Come one, come all to an old-fashioned freak show where guests get a behind-the-scenes look at the players, but beware— they might see more than they bargained for.
OSU Institute of Technology’s School of Visual Communications student club, Visual Communications Collective, is hosting their annual haunted attraction— this year titled Freak Show— during Scare on the Square in downtown Okmulgee.
The walk-through haunted attraction in the basement of the Commerce Building, 115 S. Grand Ave., will be open Wednesday, Oct. 31, from 4 p.m. to midnight.
Admission is $5 with proceeds going to the student club. Participants can also get their pictures taken with some of the Freak Show characters for $5.
This is the third year the VCC has hosted a haunted maze downtown. In previous years the students transformed the basement into a haven for a zombie horde and then a home for creepy dolls and scary clowns, but this year they wanted to do something a little different.
“It’s campier with some scary elements,” said VCC president Natalie Miller. “Before they did a lot of jump scares. This year we wanted it to have a lighter feel. It’s like an old-fashioned freak show with a walk-thru path to different areas for our different characters.”
People who go through the attraction can expect to see students portraying a number of different characters including a fortuneteller, conjoined twins, a mermaid, clowns and a strong man.
“It will give off a vibe that our audience is going behind-the-scenes and they aren’t supposed to be there,” said Emily Christianson, VCC secretary.
And will definitely have a creepy feel, said Rachel McMurtrey, VCC representative.
“It’s going to be a run down freak show. There’s something just not quite right,” McMurtrey said.
Having the event take place in the basement of the Commerce Building really helps with the ambiance.
“It already has a very good aesthetic for the freak show theme. We don’t have to do too much to set it up,” said VCC public relations officer Emily Alspaugh.
The VCC officers started planning this year’s haunted attraction during the summer semester and recruiting other Visual Communications students to take part. The event is even starting to spread to other student clubs. The Future Chefs Association donated decorations and some of the Culinary students are volunteering as actors and stagehands during the event.
It will take about 18 to 20 students to bring the Freak Show to life for Scare on the Square.
“I think we try to build off what we did last year. We want it to become a must-go-to event for the community,” McMurtrey said.
Brian Caldwell, graphic design instructor and VCC advisor, said he’s proud that the students are really taking ownership of the event and that the community supports it every year.
“I’m really excited to see the public come out and enjoy our haunted house. It really makes all the effort myself and my students put into it worthwhile,” Caldwell said. “I believe it’s slowly becoming an integral part of Scare on the Square as more and more people make it a part of their Halloween celebration that evening.”