Get ready for a terrifying night of Halloween horror when the Project 13 haunted house opens its doors Oct. 9 in Pasco.
"Wimps and the weak of heart shouldn't show up," said Jeff Schreiner, the creative mind behind the attraction. "It's going to be 5,000 square feet of terror."
This is the first year Schreiner, with the help of Camp Patriot volunteers, will open a haunted house for the public in the Ashley Furniture warehouse, 5515 N. Industrial Way, Suite 130, Pasco.
"Halloween has always been a big deal for me and my family," said Schreiner, operations manager at Ashley Furniture Home Store. "When I was growing up, my dad had a passion for Halloween, and I guess I inherited it from him."
He remembers one Halloween when his dad scared him good.
"I was watching TV and heard this grunting sound in the long hallway in our house," he said. "I went to investigate and found my dad dressed up like Frankenstein coming down the hall.
"Now, my dad was 6-foot-4, but he was wearing these boots that made him 7 feet tall. He gave me a good scare."
After moving to the Tri-Cities 13 years ago, Schreiner continued decorating his house and yard in Halloween themes. After a few years of adding bigger and scarier sets to the yard, his neighbors kicked in to help.
"I'm artistic anyway, and with the help of my neighbors, our sets were cool. They put Hollywood sets to shame," he said.
Schreiner said he came up with his Project 13 theme from the German scientists who were offered freedom during World War II to live in the United States in exchange for their knowledge and skills.
From there, he let his imagination soar and created a story where scientists secretly develop a toxin that is injected into insects, animals and humans, turning them into zombies.
If you want to know more, you'll have to be brave enough to take a walk through it.
"Project 13 will be the most terrifying haunted attraction in the Tri-Cities," Schreiner said.
More than 20 volunteer actors will portray the ghoulish characters.
The attraction is open to ages 13 and older, and everyone must sign a release before entering. Releases are available at the website, www.p13haunt.com, or at the door.
It's open through Halloween. The hours are:
-- 7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 9-10, 16-17, 22-24 and 28-29.
-- 7 to 11 p.m. Oct. 11, 18, 25 and 30.
-- 7 p.m. to midnight Oct. 12, 19, 26 and 31.
Cost is $15 at the door. Advance tickets cost $12 and can be purchased at Ashley Furniture in Richland, Ranch & Home in Kennewick or Adventures Underground in Richland.
Proceeds from the Project 13 attraction will go to Camp Patriot, a nonprofit organization that helps wounded and disabled veterans.
Other Halloween events around the Mid-Columbia
Walla Walla Corn Maze, 853 Five Mile Road. The maze is open through Halloween from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursdays, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays, from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays and from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $6 for those 12 and older, $4 for kids 4 to 11 and free for kids 3 and younger. Website: www.wallawallacornmaze.com.
Apple & Pumpkin Festival, Bill's Berry Farm, 3674 N. County Line Road in Grandview, featuring a corn maze, hay rides, a pumpkin patch and apple cider pressing. Admission is free, but some events require a fee. Parking costs $5 on Saturdays. Website: www.billsberryfarm.com.
Middleton Six Sons Farm, 1050 Kahlotus Road, Pasco. The fall festival is from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and from 1 to 6 p.m. Sundays through October featuring a straw maze, pumpkin patch and face painting. Admission is free, but some events require a fee.
Murder at the Deadwood Saloon is Oct. 12 and 26 at the Weinhard Hotel in Dayton. The overnight event, which costs $239 per couple, features a hunt for treasure, dinner, a murder mystery and accommodations. For reservations, call 509-382-4032.
Toppenish Fall Festival is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 26 in downtown Toppenish. Festivities include a zombie walk, trick-or-treat parade, games, story telling and pumpkin bowling. Admission is free. Call 509-865-5311.
-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @dorioneal