Most nights of the year, announcing to the family you’re spending a night at something called The San Francisco Dungeon might drop some jaws. We’re not ones to judge, but we’re not your parents. But on Halloween, well, it just sounds like one more spooky way to spend the creepiest night of the year and has absolutely nothing to do with ball gags and safe words.
Despite its kinky-sounding name, the San Francisco Dungeon is actually a high-tech tourist attraction at Fisherman’s Wharf, a sort of live-action ghost tour of the city’s past. And next week, thanks to Booking.com, you’ll be able to spend a night sleeping in one of the dungeon’s cells — nicknamed the Alcatraz Suite — for you and one living guest right around Halloween. The number of non-living guests, however, may vary.
Your night will begin with a live performance of the San Francisco Dungeon show, an hour-long walk through the city’s creepy history over the past 100 years with a 360-degree set, an underground boat ride, and an underground drop ride called Escape Alcatraz. It’s part 4D theme-park ride and part live-action interactive theatrical performance, including a dungeon set with impeccable attention to detail.
After the show, you’ll participate in a séance with a real medium, inviting the odd spirit or two to join you in your dungeon cell. You’ll also get your own standard-issue dungeon pajamas, two prison-style mattresses on the floor, candles, midnight snacks, and dungeon toiletries. One of the dungeon’s beleaguered residents will read you a bedtime story before blowing out the lights, after which you’ll sleep in complete darkness until your midnight snack arrives.
You’ll also be awoken with breakfast in bed, which we assume was also what happened at most medieval dungeons after the traditional morning lashing. Assuming you survive, you’ll also get a dungeon schwag bag with stuff like pens and notepads you can leave around your house proudly announcing you’re a patron of The San Francisco Dungeon — which will no doubt be the first thing your next dinner party guests talk about when they get back to the car.
“They seem so normal,” they’ll say. “Never pictured them in latex.”
Perhaps the scariest thing about the dungeon is its price of $66.60 per night. That’s not because it’s the mark of the beast; it’s because any hotel room in San Francisco priced that low is 100 percent possessed by at least three poltergeists — or is actually a cardboard box in the Tenderloin.
Assuming it’s neither, you can book the Alcatraz Suite for Monday, October 29; Tuesday, October 30; or Halloween night on Wednesday, October 31. Parking is not included, which may cost more than the whole experience, depending on which lot you choose. Or maybe take Muni. Whatever your choice, this will be the most unique Halloween night you ever spend at Fisherman’s Wharf — or maybe anywhere. At the very least, it’ll make for some great awkward silences at Thanksgiving when you tell everywhere how much you and Bae loved the San Francisco Dungeon.