Fright Night Starts Friday

Volunteer Duncan Chalfant adjusts one of many skulls that lines the walls of Frightville, which opens Friday night in the basement of the Roller Barn.   - Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times
Volunteer Duncan Chalfant adjusts one of many skulls that lines the walls of Frightville, which opens Friday night in the basement of the Roller Barn.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times

There may be a Highway to Hell, but it’s faster to get there on the Roller Barn’s elevator going straight down to the devil’s domain.

That, along with a bar that’s to die for, an ominous cornfield and a usual collection of monsters, ghouls and tortured souls, comprise the haunted house that has scared North Whidbey Islanders for the better part of the decade.

Frightville, which is in its eighth season, is Oak Harbor’s local haunted house and money maker for the Oak Harbor Boys and Girls Club. It opens Friday night at 7 p.m. in the basement under the Roller Barn located across from the Kmart shopping center on Whidbey Avenue.

Volunteers have been working since September preparing rooms of doom. In addition to the time commitment, they’ve given materials to make sure the haunted house provides a top-notch place for thrills and frights.

“Slowly but surely, it all comes together,” volunteer Brian Boyle said Monday afternoon.

Duncan Chalfant, a volunteer who sits on the club’s board, said this year’s version of Frightville looks to be even larger than usual, taking up more of the Roller Barn’s basement.

He wouldn’t go into many details about the expanded rooms this year because he didn’t want to spoil any of the shocking surprises.

One new feature this year is the elevator, which bumps and rattles all the way down into Hell, which also includes a graveyard, scary forest and ominous cornfield.

Last year, Frightville raised approximately $4,000 and provided a boost for Boys and Girls Club programs during the months leading up to the larger “Bid for Kids” fundraiser that occurs in the spring. Hopes are that this year’s Frightville will be the most successful ever.

“We’re expecting to do a little better this year, but who knows,” Chalfant said. It’s open extended hours, which should add to the revenue total.

Because Halloween takes place on a Friday this year, volunteers are opening Frightville one week ahead of time on Friday, Oct. 24. That keeps with the tradition of opening the haunted house the Friday before Halloween. It will open from 7 to 11 p.m. and again on Saturday Oct. 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Chalfant said the early showing of Frightville is geared toward little kids. The lights will be turned on and there won’t be any spooky music.

“We tone it way down,” Chalfant said. That way children learn that while haunted houses may be scary, there really isn’t anything to be afraid of.

Frightville will continue Wednesday, Oct. 29, and Thursday, Oct. 30 from 6 to 9 p.m. It opens on Halloween at 7 p.m. and continues until midnight.

The pricing will be different this year. Admission costs $6 for the first week, $7 on Oct. 29 and 30 and $8 on Halloween. Chalfant said volunteers are trying to encourage people to come earlier.

Either way, it’s an affordable way to get the bejeebers scared out of you while supporting a good cause at the same time.

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