Halloween revelers can expect more tricks and fewer treats this year, because the Uglys of Haines are planning on ramping up the scares at their haunted house at the ANB Hall.
The Uglys have put on a haunted house for the past three years. This Halloween, some of the older Uglys who have traditionally been in charge of the show – Chuck Mitman and Gary Jacobson – are handing over the reins to the younger crew.
“They’re going to kick it up a notch,” Mitman said.
For the first time, the entire ANB Hall will be used, as opposed to just the basement or portions of the upstairs. The upstairs will feature a maze-style walkthrough, while downstairs will showcase the “main event,” said co-organizer Rick Riker.
“We’re trying to get away from the same-old, same-old,” Riker said.
Past years have included a mad scientist torturing his victim, a disemboweled man with his guts strewn out on a table, and plenty of monsters and ghouls lurking in the shadows, ready to pop out and elicit a shriek or two.
The jumpers are too traditional to leave out, Riker said. And those are the ones who usually get the best reactions, he added.
“Last year, we had an older teenager that got really scared, and in her flight, she head-butted one of the actors in the haunted house,” Riker said. “Whenever we get a reaction like that, it really makes all the effort we put into it worthwhile.”
Several small children always refuse to enter, and every now and again one will cry. “We don’t want to traumatize anyone by any means, but when we get a genuine reaction, it’s flattering.”
Riker was hesitant to reveal what new horrors the haunted house will feature this year, but Mitman said he is confident the younger Uglys are up to the task of scaring the wits out of Haines residents.
“It’s hard to let go of these things, but we’ll see. It could be better; get some fresh stuff on it and let them create something,” Mitman said.
Riker had one promise: “It’ll be better done, less hokey. This year should be significantly better than years past.”
The haunted house will be open from roughly 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Halloween, Thursday, Oct. 31.