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Scary good

Haunted theater kicks Halloween up a notch

October 31, 2009
The Mining Journal


Journal Ishpeming Bureau

MARQUETTE - The guide leads you through a twisting maze into the bowels of the Forest Roberts Theatre at Northern Michigan University. At every turn, you hear the shrieks of those who go before you. Inside, you are met with all the Halloween horror and fun of a haunted house - from clowns to zombies to scenes from movies like "Ghostbusters" and "Harry Potter."

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The handy thing about holding a haunted house inside a theater is that you already have many of the props, lighting and actors in place.

"We decided to take advantage of the biggest assets the department has - the students and the theater itself," said Director Marty Martello. Having the theater available has allowed those involved in the production to up the intensity level.

As a fundraiser for the First Nighters Club, the haunted theater will continue today with guided tours from 6-8 p.m. for the family-friendly version and 9:30 p.m.-1 a.m. for the truly scary version.

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Tours begin in the theater lobby and take visitors through a range of scenes.

"The whole stage has been turned into 13 different scare stations," Martello said. "It's as professional as you can get."

The family-friendly version provides just enough scares and fun for younger kids, and was tested by a group of kids and parents prior to opening.

Later tours, however, are a different story.

"We tried to make sure we addressed everyone's fears," Martello said. Stations include everything from enclosed spaces to gore.

For anyone who gets too scared, there are guides dressed in normal clothing that can escort you to the nearest exit.

"The people who have gone through are delighted," Martello said.

Over 100 people have contributed work to the project, including 60 actors.

Tickets are $5 per person for the family-friendly tours or $15 per family. For the later tours are $10 for students and $12 for adults. Tickets are available at the theater.



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