Fright Night scares up another season at Brecknock Park

Darren Day of Smyrna portrays The Creeper from the “Jeepers Creepers” series of films during Fright Night at Brecknock Park in Camden. The Kent County Levy Court Recreation annual attraction runs for three weekends. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

Darren Day of Smyrna portrays The Creeper from the “Jeepers Creepers” series of films during Fright Night at Brecknock Park in Camden. The Kent County Levy Court Recreation annual attraction runs for three weekends. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

CAMDEN — Make them scream.

That’s the goal of organizers of Fright Night at Brecknock Park in Camden, as they hope all attendees have an equally frightening experience.

This year, the haunted attraction, which starts tonight and runs Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 24, has about 29 scenes, including a haunted bus, toxic wasteland and a maze through a barn with its own scenes.

“We thrive to make everyone scared, said Matt Boller, director of scenes for Fright Night. “People pay to come in to be scared, so we want to give them their money’s worth.”

The walk-through haunt first opened at Dover’s Tidbury Park in 1992 and moved to Brecknock Park in 2000.

Fright Night volunteer Rob Hosier of Felton portrays a wicked clown inside the attraction’s scary clown room, always a favorite.

Fright Night volunteer Rob Hosier of Felton portrays a wicked clown inside the attraction’s scary clown room, always a favorite.

Kent County Parks and Recreation has put the attraction on since 1992 and Terry Kaufman is the director of the project.

“We look forward to this event every year,” said Brent Mollohan of Kent County Parks and Recreation. “We really enjoy it.”

The barn is a fixed structure in the park and used for storage most of the year, but every other part of the event is either reassembled from last year or built from scratch.

Rooms in the barn are designed to give the illusion of walls that move, ghosts floating past windows, poltergeists behind doors and skeletons moving like living people.

Planning, which includes laying out scenes, starts in late June or early July every year with a collaboration of ideas between Mr. Boller and Mr. Kaufman.

“We think about this all the time, all year-round,” Mr. Boller said. “We go to haunted houses and check different things out to see what we can incorporate.

“We also go online and find things as well. We’re always trying to make our experience scarier than the previous year.”

Alyssa Pierce, 17, of Felton is ready to scare the daylights out of visitors as she portrays an insane butcher out for fresh meat.

Alyssa Pierce, 17, of Felton is ready to scare the daylights out of visitors as she portrays an insane butcher out for fresh meat.

About 60 volunteers are involved in getting the event up and running.

Ashley Papen, who has been a volunteer since she was 10 and on into her adult years, said it’s her favorite time of year.

“This is always fun,” Ms. Papen said. “My mom started volunteering when I was little, so that’s how I got into it. It’s always a joy to watch someone be scared.”

Mr. Boller said people generally hate clowns, so he uses that to his advantage with the clown room.

“With the clown room you don’t have to do anything,” Ms. Papen said. “People will just look at you and run out the door.”

“We try to do something different every time someone walks into that room.

Mr. Boller said he encourages actors to improvise.

“We take ideas from everybody,” Mr. Boller said. “If you have an idea and we can make it work, we will.”

Volunteer James Shreves said the ones you least expect are scared the most.

“I’ve seen the toughest looking guys run out of here,” Mr. Shreves said.

Victoria Nicolo, 17, of Smyrna is a scary execututioner inside the Fright Night attraction at Brecknock Park in Camden.

Victoria Nicolo, 17, of Smyrna is a scary execututioner inside the Fright Night attraction at Brecknock Park in Camden.

“They come in acting like they’re not scared of anything, but once they go through it, it’s a different story.”

The money raised from admission this year will go to Home of Brave in Milford, a transitional housing facility for male and female veterans.

“At the end of the day it’s for a great cause,” Mr. Boller said. “It’s a family-friendly event, as we are here to have fun.

“We just want everyone to come out and have a great time.”

Fright Night is from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets are available on location for $7. Tickets go on sale each night between 6:30 and 6:45. Brecknock Park is at 80 Old Camden Road.

Parents should use discretion when bringing young children. The attraction will not be open in the rain.

Mad scientist Erika Wharff, 17, of Clayton, right, will entertain visitors to Fright Night doing scary experiments on her patient Erica Walters, 18, of Dover.

Mad scientist Erika Wharff, 17, of Clayton, right, will entertain visitors to Fright Night doing scary experiments on her patient Erica Walters, 18, of Dover.

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