Haunted haunts for Halloween | PostIndependent.com

Haunted haunts for Halloween

Carrie Click
Special to the Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

Why is it that we just love the feeling of being scared out of our wits?

There’s a reason why movies like “Scream” and the particularly gross “Saw” are so popular. Fright flicks pack theaters with people shielding their eyes with their hands while peering through their fingers. It’s kind of a love-hate relationship, this thing we’ve got about fear.

And, there’s no holiday like Halloween to kick this obsession into hair-raising overdrive. The accelerated pulse, the shiver up your back: It’s all part of the excitement.

“There are elements of fear that simply feel good,” writes Rob Dobrenski, Ph.D., a New York-based psychologist on Healthline, an online medical site. “The immersion in fear might just [be a way to take in] all that life offers.”

How else can we explain why hordes of Halloween revelers will flock to scary local attractions this weekend – and in many cases, pay good money (much of which will go to good causes)?

Haunted Boy Scouts, firefighters and animal lovers

If you follow Dobrenski-the-psychologist’s “fear-feels-good” philosophy, the Boy Scout Haunted House in south Glenwood Springs should make most people feel positively vibrant.

“There’s creepy people, creepy lights and creepy music,” said Sabrina Carmichael, a mom and volunteer of Boy Scout Troop 225.

Staged in the old Warehouse Furniture building behind the giant chicken on South Glen Avenue, nearly 20 Scouts ages 11 to 18 are donning costumes and make-up to creep out haunted house visitors.

Money raised from the Boy Scout’s haunted house is going into a fund to send a co-ed Venture Crew to a Scout preserve in West Virginia in 2013.

Two other haunted houses will also do their best to administer adequate adrenaline rushes.

Firefighters don’t usually seem frightening, but they will be at the Burning Mountains Fire Protection District’s Haunted House on Saturday night in Silt. The fire station’s haunted house is free, though they would appreciate a nonperishable food donation for Advocate Safehouse.

Scare for CARE, Colorado Animal Rescue’s haunted house at Willits Town Center west of Basalt, is a fundraiser for Colorado Animal Rescue. Organizer Michelle Marlow said there’s a kinder, gentler version of the haunted house for little kids, though children as young as 10 can probably handle the regular tour. If parents have questions, they should go through the house first, Marlow said.

“We have guides with glow sticks on hand, so we can escort anyone out who gets too scared,” Marlow said.

Mazes, hayrides and a walk

Houses aren’t the only places that can be haunted. Two mazes – one in Silt and the other in Rifle – fill up with frightening apparitions once the sun goes down.

Rifle’s maze is located behind Graham Mesa Elementary and isn’t meant for anyone under 13. The Haunted Corn Maze in Peach Valley is located next to the U-Pick-Pumpkins pumpkin patch, and benefits a revolving group of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. In Peach Valley, there’s a less spooky maze, and a downright scary one, too, according to coordinator Brian Brown.

“Yeah, one has blood, guts and gore, and one doesn’t,” said Brown. “There’s just a witch walking around in the one for little kids.”

The Haunted Hayrides offered through the Redstone Inn up the Crystal Valley are so scary that no children 5 or under are allowed (though specialized rides for this age group are offered separately). The rides take off from the Redstone Inn and into a haunted forest filled with all sorts of creepy things.

The granddaddy of all haunted activities around the Glenwood Springs area has got to be the Frontier Historical Society’s Ghost Walk. Granted, it’s a subtle kind of scary, but there’s something about walking around in the dark in an actual cemetery that’s a bit unsettling.

People from Glenwood’s past, from shopkeepers and gunslingers to prostitutes and pillars of the community, are actually buried underneath your feet at Linwood Cemetery – and you’ll meet some of them on your walk as they come alive to talk to you. The reality factor is, after all, perhaps the most haunting aspect of all.

Happy Halloween.

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