Brandon Santoro.

It’s 6:30 on a cool October night, and Mike Impollonia is getting ready for work. His schedule this week has been hectic, but he doesn’t mind. “Yesterday I was in the stripper room, today I’m in the cemetery, tomorrow I’m back in the stripper room,” he says with a smile. Mike scares people for a living. And 30 minutes from how, he’s going to do everything he can to scare me.

We’re standing in an underground dressing room at Blood Manor, a haunted house on the border of SoHo and Hudson Square that describes itself as “New York City’s premier haunted house attraction”—meaning, one of its scariest. The manor, which takes up the second floor of a warehouse building, opens in half an hour. A line of jittery customers already stretches around the block.

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