The York Drive Project didn’t have the easiest setup this year. City officials decided the haunt was an “accessory structure” that they could not have in the front of the house. Despite having to shift the entire haunt to the backyard, Brad and Jessica Myers opened on schedule.
This is why I adore home haunts–so much love and creativity was put into this. The theme this year, “Portals of Terror,” left the builders free to create a number of themed scares, many of them inspired by movies.
We hung around for a bit before things opened, chatted with folks, and let another group go ahead so a news cameraman could follow them. We’re not camera shy, but the other group had pre-teens, and pre-teens are screamers. Much more fun to get on camera. After the first group went in, there were sounds of chopping and pounding and screaming. Pretty much what you’d expect. The Portal Guardian, an adorable munchkin in a Rocket Raccoon costume, rushed out front grinning to tell everyone: “He’s tearing them up!”
They got a lot of mileage out of their space; the haunt was surprisingly long, and a lot of fun. When everyone there is having a good time, you do as well. At one point, after the Spousal Unit had been jump-scared about three times, he muttered to himself: “at least it’s not bloody clowns. I hate clowns.” Remember, in a haunt, there is always someone listening. About three steps later, an actor beat against the slats of the wall and shouted: “NO CLOWNS HERE!” As for clowns later? Not telling.
York gets especially high marks for stage direction. There were some genuinely creepy moments, thanks to the blocking of the actors’ movements. There was also some excellent costuming and makeup.
After we went through, we came back to chat, and Brad Myers came out to say hello. We talked a bit about haunts in general, and his own movie-inspired scares. It was great to meet a local haunter. The area isn’t as Halloween friendly as I’m used to, so it’s nice to connect with “my people.” You know, scary folks.