Fairgrounds promises ghoulish good fun

Even though she’s been creating haunted houses for many years, Haunted Fairgrounds Co-coordinator Marilyn Jones said it never ceases to amaze her how big its gotten.

“It’s insane,” she said. “It’s totally insane. It always amazes me that people will pay you to scare them.”

The sixth annual event, which kicked off Friday at the Kitsap Fairgrounds, is making this year’s event the biggest yet, thanks to 100 volunteers contributing 3,000 man-hours to set it up at a cost of $48,000.

New to this year’s event is the “Last Ride” located at the ticket booth where people can lay in a coffin and get a taste of what it’s like to be buried alive — complete with sound effects.

Also new is the Dance Gallery, a troupe of 17 dancers who will perform for those waiting in line at the Van Zee Food Circus building.

Jones said the group, of which her niece is a member, is “pumped” to perform at the event.

Also being set up in the Van Zee building is the “Metal Maze” where ticket holders get put through a steel cage maze complete with strobelights and music to set the mood for the evening.

From there, groups of 10-15 will be let into the Sheep building by Jones to be subjected to the “Portal of Terror,” this year’s theme.

There will be no guide this year, so eventgoers will be on their own as they use a “time machine” a.k.a. the elevator that was used for last year’s “Sinister Memorial Hospital” to be sent through the “Ages of Agony.”

They will travel through different time periods such as the Wild West, ancient Egypt, the Salem Witch Trials and several other frightening places.

In all, 14 rooms are available for those to be scared in.Navigating the halls will be no easy task either, as many terrifying surprises wait for those who make their way through.

The house is open tonight, Oct. 18, Oct. 24-25 and Oct. 31-Nov. 1. The lights will be on from 5 to 6 p.m. for the younger crowd (The experience is rated PG-13, but Jones strongly encourages “skittish” people and families with young children to attend at this time). The lights are then turned off from 6 to 11 p.m.

General admission tickets are $10 and VIP passes are $20, enabling buyers to go through twice and avoid any lines.

Those who bring in a canned food donation for local food banks will get $1 off.

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