For hours they sat in dark corners, waiting for the unsuspecting. They roamed through hazy, wildly colored rooms with sloping floors and twisting turns. They peered through holes in the walls to see their next victims. Their moans and screams carried throughout the Farm House and the Dark Legends of New Orleans haunts.
And then it was the un-witching hour—11 o’clock. The customers were gone. Where they had earlier walked into spooky settings, some 55 volunteers and employees of Treadway Events of Portland came walking out. Hazy smoke still hung in the air in the lobby, diffusing the colored lights painting the room. Rock music still thumped in the concession area of the former movie theater at the Three Rivers Mall. A succession of zombies, voodoo queens and butchered people came out in various stages of their costumes, still with blackened faces and fake-blood oozing gashes.
Charles Grunt, fake blood smeared all over his forehead, jumped up on a box and asked the volunteers and Treadway employees how the first night went. They talked through some of the glitches and found solutions. He told them to rest and take care of their voices so that they would make it through the stretch of weekends to Halloween and could still yowl and scream as strongly as they had the first night.
This is the second year for the Cinema of Horrors in Kelso. Treadway owner Brandon Treadway estimated about 450 people came through on opening night. He and other employees worked well into the night the last week saving some parts of last year’s Farm House and adding new twists and turns. This year there is a $15 charge for adults and $10 for kids (recommend age: 13 or older).
The event will be open Oct. 20th-22nd and 27th-31st. The hours are 7-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 7-9:30 p.m. Sundays through Tuesday. For kids 13 and under there are family friendly “Trick or Treat Nights” from 4-6 p.m. on the 29th-31st.
Some of the volunteers manning stations are from the Mark Morris High School Choir, and some are with the Kelso Rotary. Depending on how many people come to be scared, Treadway said the two organizations would earn 15-20 percent of the proceeds.