A new location and a bigger space promises more scares and surprises as Paradise Theatre returns with its 17th annual Haunted House on Oct. 20.
With the help of theatre volunteers, Vicki and Jeff Richards are transforming a 1,000-square-foot open space in the Peninsula Shopping Center off Judson Street into a eery environment sure to spook and startle even the most toughened Halloween adventurer.
Originally the site of Ace Hardware, the location was momentarily daunting to design because of the amount of available open space, but ideas and creativity soon triumphed and the Haunted House began to quickly take shape, explained Vicki Richards, executive artistic director.
There’s a whole bunch of scares. But we always like to mix some humor in.
Jeff Richards, managing director
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“We’ve had some great brainstorming sessions,” she said. “We’re kind of changing our whole storyline.”
This year, the haunted house will feature an indoor maze taking guests through three sections of an old Southern plantation and bayou.
“There’s a whole bunch of scares,” managing director Jeff Richards said. “But we always like to mix some humor in.”
Breaking with tradition, this year’s haunted house will be unguided, with helpers following behind groups to keep them on track but not leading or interacting as in years past.
“We thought it might be fun and kind of scary to be unguided,” Vicki said. “We’re really recreating everything from scratch.”
Featuring more than 35 actors spread throughout the site and a host of special effects to set the scene, guests of the Haunted House can expect both moments of humor and horror as they move along.
That’s what’s fun about it, it’s a safe environment. If you have fun and get scared going through, then we’ve done our job.
Vicki Richards, executive artistic director
For younger participants, the theatre will be offering several kid-friendly nights that will be less intense, and from 4 to 6 p.m. on Halloween will be offering free walk-throughs of the house with all the lights on so that children can see how everything works.
“That’s what’s fun about it; it’s a safe environment,” Vicki Richards said. “If you have fun and get scared going through, then we’ve done our job.”
Volunteer opportunities are still available for the Haunted House. Those interested should contact Paradise Theatre by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 253-851-7529.
Paradise Theatre’s 17th annual Haunted House is located at 3114 Judson Street in downtown Gig Harbor.
Tickets are $6 for ages 10 and younger and $9 ages 11 and older, $1 is taken off the price on kid-friendly nights.
Unlimted VIP passes are available for $18 for ages 10 and younger and $27 for ages 11 and older.
The house will be open:
▪ 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 20
▪ 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 21
▪ 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 22
▪ 3 to 5 p.m. (kid friendly) Oct. 23
▪ 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (kid friendly) Oct. 27
▪ 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 28
▪ 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 29
▪ 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 30
▪ 4 to 6 p.m. (Free and no scares) Oct. 31
▪ 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 31