Monday, October 04, 2010
This is another in a continuing series of posts this month as I write about being a performer in the immensely popular Frightmare Manor here in East Tennessee and I'm telling some of the secrets and the behind-the-scenes events at the Manor. (UPDATE - go here to learn about Frightmare Manor 2011!)
I've been one of those creepy fans horror movies and books and stories for as long as I can remember. And I've been a part of haunted houses and shows, and even put on a few of those myself, also for as long as I can remember. And I have a few insights which I'm happy to share - but just a few, since some secrets must be kept. But feel free to ask questions in the comments section below.
Here's one thing I do know - once a person or a group go into a haunted attraction, like Frightmare Manor, just walking thru the dark, creaky house sets the heart to pounding and the imagination tells us this darkness is home to an Un-nameable Horror, concealing those things which always are with us, buried just below the senses. But you know it's there. So when something - a shape, a cold hand, a voice - starts moving out of the dark and toward you, the un-named becomes real.
So what scares you most?
It's not to hard to thing of some very real fears humans have - we live in a time of economic uncertainty, a time of terrorist warnings, and being fearful of strangers and worries about 'secure' schools and borders and homes seem to surround the nation.
But that's not the type of fear or scares I mean. And even if you can't identify that thing which frightens you, we at Frightmare know ... and know how to make it come to life.
Here's some background on what it takes to be one of the insiders at Frightmare - I was one of over 300 applicants for acting jobs. And honestly, some of the folks I met during the application process were plenty scary already. And we all love our jobs - which is bad news for you!
Chris and his hard-working crew have taken almost a year to take an old house and the surrounding woods and other locations and transform it all into a nasty stew of scary, creepy, crawly things. Several performers arrived with their own costumes and masks and other ideas too. One of my favorites is this wee lad who haunts a room full of discarded and dirty toys. That boy is mighty freaky.
From my location, I can tell when a new group is moving thru the Manor because I hear the screams. The howls and pure girly screams (from men, women and children) are always louder than anything else, even though there are many strange sounds filling the Manor already. Then there's the trail thru the woods outside. But more on that later.
Frightmare also offers a money-back event - if you can endure the intense and spectral special scares, you'll get your money back. What is the challenge? Well, I'm sworn to secrecy on that, and really only a few people know exactly what happens during the challenge. The best answer I can give you is that you'll have to sign a waiver first, you must endure it all alone and you'll have to eat something, drink something and do something ... none of it simple or easy. On opening night this past Friday, some 40 brave souls signed up for the challenge ... only one succeeded and got their money back.
We know what scares you, even if you don't.
We're open again this Friday and Saturday night from 7 p.m til midnight - you can get tickets right now at the main website. If you dare.