Tuesday, October 16, 2012

TOP STORY >> Haunted Hollow is gory but fun

Leader staff writer

Haunted Hollow began in Cabot seven years ago, when it was conceived as a fundraiser for Page and Co.’s dance students.

Proceeds helped dancers pay their way to the national championship competition. The haunted house continues helping the students today.

Any student who volunteers to work at Haunted Hollow, 2237 Hwy. 321, earns credits toward their lessons at Page and Co.

Jason Page and Todd Kerley run the haunted house.

Haunted Hollow is most well known for its insane asylum section, but those who want to know why will have to pay $10 for admission and see for themselves.

The house is open from 7 a.m. to midnight on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and from Oct. 25-31.

Two treasures make this haunt special.

The first is a coffin, circa Second World War, which guests will pass by at the end of their journey through the house.

The second is Haunted Hollow’s very own spook, a specter named Cassy.

Page said one of the attractions in the house is a tribute to her.

On a busy night, which is usually a Friday or Saturday, the house sees between 275 and 300 customers, Page said.

And all of those customers get one-on-one attention. Page said, “Our job as greeters is to bring out your worst fears and capitalize on that.”

Page said he and Kerley take an innovative approach and go all out for customers.

One time they hid in the backseat of a woman’s car at the request of her kids.

Page said the woman drove all the way to a store parking lot before discovering them.

Page and Kerley are willing to jump into cars, throw chairs and fire a fake shotgun in the name of the show.

Page said they act obnoxiously on purpose.

“We’ve gotten better at our entertainment, our crowd engagement (since the first year). Rudeness has a way of bringing out the greatest fear in people,” he said.

Page said work on the house began in August. “The lights take the longest,” he said, adding that the house is wired with sound and has fog machines.

“The house comes alive with noise,” Page added. He added that the animatronics — life-like motorized puppets — are built instead of bought.

Phillip Martin has been crafting intricately-designed cobwebs for Haunted Hollow since it opened.

He said the best part about doing that is when his work “bothers” the customers.

The webs get tangled in their hair or stick to their clothes.

Martin added that seeing how people are changed by fright is what he likes about helping with Haunted Hollow.

“Everybody is tough out here, but not in there,” he said, pointing to the haunted house.