Dennis Wink likes to give people a good scare.
By day, Wink is a mild-mannered diesel mechanic for Greyhound in Seattle.
Come night, he transforms into a vampire or a killer clown.
It all depends on what shift needs to be filled at the Fright Factory in Buckley.
Wink has been frightening folks since he was a 14-year-old in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and volunteering at community haunted houses.
“I love to give back,” Wink said. “I just love building sets and the artistry and creativity.”
For the last 16 years, Wink, 53, has been operating the haunted house in Buckley.
“Come to the dark side of Buckley, where no one can hear you scream,” Wink advises potential visitors.
Wink, and his wife, Diane, don’t do it alone. They have a staff of 23 and nearly 50 actors — all volunteers.
The Winks keep enough money to keep the haunted house running and donate the rest of the proceeds to youth and senior activities in Buckley. They gave just over $14,000 in 2016, Wink said.
Wink’s terror-filled barn is a horror movie come to life. The sets are so well done, Wink said, budding filmmakers use it to make movies in the off season.
Wink writes, directs, builds sets and acts in the haunted house. He maintains and creates sets year-round in the 10,000 square foot space.
“When you walk into a room, you’re 360 degree immersed in it,” Wink said.
For 2017, Wink has an abandoned carnival with murderous clowns, old town London with Jack the Ripper, a pirate ship, insane asylum, Frankenstein’s lab, backwoods voodoo shack and a slaughter house, among others.
“It’s pretty scary,” Wink said. “Our recommendation is 10 and over.”
He gets about 1,000 to 1,500 customers a night.
At least one or two people a night wish they had brought an extra pair of underwear, Wink said.
There’s a competition among the staff to see who can be the first of the season to scare the pee out of a visitor.
“They get an award at the end of the year,” Wink said.
The Fright Factory is open three to five days a week through Halloween.
The Fright Factory
Where: 2000 Collins Road, Buckley.
When: Through Oct. 31. Times and dates vary, check website or phone.
Cost: $12 or $11 with non-perishable food donation. Fast pass: $20. Cash only.
Age limit: 10 and above.