Friday, October 18, 2013

Halloween screams at The House of Horrors - by Rob McClure

If you are looking for a genuinely scary experience to celebrate your Halloween spirit, you won’t have to drive very far as Friday night marked the grand opening of “The House of Horrors” in Standish.  Located in the Schoolhouse Arts Center, also known as the old Standish schoolhouse, this first annual event promises to be much more than your standard screamfest. That’s partly because the old building is haunted, or at least that is what we were told by several cast members, including one of Maine’s top paranormal investigators and event co-founder Chris Sanders. Sanders, along with partner Josh Talbot, have been working very hard transforming an already spooky looking house into an all out frightening experience. 

Sanders has previously performed “ghost hunts” in the building which led to the idea that it was an ideal set for a haunted house. According to Talbot’s wife Erin, the production team has been working on the set since mid-September. Erin also pointed out that the help and support from family and friends were pivotal to the events success. 

Without spoiling the whole experience, we will say that this is a very unique and creepy haunt experience in Maine. The setting dramatically adds to the scare factor, and the entire cast is motivated and ready to give 110 percent to terrify you. The attention to detail and perfect location should come to no surprise for anyone familiar with the production team. Talbot brings with him 22 years of experience in the horror business working at the old Haunted Hayride in Scarborough. When asked what his motivation was for sticking with the terror business for so long, Talbot replied, “I just love scaring people.” When the Hayride closed down for good last year, Talbot teamed up with Sanders and decided to start a new attraction in Standish. Not only did they bring all of their experience, they also brought their dedicated cast members along with them. 
One such cast member, Nicole Holland, who was preparing her creepy nurse costume recalled how she was mysteriously scratched on her neck by what she claims was the “ghost of a child” and even had pictures to prove it. Other cast members seemed to genuinely share her sentiments. Another cast member, Corey Nicholson, aka Doctor Killjoy, shared similar accounts of hauntings related to the old schoolhouse as he menaced a eviscerated cadaver with his bloody cleaver.

And while it is advertised for all ages, parents may be wise to use discretion as it is a dark and scary looking place. If bringing very young kids or easily scared adults, hold them close. You’ve been warned.

The event is located at 16 Richville Rd, Route 114 in Standish at the Schoolhouse Art Center and runs Thursday through Sunday until November 2. Hours are 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are $10 cash only, children 6 and under are free. Also, groups of 10 or more receive a discount. For more information, call 207-756-5221. A food vendor is also on site offering hot food and drinks. Parking is free.

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