SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP — Your greatest nightmares are coming alive this month in Ashtabula. As the area is gearing up for Halloween, everyone is looking for a scare. Hosted by the Lakeside High School Music Boosters, the Nightmare in Ashtabula is a haunted house extravaganza ready to shock and startle anyone who dares to enter. No matter how resilient you believe you are, you will not be able to resist screaming in absolute terror at the chilling surprises lurking around every corner.
Nightmare in Ashtabula is located in the Saybrook Plaza, where the Lakeside band, choir, orchestra and art club have been hard at work constructing a truly terrifying experience. Preparation for this began in early September, with student volunteers contributing nearly every day.
Lakeside band director Joseph Tredent has been busy directing the Lakeside marching band, while also organizing the construction of the haunted house. When asked about where the idea originated, Tredent said, “One of our band members suggested a haunted house, and we ran with it.”
Admission is $5 and the proceeds are going toward a worthwhile cause. The money will help fund the Lakeside Music Boosters, through the purchase of new instruments, the payments for band camp and the maintenance of uniforms. It also goes to support the Saybrook Plaza Merchants. If you enjoy the experience, and are eager to be scared again, you can return the same night for a discounted price of only $2.
Even though they are busy, the students involved are still having fun. Art Club president Garrett Bacon said, “There is so much to do, but it is worth it. I cannot wait to scare the pants off of someone.” The students are hard at work transforming an empty building into a scene straight from a horror film. The once undivided space has been separated into numerous rooms, all with differing themes. For the entire month of October, and into November, you can catch a glimpse of a zombie Van Gogh, a man-eating spider and a murderous butcher. With a diverse array of interesting characters and rooms, there is sure to be something straight from your nightmares. You might even recognize some of the shouting voices and frightening faces, as the masked scarers are actual Lakeside students.
If you are worried about the content, it may be safe to leave the kids at home. The haunted adventure is suggested for grades seven and above. However, for those old and brave enough to enter the frightening maze, it is an entertaining encounter.
Band member Alex Marcy definitely praises the experience. “I would recommend it to my friends because it is pretty scary and also super fun,” he said.
If you dare, there is still time for a scare. The Nightmare in Ashtabula is prepared to startle you through Saturday. So while the kids are out trick-or-treating, stop by the Saybrook Plaza between the hours of 7 p.m. and midnight on Friday and Saturday, or between 7 and 10 p.m. today.
Tredent would like to thank the student volunteers for all their hard work, and give a special thanks to Lakeside parent, Kevin Presley.