Be pre­pared to be scared

Mid­dle­ton busi­nesses team­ing up for haunted shop­ping cen­tre at the mu­seum Oct. 30


When res­i­dents of Mid­dle­ton and area make the long, creepy, creaky climb to the third floor of Mac­don­ald Mu­seum Oct. 30, some of them might turn right around and run back down. No shame! It’s guar­an­teed to be scary up there.

Mid­dle­ton Recre­ation and some imag­i­na­tive busi­ness own­ers are col­lab­o­rat­ing on scar­ing the wits out of peo­ple at the haunted Mid­dle­ton Shop­ping Cen­tre.

Some busi­nesses are al­ready on board for the an­nual spook show and Mid­dle­ton Recre­ation’s Jen­nifer Coolen said just hear­ing some of the ideas has her creeped out.

The idea is to get busi­nesses to set up a spooky ver­sion of their store on the third floor of the mu­seum – and then in­vite the pub­lic in.

“All sum­mer with our sum­mer events the busi­ness com­mu­nity, es­pe­cially this year, has been very, very gen­er­ous and has got­ten in­volved in our walk­ing pro­gram and all of our spe­cial events and do­nat­ing to pro­grams,” Coolen said. “This is kind of a way for us to let them be part of the fun, rather than just giv­ing us prod­ucts.”

Will it be fun and scary?

“We’re hop­ing it’s both,” said Coolen.

Scary ru­mours

“We’re hear­ing ru­mours of plans from some busi­nesses who are still de­cid­ing to be in­volved, but if the ru­mours are true and they do jump in, it will be a treat for vis­i­tors,” said Andy Kerr, the town’s pro­grams and com­mu­ni­ca­tions co-or­di­na­tor. “Or a trick” adds Coolen.

“We’re get­ting in­quiries from the pub­lic as to how scary it’s go­ing to be and whether they should bring their kids,” said Kerr. “And we say well that’s strictly up to the par­ent, but we sug­gest if you have a doubt leave them in the down­stairs young kids room, which this year is be­ing han- dled by Fam­ily Mat­ters. Then run up­stairs and take a run through your­self and then you can judge if you should bring your kid up or not.”

Coolen is hop­ing that with the com­bined imag­i­na­tions of town staff, vol­un­teers, and the busi­ness peo­ple, this will be the best haunted mu­seum event yet.

“All of the other years it’s been kind of our brains, and the vol­un­teer’s brains,” said Coolen. “Us putting our heads to­gether kind of, try­ing to come up with what­ever we could come up with. Now we have a whole out­side set of creepy peo­ple with their creepy ideas com­ing to­gether.”

Hair-rais­ing haunt

Coolen is al­ready con­fi­dent in the hair­rais­ing, spine-chill­ing qual­ity of this year’s event.

“There are some that came to the orig­i­nal idea meet­ing and they al­ready have in their head how things are go­ing to look,” she said in ref­er­ence to the busi­ness peo­ple in­volved. “It was scary to hear about it, so I can’t imag­ine see­ing it.”

“We hope to have the fire de­part­ment in­volved again main­tain­ing our bon­fire out­side to warm up as we’ve had in the last cou­ple of years,” said Kerr.

“We’ve got the high school on board to help with dec­o­rat­ing and ideas. Our Youth Am­bas­sadors are go­ing to help us out be­ing our guides,” Coolen added. “It has to go up in two weeks and it has to come down in two days, so it takes a lot of hands to make it hap­pen.”

While it’s a Town of Mid­dle­ton event, Mac­don­ald Mu­seum di­rec­tor Jan Slauen­white is al­ready steel­ing her­self for Oct. 30.

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