By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Haunted Granary rises again

Marcus Larson/News-RegisterA giant skeleton-like creature will greet visitors at the Carlton Haunted Granary.
Marcus Larson/News-Register
A giant skeleton-like creature will greet visitors at the Carlton Haunted Granary.
Marcus Larson/News-RegisterScott Chitwood and his son, Devin, put the finishing touches on a segment of the Haunted Granary that will give visitors the feeling of being buried alive. “Everyone has a fear,” is this year’s theme.
Marcus Larson/News-Register
Scott Chitwood and his son, Devin, put the finishing touches on a segment of the Haunted Granary that will give visitors the feeling of being buried alive. “Everyone has a fear,” is this year’s theme.

The haunted house, a fundraiser for community improvements, will be open three days a week through Halloween. It features a new story and plenty of new scary, fun moments, and a new route that includes parts of the historic granary never before open to visitors.

One of the sections is so scary, Nagley and her co-conspiritors won’t even enter it alone. In fact, Nagley has it on good authority that something may be haunting the newly opened part of the building.

Her well-manned, well-trained dog, Cup, didn’t want to go in. When she took him in anyway, during a work party, “He freaked out,” she said.

Obviously, Cup knows. “We should probably listen to that dog,” said fellow organizer Trina Bratcher.

Despite the possibility of a real haunting, Bratcher, Nagley and other volunteers promise the Haunted Granary tour will be an enjoyable experience for haunted house fans.

This year’s theme is “Every town has a secret. Everyone has a FEAR.”

Nagley and Bratcher said the theme allows haunters to explore a wide range of fears, from claustrophia to clowns. And they have a few special tricks up their sleeves to play on tourgoers who think they’re too cool to be scared.

“We’ll figure out what your fears are,” she said.

If anyone becomes too frightened, he or she can say a safe word — “asparagas” — and be ushered out early, organizers said.

The tour will start outside, where one of the granary buildings stood until it was razed last year. The outdoor section includes an old, haunted school bus and other props.

Next, the tour will move inside to an area that was used last year, but which has been redecorated with new spooky decor. Finally, it will continue into the new section, where anything can happen.

Along the way, Bratcher and Nagley said, tourgoers will be asked to make some choices that will help shape their trip through the Haunted Granary. The interactive aspect means that different groups may experience different scares, they said.

“You get what you choose. That’s kind of a life lesson,” Bratcher said.

The attraction is rated PG-13, Nagley said. Adults need to accompany children, and kids who can’t say “asparagus” are probably too young anyway.

The Haunted Granary will be open the Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays of Oct. 16 to 18 and 23 to 25, plus Wednesday through Friday, Oct. 29 to 31. Tours start at 7 p.m. and continue into the evening.

Admission is $10 plus two cans of food for the local food bank. The ticket office near Highway 47 and Main Street will open at 6 o’clock.

Organizers said there’s usually a line, sometimes a long one — last year, more than 200 people went through each night. Visitors should dress for the weather and expect to get dusty as they walk through the old building.

Proceeds from the Haunted Granary go toward Carlton projects, such as community celebrations and improvements to parks and other areas of the city.

The food bank depends on the food donations to help with its winter and holiday needs. Last year, it received about 3,000 pounds of food from the Haunted Granary.

The Carlton Community Foundation sponsors the annual event. Other members of the Haunted Granary organizing committee are Mary and Todd Reed, Leonard Bratcher and Adrienne Gering.

Nearly 50 volunteers work to set up, run and haunt the event over its nine-night run. In addition to the human “scarers,” many of Carlton’s spiders and bats will be on duty in the Haunted Granary.

“The critters give to the community, too,” Nagley said.


IF YOU DARE

  • What: Carlton's Haunted Granary
  • Where: Historic granary in downtown Carlton
  • When:The Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays of Oct. 16-18 and 23-25, plus the Wednesday through Friday of Oct. 29-31, with tours starting at 7 p.m. and continuing into the evening
  • How: A $10 donation for community projects and activities, plus two cans of food for the local food bank
  • Also: Attendees are advised to dress for the weather and expect to get dusty inside the old buildings
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