How to Make a Ghoulishly Good Haunted House
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- From clowns to ax murderers, each haunted house has it's own theme to scare even the not so faint of heart. But the minutes of sheer terror actually take months to prepare. "We start in March. We actually go to a couple of conventions in St. Louis and then we start building all year long," explains Kyle Dunn, the creator of X-Treme Torment in Clifton. The same can be said for Hallow Screams in Grand Junction. "We start planning this probably a month after the last Hallow Screams," comments Monte Carter, one of the creators of Hallow Screams. It may be hard to believe, but to execute these dark nightmares a flow is essential "We try to create chemistry from room to room. We try to give more of an ambiance in a specific room, but we want to lead it to another room," describes Brian Weller, an actor at Hallow Screams. "You kind of want to start not so scary, so they can get in, kind of move a little quicker. Around the middle you kind of start bombarding them with sound and lighting and fog," adds Dunn. What makes a haunted house really intriguing are its characters. Even actors Corey Hedler and Jason DeWitt agree. "As you can tell from my outfit, you're going to see stuff here that you don't see at any other haunted house," comments Hedler, an actor at Hallow Screams. "I am an ax murderer. I carry around an ax, sometimes a sledge hammer. I get to chase people around," explains DeWitt, an actor at X-Treme Torment. "You have what are called lead scarers. Usually those are people with chain saws, machetes They get the most freights," describes Weller. The demented details are also crucial for the overall presentation. "It is the hair, makeup, costume. It has to fit the set," comments Dunn. "If you're coming out a little pale, or even a little darker then people don't look at you like you're a real human. They look at you like you are a ghost, or some sort of monster," says DeWitt. Despite the long hours, it is the overall results that have many continuing this terrifying trend year after year. "Everyone likes to get scared," laughs Dunn. Some of the haunted houses up and running in the Grand Valley include Hallow Screams and X-Treme Torment. They are open until Nov. 1 Several haunted corn mazes in the Grand Valley including Moon Farms and Studt's Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze. They are both open until Halloween.