Frightville fear factor returns to Oak Harbor in ‘Carn-evil’

‘You’re completely safe to lose your mind’

A new carnival is coming to town.

But before you drop off the kiddies, take a closer look.

It’s called “Carn-evil — The Deadliest Show on Earth” and it’s the theme of this year’s Frightville, an annual fundraiser for the Oak Harbor Boys and Girls Club created in the bowels of the Roller Barn.

Carn-evil launched Friday the 13th. Admission is $13 per person.

Once again, Frightville is gore galore, just like in past years when it earned online rave reviews and was voted one of the state’s top haunted happenings.

“It’s scary not creepy. That’s our goal,” said Tyler Boyle, one of about 35 volunteers who spent weeks spattering fake blood and scattering bones, wiring strobe lights, painting many shades of black and constructing wobbly, weird and rolling floorboards for maximum freak out.

Take a stroll if you dare. It takes about 25 minutes to go through Frightville’s two dozen rooms, each decorated with certain themes and screams in mind.

“We modeled it after a carnival of the 1950s and 1960s,” said longtime organizer Johanna Boyle, “only a carn-evil that’s gone very wrong.”

An arcade, freak show, tunnel of love, shooting gallery, food court, a magician sawing a helpless lass in half — all the trappings of a carnival come to life — or should that be death?

About a dozen local teens help out behind the scenes in more ways than one, either in construction or as one of many evil actors lurking in the dark.

Frightville volunteers say they hope no clown backlash occurs as it did last year when the nation was in the clutches of creepy clown chaos.

They confess to loving to cause duress.

“I’m good at the gore and I’m good at the illusions,” said Raven Fletcher.

“I just love scaring people,” admitted Kaleb Gremmel, who stepped in to fill the big clown shoes of Brian Boyle, aka demented Mr. Giggles, whose real job left little time for gory games this year.

“We have no budget and we use all donated material,” Gremmel said. “But this is a good escape. I just love scaring people.”

But isn’t the real world scary enough these days? Do we really need fake fear factors when our daily news feed is hurricanes, floods, fires and mass shootings?

Yes. On both accounts, said Johanna Boyle.

“The world is too realistically scary,” she said. “But here you’re safe. You’re completely safe to lose your mind and scream all you want, let out some of that energy for charity.

“And people who are screaming usually leave laughing. It’s a safer place than turning on CNN.”

• Frightville, a benefit for Oak Harbor Boys and Girls Club, costs $13 per person. No refunds. Open 7 p.m. to midnight on Oct. 20, 21, 27, 28, 31. “Lights on-no scare” matinee is noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 28. Located at the Roller Barn, 98 NE Barron Drive, Oak Harbor.

Organizer Johanna Boyle gets eyeballs ready to roll at customers coming in Frightville’s front door. Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News-Times

Tyler Boyle, aka Mr. Giggles Jr., gives a tour before the lights go out at Frightville, an annual fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club of Oak Harbor. About three dozen volunteers worked for weeks on creating fear factor fun.

One of many heads hanging around Frightville.

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