The Clackamas County Scare Fair is back — and this time, you can leave the car in the parking lot.
Unlike last year’s inaugural event — a drive-thru affair due to the pandemic — the 2021 version will feature a more traditional haunted house experience, staged across 10,000 square feet on the second floor of the fairgrounds’ Main Pavilion by the experts at Creatures of the Night.
To say Creatures CEO David D. Jones is excited would be a bit of an understatement.
“Halloween is one of the most universal of celebrations for us as a people,” he told The Canby Current this week. “Halloween is the one day that we feed the people who come to our door. It’s the one day that every child is safe. It’s the one day that we all agree to play the same game — and that’s worth protecting.”
With the nation, state and local community so divided, those few things that can still bring us together need all the more protecting this year, Jones added. But to do so, they’re going to need a little — or a lot — of help.
Creatures of the Night is desperately in need of volunteers for their month-long run at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds, which starts Oct. 1 and runs every weekend through the end of the month.
Prospective haunters — who may be high school-age or older (junior high is permitted if a parent or guardian is also participating) — undergo an hour of safety training and extensive character development.
As Jones explains, it’s a little bit more complicated — and, ultimately, more rewarding — than slapping on a mask and going, “Rawr.”
“Your character didn’t just pop into existence when the haunt opened,” he said. “It had a life before it became a monster. We actually teach classes on this: How the monster is usually a victim or a hero stuck in his own story.”
Jones encourages volunteers to apply early so they can help develop the story and construct the set pieces that will walk participants through it.
“The earlier that people are involved, the more they’re connected to its development, the more they gel with the team and the more rewarding and satisfying the experience becomes,” Jones said.
The time commitment is flexible, but Creatures asks that prospective volunteers be available at least one night a week during the month of October. The hours for minors will run about 4 to 8 p.m. — a little later for the grown-ups.
Because of Creatures of the Night’s intense focus on story, world-building and the psychology of making a connection with guests, the experience of being a volunteer is often very rewarding, Jones said.
“People have felt disconnected and isolated from one another for a while,” he said, “and one of the reasons that this haunt is more important than ever is to remind people of what we have in common. What we really want, what we’re all working toward is to make sure our neighbor is safe, loved, and taken care of. This reminds us we are all in this together.”
The Clackamas County Scare Fair with Creatures of Night offers the only customizable haunt in Oregon and features a unique story tailored to the rich history of the local area titled “Harbinger of Souls.”
The event will run from 7 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through the month of October, with more times and dates added if needed. Tickets will be $25 each.
For more information or to pre-order tickets, visit creaturesofthenighthalloween.com or clackamascountyfair.com/scare-fair.
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