Friday, August 7, 2020

Final ‘Haunted Museum’ of 2019 held in Wallaceburg

By Rori Bennett – Junior Reporter

The Wallaceburg & District Museum hosted their annual Haunted Museum on Saturday, October 19 and again on October 26.

This year’s theme was “Freaky Carnival”, featuring six rooms, each decorated with a different focus.

The first room was decorated in the design of a freak show and the final room in the design based on “American Horror Story.”

A total of 45 volunteers participated in the show portion of the event, with many others in the background and planning.

“We have six rooms in the Haunted Museum,” Holly DeMarco, a volunteer, told the Sydenham Current.

“Six volunteers came in and we chose a design for the room and what the theme was. Then we went and designed all the props and pieces and set everything up… got the actors, mostly volunteers from high schools and friends and family. So they all came to help. For the actual show, we had about 45 people here (on the 26th), all acting or playing some part in it… and to set up. Everybody was coming in and out, helping us set up.”

DeMarco said they chose ‘Freaky Carnival’ as their theme.

“Each person took their room and picked a theme within that,” she said.

“We all coordinated to go through it smoothly. The first room is a freak show, which was my room. The next room is James Street, the Marine Room, the Industrial Room and the final room is set up like the ‘American Horror Story’ freak show.”

The admission to go through the Haunted Museum was $3.

In 2018, the event saw approximately 500 people and raised over $1,000.

Organizers said that due to the rain, there was a slight decrease in attendance, drawing approximately 185 people on the first night.

Final numbers are still being tallied for this year.

In addition to the Haunted Museum, a free family movie was shown in the Jeanne Gordon Theatre.

The movie was “The Dog That Saved Halloween”, which was shown at 7 p.m.

Treats were sold at the canteen, by volunteer Michelle Guarasci, and Museum treasurer, Dee Gallerno.

“The Halloween activities started when museum volunteers and museum staff wanted to do something fun for Halloween,” said Matthew Weickert, curator at the Wallaceburg & District Museum.

“With all the space that we have and all of the support and volunteers… the best way to do that would be to put on a Haunted Museum and have fun with scaring people. It’s really kind of morphed over the years into its own big event and we’ve found it’s a huge success that we want to keep doing year after year. We have fun with it too.”

Weickert said the movie night is a newer addition to the activities.

“It came about for people who don’t want to be scared, but are still brought along whether it is parents, or grandparents, or other members of the family or kids,” he said.

“If they don’t want to come and see the Haunted Museum, but they still want to come enjoy themselves. We have the Jeanne Gordon Theatre up here, and we just thought it really made sense to hold a movie night alongside the Haunted Museum.”

Here are some photos from the event:

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