchant for sports to make visits memorable. But as nice as big-screen TVs can be, the real magnetism of this haven for sauce and cheese lies in the pies spun in the kitchen. Beer and wine complement the menu, which also includes calzones, pastas, sandwiches, and grill fare such as burgers.
Since 1982, the expert merchants at Wine Exchange have dressed palates in a plethora of fermented varietals from around the world. A wine-tasting card allows guests to peruse the spacious tasting room—which holds up to 40 guests or 500 Keebler elves—and sample the selection of 24 wines from the store’s newly acquired Wine Station, a self-serving dispensatory system categorized by reds, whites, countries, and appellations ($1–$10). Between sips, feel free to ask the knowledgeable staffers any vino-related questions, such as the origin of a specific wine or recommended food pairings. Patrons may use their wine-tasting card during multiple visits, share it with friends, or add additional money to refuel their wine-powered jetpacks.