This Wednesday, October 19th through Saturday, October 22nd from 7 pm to 11 pm, there will be a Haunted Mansion to tour at the Memorial Center, located at: 601 N. Meridian Puyallup, Washington 98371. Lona Graves, recreation supervisor for the city of Puyallup, explained how the haunted mansion came about, “It was an idea brainstormed by myself and the special events staff. Ideas came from the events staff personnel: Ashley Hagstrom and Leiani Wicker. Therefore, turning this building into a mansion where the inside of the mansion looks like a mansion such as: a long hallway, kitchen, dining area, grand ballroom, the parent’s bedroom, the exorcist’s scene, the children’s nursery which is our clown nursery, laboratory, a theater room, laundry room, garage/chop shop, and backyard cemetery…And the whole thing is like a haunted maze. Participants are greeted by a realtor since the haunted mansion is for sale at the open house… And people are waiting to be fooled.” Lona explained how the Haunted Hayride has been replaced with the Haunted Mansion, “The city of Puyallup did the haunted hayride for 15 years and due to budget cuts we had to eliminate it. We’re trying to create an event to break even and generate some revenue…moving to an indoor concept that will eliminate staff we needed in a 60 acre outdoor park. We’re trying to keep our theme of having a different theme for the Haunted Hayride theme. The theme for the Haunted Mansion is the crypt keeper from “Tales from the Crypt Keeper” (Television show) he was our signature character for 15 years and we are keeping familiarity of the city’s event.”
When asked what she thought of the Haunted Mansion event, Lona replied, “I’m actually impressed that we are able to take this building and create what we did; with our staff having no background of constructing haunted houses and I’m impressed on how it’s laid out. I think it’s gonna be scary…we have 80 volunteers and I think it’ll be scary; yet creative and keep our hayride concept in the forefront. It’ll be a fun, scary experience.” She felt the best thing about the Haunted Mansion, “Just providing scare entertainment for people that like to come out and get scared. It’s creative, it’s a fun community event right here in our own community. We have utilized all the props and materials for old hayrides; it’s been affordable…hasn’t cost a lot to put on. But, I think it’s creative and will be a fun scare. We pride ourselves in the visual aspect…each room is visual…looks like a bedroom if it’s a bedroom, etc. visual aspect is unique. We are fortunate that we did the hayride all these years and are now continuing a new event.”
Lona shared what many people may not know about the Haunted Mansion, “We’re starting a new fast track concept where if they don’t want to wait in line and can go through right away. We have a fee for the event $14 for those aged18 and older, $12 for youth with ID, and the event is not recommended for those aged 7 and younger. Tickets are purchased in time slots 7 pm to 9 pm or 9 pm to 11 pm. We’re doing fast track $20 to be moved through the fast lane quicker than waiting in line. The concern would be if everyone chooses that option than that lane will be slow. We will probably limit how many fast track tickets we sell that night.”
Lona discussed how the Haunted Mansion is different than others, “It’s theme oriented and a lot of haunted houses are random with scenes that are mixed matched, which can be scary and good. It’s different because it revolves around a theme that’s unique and visual.”
Lona recommends, “Anybody age 8 years old and older. Everybody…anybody because it’s gonna be a fun scare, it’s creative. If you’re that Halloween person looking for something unique and different it’ll provide that…Not typical haunted house a lot more unique and creative; I think. When asked if she would recommend her family and friends to attend the Haunted Mansion, Lona replied, “Yes, I would recommend my family and friends to see the work we put into it and what a small group of people can create; I am impressed. If you don’t like Halloween and even people that get scared and you have to keep walking (versus on the Haunted Hayride when you are on a truck) and you have to see it whether you like it or not; unless you shut your eyes and keep walking and hang onto somebody.”
For more information, please call: 253 841-5457. “Come out and support the city of Puyallup’s event if you’re looking for a fun and scary time,” Lona concluded.
By: Carly Calabrese, staff for Tacoma.com