Great State: Turning a Haunted House into a Tunnel of Love Isn’t as Hard As You Might Think

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- Amusement parks used to call the old 'Tunnel of Love' a dark ride.

They weren't designed to be scary, but they were made to bring riders closer together.

"This is it," says Sanctuary owner and creator Tino Pascuzzi. "This is all you get," he continues, lighting up a small, LED flashlight.

Pascuzzi and his wife Cathleen were thinking as they re-formatted their haunted attraction called 'The Sanctuary'.

It's still the same place.

They just dimmed the lights.

"There's nothing like a little suspense to bring people closer together," remarks a visitor.

"Exactly," agrees Tino. "That's the whole point."

"We all know what happens when your girl gets scared and jumps into your arms. Come on.!"

Air brush master Scott Van Eck is still working his magic on the actors.

"How much longer are you going to work on this guy?" asks someone in the staging area.

"Maybe ten or fifteen more minutes," says Scott.

As scary as he looks, organizers insist these monsters won't jump at you like they do for visitors around Halloween.

Tino compares this Valentine adventure to something like a video game where players explore and discover with their candle shining weakly in the dark.

Demonstrating with what looks like a glowing ring, Pascuzzi says, "You're navigating with this little guy. You've got that flash light in complete darkness and you're discovering things, you're discovering these characters throughout the haunt."

Walking through The Tunnel of Love is still creepy.

You'll wander through grave yards, through a hallway filled with dolls attached to the walls.

There's also a mind and balance bending vortex.

But the idea isn't to frighten.

"It's all about bringing couples together," says Tino.

As if the kissing booth at the end isn't proof enough, push through the dark and there is romance here, a kind of intimate adventure, the kind only possible with the lights turned off and the imagination turned on.

The Sanctuary's Tunnel of Love runs two nights only 8pm to Midnight, Friday the 13th and Valentine's night.

The Sanctuary and Voodoo Lounge are located at 530 South Broadway just south of the Chesapeake Arena.

For more information including reservations and tickets go to http://www.thesanctuaryokc.com

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.