Another Hollywood slashfest at the local cineplex? No, this is a frightfest that you can experience in person - if you dare. From now through Halloween the Antioch Fairgrounds has been transformed into the Scaregrounds featuring "The Chamber Of Chills Haunted House."
"I expect to see blood, guts and brains," said Katlin Dimercurio, 13, who attended the Oct. 4 VIP grand opening.
It seemed that just about everyone who went inside the haunted house came out with a spooky tale. "I tripped inside, I was scared, " said Elizabeth Dean, 12.
Bring a loved one along and you may even be able to test their undying affection for you.
"A haunted house is an excellent test to see what your boyfriend would do in a pinch," said Dennis Lancaster, the designer of the haunted house, who has seen grown men leap behind their girlfriends while taking a journey through one of his creepy creations.
"I wanted the experience to be submersive," he said. "To take you through a graveyard, to hit the hot spots of what frightens people without a reliance on blood and gore."
There isn't an age limit for the haunted house because it is strictly an individual decision. "I've seen kids go into the haunted house and have a hoot, and then I have seen adults buckle at the knees. It all depends on the person," said Lancaster.
In addition to the haunted house, there's a talking pumpkin head, a "Spook Train" and a 35-foot "Kraken Ride" slide.
"This is really interesting because the characters in the display (outside of the haunted house) were having a conversation with us, I didn't expect them to talk back," said Stephanie Bates.
An Elvira-like hostess, Sher Madison, started the haunted house business after a divorce left her a single mom of five children. Determined to have a job in which she could make her own hours, Intermission Productions was born. "I can take my kids with me to work now," she said. "I am very lucky to have Dennis and all my crew, they are truly talented."
To get to the frightfest at the Antioch Fairgrounds, use the entrance at 18th and L streets. General admission is $8, Spook Train rides are $3, the Kraken Ride is two for $5. It's open every evening (and during the day on weekends) through Halloween except Oct. 15, 16, 22 and 23. For the schedule and more information, go to www.chamberofchills.net, e-mail Sher@ipmascots.com or call (209) 839-9333.