In a way, an intense crush is no different than running away from a giant toddler zombie armed with a bow and arrow — absolutely terrifying. Or at least, that’s what Jack Twist would say.
This Saturday, Jack’s Twisted Barn is returning to Oak Harbor’s Roller Barn, where “love is in the air” becomes “love is in the scare,” as owner James Croft said.
“Scream Your Heart Out” is the Roller Barn’s first Valentine’s Day-themed haunted house, and one of the few of its kind in the state, Croft said. It’s a one-time event, as the portal to the Twisted Barn will only be open from 6 to 10 p.m. on Feb. 10.
Before entering the Twisted Barn, guests can pose for a free photo that will be handed to them if they survive the souls trapped in the haunted house.
Many of the over 25 rooms, inspired by phobias, have remained the same since the last Halloween haunted house but are saturated with cutesy Valentine’s Day decor. Once inside, couples will go through nightmare settings, such as a daycare for zombie babies, a bloody tattoo studio and a swamp with fog so thick it hides any danger beneath it.
The house will feature new characters played by over 15 actors, and include Jack Twisted, a prisoner, a giant teddy bear, a nun, a bloody prom queen, an overly-possessive girlfriend, murderous clowns and a cherub zombie who shoots arrows poisoned with toxic love.
People have up to 15 minutes or less to escape, depending if they’re “runners” or “admirers,” as Croft said. Those who stay calm despite the flashing lights, the shaking floors and the stalking monsters might notice a variety of posters around the house, with puns and phrases that show Jack’s wicked interpretation of romance.
Unlike the Halloween version, this house will only have one level of scare, and the crew has not held back from ensuring it will be an experience so frightening that it becomes a hardcore loyalty test.
In Croft’s experience, many couples enter haunted houses together, only for one of them to abandon their partner when the fear kicks in. Many have lost their phones, glasses or keys as well.
“Couples that scream together, stay together,” Croft said.
Whether they’re testing their love, attempting to reignite a spark or looking for an excuse to dump their partners, people can book a $25 tour at therollerbarn.com/the-haunted-barn or pay at the door as walk-ins. With an additional $5, guests can also extend their date with a roller skating session — once their knees stop shaking.