The powers that be behind lower Manhattan’s Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center might want to start looking into architect Joshua Prince-Ramus’ occult connections, because his design for the building—set to open at the World Trade Center complex, where it will serve as a community center and performing arts space—could very well be part of a larger plot to summon demons and manifest Hell itself on Earth. At the very least, it’s the world’s biggest, most expensive Hellraiser reference, as Hellraiser creator Clive Barker pointed out on Twitter:
For reference, here’s what the puzzle box—or the Lament Configuration, if you’re a dork like that—that depraved miscreants for whom earthly pleasures will no longer suffice use to summon Pinhead and his Cenobite pals looks like in the Hellraiser movies:
Prince-Ramus is even calling his infernal design a “mystery box,” which, if it isn’t intentional, is a Hell of a coincidence (no pun intended).
In fact, this whole “puzzle box as fancy building” thing has even been done before: In Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth, after the Cenobites are sent back to Hell (until the next movie, naturally) our heroine buries the box in a construction site in hopes that no one will be able to use its powers for evil ever again. But the plan backfires, and the building that goes up at the site ends up looking exactly like—dun dun dunnnnn—the Lament Configuration. This narrative thread is carried over into the Alan Smithee-directed Hellraiser IV: Bloodline, where the building serves as a bridge between the part of the movie where Adam Scott plays a decadent French aristocrat and the part where Pinhead goes to space.
Anyhow, the building will cost an estimated $250 million to complete, all but $75 million of which has already been raised, according to Time. Should the funding go through, the building is set to go up in 2020; if suddenly the line between pleasure and pain becomes hopelessly blurred and chains with hooks on the end begin falling from the sky like some sort of cosmic Skinny Puppy video shortly thereafter, don’t blame us. We tried to warn you.