Hor­ror in Mid­dle­ton

Town and mu­seum go ‘old school’ for evening of fright­en­ing fun for ev­ery­one

Annapolis Valley Register - - NEWS - BY LAWRENCE POW­ELL

Go­ing to school just got a lot creepier in Mid­dle­ton. In fact, you might not even want to go up­stairs – it’s that scary.

The town’s pro­grams and com­mu­ni­ca­tions co-or­di­na­tor Andy Kerr talks about the Oct. 30 event at the old con­sol­i­dated school a block away from town hall.

“It’s go­ing to be Old School House of Hor­rors,” he says, not­ing the play on words is in ref­er­ence to the fact Macdon­ald Mu­seum is an old school. “So it will be Drac­ula, Franken­stein, all those ones that we know best.”

Hun­dreds of peo­ple visit the top floor of the mu­seum ev­ery year just be­fore Hal­loween.

More than 1,000 peo­ple walked up the big wooden stair­case to the third floor a cou­ple of years ago for ‘Haunted Hog­warts.’ Kerr him­self proudly dressed up as Pro­fes­sor Al­bus Per­ci­val Wul­fric Brian Dum­ble­dore and greeted peo­ple at the front door. Last year was ‘Land of Scary Tails,’ a creepy take on some beloved chil­dren’s sto­ries with Snow Fright and Lit­tle Dead Rid­ing Hood.

Twisted?

“It’s al­ways creepier than you ex­pect when you just hear ‘Old School House of Hor­rors,’” he says. “There’s al­ways a bit more of a twist to it than you would ex­pect, and that comes largely from the se­lec­tion of vol­un­teers that we have be­cause they all bring their own warp. That’s what we en­joy out of it ev­ery year. That makes it more in­ter­est­ing.”

They’ve been build­ing their vol­un­teer base for that night and have a Face­book group set up for that pur­pose.

Not sur­pris­ingly, cell­phone self­ies is a big thing at the Macdon­ald Mu­seum’s an­nual haunted houses.

“I re­mem­ber from two years ago when we did Haunted Hog­worts every­body wanted self­ies with the char­ac­ters,” he re­calls.

Even a lo­cal doc­tor wanted a pic­ture with Dum­ble­dore.

The peo­ple who show up, love the event – so much so that sneak­ing through more than once isn’t un­com­mon. Kerr was at a con­trol point one year and re­mem­bers peo­ple com­ing through as many as nine or 10 times.

Fundraiser

The haunted house is more than just a scary time. Peo­ple can make do­na­tions that night to raise funds for the An­napo­lis Val­ley His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety’s Macdon­ald Mu­seum.

“We’re very ex­cited about haunted house,” says mu­seum di­rec­tor Jan­ice Pugs­ley-slauen­white. “We re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate the town part­ner­ing with the mu­seum, they do on sev­eral things, and haunted house – we look for­ward to that ev­ery year. It’s a re­ally good fundraiser for us. It brings peo­ple into the mu­seum.”

She said the kids are ex­cited about be­ing there, and spe­cial care is taken for some of the younger chil­dren who can’t go up to the scary third floor.

“We have a spe­cial room with ac­tiv­i­ties for them,” she says.

And she likes the theme.

“Since Macdon­ald Mu­seum was a school from 1903 to 1979 I think it’s re­ally ap­pro­pri­ate. We re­ally like the theme this year. It will be very rec­og­niz­able char­ac­ters. So we’ll pro­mote that well on our new web­site and on our Face­book.”

De­tails

Mid­dle­ton’s an­nual haunted house is open to any age, but they do have a room where par­ents can bring their younger kids.

“It’s not a day­care, but it’s a safe room for the kids who would be too afraid to go through the up­stairs room,” says Kerr. “That runs from 6 to 8 p.m.”

The en­tire event runs from 6 to 9 p.m.

“Gen­er­ally there’s a lineup be­fore 6 o’clock out­side,” says Kerr, not­ing peo­ple come from all around the area. While they don’t can­vass names and num­bers, Kerr said you can tell peo­ple have brought fam­ily mem­bers from other places.

“We will prob­a­bly have a warmup bonfire on the front lawn again, like we did last year, for the peo­ple who are wait­ing,” says Kerr. “We’ll see how it goes.”

Macdon­ald Mu­seum is lo­cated at 21 School St. in Mid­dle­ton.

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Last year’s haunted house at Macdon­ald Mu­seum in Mid­dle­ton was based on the theme ‘Land of Scary Tales’ with char­ac­ters like Snow Fright and Lit­tle Dead Rid­ing Hood. This year the theme is ‘Old School House of Hor­rors’ and runs from 6 to 9 p.m. at the School Street lo­ca­tion on Oct. 30. Ex­pect to see Drac­ula and Franken­stein among many other clas­sic char­ac­ters

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