‘We’re into making monsters’
Screams are fair game at Phantom’s FreakShow haunt
You are fair game to get haunted the second you stand in line at Phantom’s FreakShow.
The psychological games start at the very beginning, according to haunt designer Aaron Peerless.
Every step you take, and every scream you make, they’ll be watching you.
“People know the FreakShow now. We often see comments online like, ‘I don’t know if I can do this again this year,’ because people are so scared,” he says.
Peerless and his partner, Jaimie Corbin, begin work on the event’s production six months before Halloween. Corbin oversees costume production and makeup design, while Peerless works to craft a blueprint on how to piece the whole scene together.
He says Corbin can spend up to 3.5 hours getting each actor into full costume and makeup - something the couple, who co-own Kentville’s Phantom Effects, takes pride in.
The event is the stuff of nightmares, causing many a screams at Stirling’s in Greenwich, the haunting location for the past four years. Peerless says he actually finds scaring people “therapeutic,” so it’s safe to assume he’ll do plenty of scaring again this month.
“It’s not very often you get to open your mouth and shout ‘Welcome to the FreakShow, you meatbag,” he laughs.
“We’re into making monsters, so it’s fun, and it’s what we do best.”
The event had its best-yet opening night this year, says Peerless, and stayed open an extra 30 minutes to accommodate lineups. He owes part of that to the new and improved corn maze, which has been shrunk and made “more potent,” with 12 haunteers following people around as they make their way through.
The event also includes sections like cathedrals and living rooms, each with its own psychological triggers that get people going.
“We don’t have a story that the haunted house follows – it’s more of a random thing, and that’s what scares people the most,” says Peerless.
The event also raises money for the IWK Hospital in Halifax.
Aaron Peerless and Jaimie Corbin of Phantom Effects, a special effects business in Kentville, have created another haunting FreakShow this year, and say they had their best-ever opening weekend this year.