A Haunting Good Time
PENNSDALE – Do ghosts really linger at the Pennsdale Haunted Barn? Visitors can come and see for themselves at this annual chilling Halloween event that is produced and sponsored by the Women’s Auxiliary at the Pennsdale Volunteer Fire Company.
Enter the unknown as Dawn Palmatier, a ghoul of the night, beckons all to enter at their own risk. Over 100 people came through the first night, last Thursday, according to Palmatier who was one of the core organizers for this “terrifying” experience.
The Fire Company owns the barn, known as an old Butcher Shop Barn. Not much history has been divulged yet on the property, but the auxiliary hopes to acquire that information in time for next year’s event.
“This is the first time we have used the barn,” said Palmatier. For the previous two years, the fire hall was used. “We will use the barn from now on, and it is our intention to make this a well-known state wide event,” Palmatier added. “So tell all your friends.”
And that they have. Those who have emerged from the ‘locked door’ on the other side expressed that this was one of the best haunted experiences they have ever had so far.
Much planning and time went into organizing the Pennsdale Haunted Barn.
In April, the group started to do some construction work that included rewiring, building ramps and rails, and partitioning the entire first floor off into 19 horrifying sections utilizing almost 4,000 square feet. They even used some of the existing structures such as the chicken coop where members of the Montgomery High School Drama Club were ‘holed up’ to scare the living wits out of everyone. “The work was extensive,” Palmatier added. “We had to build walls and bridges, almost a complete renovation. We were down here almost every weekend, a lot of hours.” Next year the group hopes to incorporate the second floor of the structure and expand the whole haunting experience.
Some items and props had to be purchased. Ideas came from attending national ‘Haunting” conventions and workshops. “We also talked to other groups who have been doing this for awhile,” said Palmatier. Katie Nichols who was dressed up as a walking tree said that it takes about two hours each night to get costumes and make-up toghether. Two weeks ago they gathered for a rehearsal and went over all of the special effects to make sure everything was working.
When asked what to expect, many standing in line thought it would be a typical haunted house. But they were quite surprised to discover that it was more than that. The ideas are excitingly and heart pounding creative. Lurking figures in dark corners, non-stop action, shrilling screams, frightful illusions, mirrored balls, moving lights, a live butcher shop, and a haunted hay ride all work together to make it a family fun, screamin’ adventure. According the auxiliary, it is not recommended for ages 12 and under. “Enter at your own risk,” said Heather Lovell from Montoursville who is taking the tickets.
“The black, collapsible wall is one of the scariest things in there,” said Lori Borick, a volunteer from South Williamsport. That is why only a few at a time are allowed through. “What you think are still creatures, actually move!”
“This is pretty creative,” said Steve McLaughlin who came with his family. “It was fun, a good time, awesome,” said a Montoursville couple.
Other auxiliary members who assisted with the project are Janine Alpaugh and Robin Scheach.