It was a cool, dark night. A crisp moon hung in the sky. And I was ready for some good, old-fashioned terror.
That was the scene Wednesday when I arrived at the Kane County Scaregrounds media preview event.
I met up with Lisa Glavan, promotions coordinator for the Kane County Chronicle, and Jamie Blair, marketing coordinator for the Downtown St. Charles Partnership.
We were all pretty excited to go through the haunted house. Lisa, in particular, was anxious about whether there would be any clowns. She just can’t stand clowns. I, on the other hand, was ready and pumped for anything the Scaregrounds would throw at us. I get a big kick out of scary stuff, including haunted houses, movies and true-crime stories.
So, before we knew it, we were crossing the threshold into creepy, frightful new territory. Before going too far, we put on 3-D glasses that were provided, so we would be as prepared as possible to take in the horrors that awaited us.
I must say, the inclusion of 3-D in the haunted house made for a wild experience. The orangey-red paint on the walls really popped, and it was a little disorienting getting through all of the haunted house rooms because the 3-D distorted my vision. Overall, just a really neat effect.
Anyway, what came next for Lisa, Jamie and me was a lot of apprehensive walking, haphazard sprinting, riotous laughing and punctual screaming.
And, last but not least, an entire room full of clowns.
We ran out of that haunted house with our hearts thumping. And I was actually sweating. It was so much fun. I thought all of the actors did a fantastic job.
Afterward, I spoke with some of the people who help put on the show.
“I have a lot of fun with this haunted house,” said 16-year-old actor Brendan Walsh of West Chicago. “Every year they add new stuff ... and it gets scarier and scarier.”
“You get in there, and you just do it,” said 14-year-old Geneva resident Krissy Miklos of playing a butcher’s victim at the Scaregrounds.
“It’s fun,” she said. “People are really nice.”
Actor and Geneva resident Claire Strnad, 16, said she likes seeing how different people react throughout the Scaregrounds experience. She was in the clown room during the media preview.
“Clowns bring out some people’s fears,” she said.
And, boy, was she right.
Recapping what it was like to go through the haunted house, Lisa noted what was scariest for her.
“The scariest part was everything,” she said, “especially the clowns. I think that it was terrifying.”
Also helping put on the haunted house are director Lori Holm and sound and lighting wiz Bob Kresz.
Both said the Scaregrounds experience has been fun.
“I’ve really taken to the people,” Lori said, noting that she was “thrilled” to be back at the haunted house again for a second year. “This is my time of year.”
The Kane County Scaregrounds is a fundraiser for the Steel Beam Theatre in St. Charles. It is operating at the Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 26; and from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 20 and 27 (for monster-free Sundays).
Tickets cost $15. Participants must be older than 13 or accompanied by an adult. Monster-free Sundays cost $10 for adults and $5 for children.
• Kathy Gresey is editor of the Kane County Chronicle. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 630-845-5368.