Haunted Acres returns beginning Oct. 18

And now, a little tune to terrify.

And now, a little tune to terrify.

Horror aficionados of the ’80s are familiar with the trailer tagline, offered up in chilling innocence by the blonde, blue-eyed cherub, a victim of one the best contemporary horror flicks of that decade: “Poltergeist.”

 Horror aficionados of the ’80s are familiar with the trailer tagline, offered up in chilling innocence by the blonde, blue-eyed cherub, a victim of one the best contemporary horror flicks of that decade: “Poltergeist.”

It signaled to goose-bump-sporting “creep me out again” enthusiasts that an encore was on the way.

For those willing to stand a little bit closer to the edge, those who like their horrific drama in live-time 3D, another exciting, bloodcurdling curtain call is in the making.

Pick your poison: Vampires, ghosts, zombies or creepy clowns. Whatever keeps you up at night lies in wait for you and your fearless posse at the Hennepin County Fairgrounds, 7205 County Road 101, at County Roads 10 and 101 in Corcoran.

Like Brigadoon, a little community has sprung up out the landscape and shelters of the abandoned acres of a county fair that has come and gone. It’s a home to ghouls, goblins and “things that go bump in the night,” but only for a limited time.

Well, “sprung up” might be a bit of a misnomer, as an observer’s take. In actuality, several volunteers have been hard at work for months in an effort to create a creepy remodel of some existing fair ground buildings.

Historically, the effect of these volunteer hours has been successful and … creepy.

Haunted Acres is the latest edition of an annual fall haunting event the Hamel Lions began in 1997. It originated in a house, was moved to another and then found its way to the fairgrounds. The additional area and sprawling spook space was dubbed Haunted Acres.  In 2012, the event went on a hiatus, but it’s back and just as chillingly fun as before.

Volunteers from the Hamel and Corcoran Lions Clubs and the Northwest Area Jaycees  participate in running the event, from preparation to performance, and each takes a cut of the proceeds back to their clubs. The proceeds are used to help fund a number of community needs and other programs.

Marlene Roberts, of the Hamel Lions, has held a leadership role in this event for years working side by-side with her husband Ron. Every evening of the five-day event begins with a backstage blur of actors arriving, Roberts counting bodies and handing out stage assignments, costumes flying, make-up being applied. Asked what makes her take on this task each year, Roberts said, ”It’s just so much fun. Everyone involved has a good time.”

The experience for attendees is twofold. Along with a night of fright is a chance to support the community through admission.

It’s hard being a ghoul, particularly on the intestines.

It’s hard being a ghoul, particularly on the intestines.

In previous years, the event has received recognition as being one of the premier offerings of its kind in the Twin Cities. It’s been featured on several websites and the Channel 9 morning news broadcast.

There’s a reason this event is being brought back, and it’s called “popular demand.”

In 2008 alone, a banner year, this event raised more than $12,000 and 2,300 pounds of food for Interfaith Outreach.

The cost to get into Haunted Acres is $10 (cash only), and food shelf donations are encouraged and appreciated.

Children 12 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.

This event is appropriate for small or large groups. There is free parking on site. Open dates yet this season are Friday, Oct. 18; Saturday, Oct. 19; Friday, Oct. 25; Saturday, Oct. 26; Thursday, Oct. 31. Gates open at 7 p.m. and are scheduled to close at 10, but the attraction will remain open to accommodate patrons arriving before closing. Enjoy the warm glow of a bonfire inside the gates during recovery.

More information is available at www.hamellionshauntedacres.com including a “Boo Crew” application.

 

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