October is upon us, and thus begins the season of fright.
For every person who loves the change of seasons because of the change to cooler weather, there are as many who look forward to October every year because, frankly, they love being frightened.
There is something about October that makes it a natural for haunted houses.
Maybe it is because there is a distinct change that takes place. All of the sudden, the air feels different. The air smells different. The trees, once abundant with greenery, suddenly begin their trek towards skeletal forms that contrast against eery moonlit skies, or even worse, nights completely void of light.
The air turns chilly, as if death itself were walking among us.
So….throw in an abandoned, or re-purposed old building, and you’ve got a natural for a haunted house.
Subrina Berger is fully cognizant of the feel of the cool, other-wordly, wind that raises hairs on the back of the neck. She plans to take full advantage of it as the Kiwanis Club for the second year sponsors “Nightmare at Kinyon School” that opens this weekend, October 3. Performance dates will be Oct. 3, 9 and 10, 16 and 17, 23 and 24, and then reaches its crescendo Oct. 29, 30, and 31.
Berger spends weeks with volunteers getting ready for the haunted house, which is indeed a performance. Berger loves the theatre, and she loves Halloween. So a haunted house is the perfect marriage of the two.
Scientists and psychologists say humans actually have an innate desire to be scared.
Psychologists say there is only one thing absolutely certain, and yet, pretty much beyond the control of humans. And that thing is death. Every human is born destined for death. It is, of course, the most primal fear in humans.
Thus, every culture has its own festival designed to face death head-on, to somehow make ourselves more comfortable with the idea of our own mortality. If you can’t control it, you might as well have some fun with it.
And Americans do have fun with it by spending billions of dollars every year on gruesome costumes, and haunted houses.
So Berger took that basic of all human fears and turned it into a way to raise money for continued improvement to Bacon Park, the pet project for the Kiwanis Club. This year they hope to raise money for toddler equipment.
Let the adrenaline flow!
The “Nightmare at Kinyon School” will operate 7 to 11 p.m. on its performance nights. Those under age 5 are not permitted, and admission is $10.
Group Night is Oct. 28, 7 to 9 p.m., and admission will be $8 for members of groups 20 or more.
The scare factor will turn down a notch Oct. 10, when the “monster free” nights begin for younger kids, 5 to 7 p.m.
“The biggest difference from last year is that we have added the second floor to the experience,” explained Berger. “We also added a slide, and we’re up to 15 rooms!”
With renovation on the building soon to begin, this will likely be the last year the haunted house will be held at Kinyon School.
But, as Berger admits, that is not necessarily a bad thing.
“We don’t know yet where we will be next year, but a new site will mean a new surge in creativity. Brand new experiences will mean people won’t get bored,” she noted.
But one thing we know, when the winds of October begin, there will be haunting.
THAT is a guarantee.