Radio stations plans haunted house to give people a real scare

By Dori O'Neal, Tri-City HeraldSeptember 28, 2012 

If you're claustrophobic, not into watching zombies gobble up human flesh or afraid of the dark, then don't go anywhere near the haunted attraction Terror Behind The Screen opening tonight in Pasco.

This is no ordinary spooky haunted house meant to frighten folks this Halloween season.

It's a $20,000 investment by Townsquare Media, which owns several Tri-City radio stations, to strike terror in the hearts of those who think they're immune to fear.

"This is going to be the scariest haunt the Tri-Cities has ever encountered," said Big Jim Florea, the morning deejay on 98.3 The Key.

The haunted house takes brave souls on a chilling journey through 8,000 square feet of Hollywood horror, complete with special effects and scenes from Hostel, Arachnophobia, Dawn of the Dead and Killer Klowns from Outer Space.

You'll find yourself trying to navigate in pitch darkness when suddenly the walls start closing in on you. There's also a vortex of terror tunnel where the top, bottom and sides start spinning, tossing your balance off kilter.

And, then there are the zombies hiding within the maze just waiting for some fresh human flesh to stroll by.

Think you've got the guts to make it through alive?

"We'll be hitting on all the senses, too. Sight, sound, smell, hearing, touch. We'll see who makes it through and who doesn't," Florea snickered. And for those too timid to brave the fear factor, there will be several doors throughout the maze to make your escape.

"Anyone with claustrophobic issues shouldn't come, either," Florea said. "Each room in the maze has a set design based on a scene from one of the scary movies we're featuring. And we'll have about 15 to 20 actors portraying various roles, and it'll be their job to scare the wits out of people."

Florea and his KORD deejay counterpart Greg DeLange have wanted to bring a true Halloween haunting to the Tri-Cities for a long time, said Cheryl Salomone, general manager of Townsquare Media.

"Both of them are still just little boys who like to have fun," she joked.

Townsquare Media bought the Halloween props and scenes from a guy in Illinois who went out of business, Salomone said.

The company's engineer, John McDaniel, has been working feverishly for weeks with Florea and DeLange to put the hallways, gruesome crime scenes, vortex tunnel and swelling walls together inside a former grocery store.

McDaniel set up infrared cameras throughout the maze to keep tabs on what's happening from his high-tech control room monitors.

"I'll know if anyone is having a tough time in there and might need some help getting out," he said.

Florea plans to slap each visitor smack dab into the scariest movie they've ever seen. And just to add even more intrigue, there will be four numbers hidden throughout the maze.

If visitors can focus long enough to look for the numbers while dodging zombies, then go to the www.terror behindthescreem.com and try to break the code for a chance to win $1,000. More details about the numbers will be available at the box office.

So all you fearless folks who are 13 or older who think you can stomach the fright night, head over to 2019 W. Court St., in Pasco.

The haunted attraction is open 6 to 10 p.m. Thursdays, and 6 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and on Halloween. Admission is $10 at the door.

Townsquare partnered with Let's Party, which will be selling costumes and other Halloween paraphernalia on site during the event.

Tickets for the haunted house also be purchased at the Let's Party stores on Edison Street and Columbia Center Boulevard in Kennewick.

-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com

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