Get a head start on horror


Bedlam Theatre and Soap Factory host haunted events. More than 150 artists, puppeteers, musicians, performers and technicians are involved in the creation of Bare Bones’ Halloween show each year.

Two local arts organizations are running haunted houses this year; Soap Factory’s subterranean scare begins Friday, Oct. 19, while Bedlam Theatre’s outdoor fright tour starts Saturday, Oct. 27.

The Soap Factory event is a self-guided tour through the gallery’s basement. The tour makes good on the building’s creepy history — the former sausage-casing plant has reportedly produced accounts of ghostly animal sounds rising from its depths.

The experience is somewhat non-traditional of haunted houses. Groups are given handheld lanterns and asked to explore the 120-year-old undeveloped basement, designed for this event by local artists Chris Pennington and Aaron Wojak, on their own. The event is reportedly so terrifying that the Soap Factory asks that participants sign a waiver before entering and that they are over the age of 18.

The Haunted Basement runs from Fri., Oct. 19 through Wed., Oct. 31, going from 7:00-11:00 p.m. It will be closed Sat., Oct. 27 for a private event. Admission is $10 per person.

While the Soap Factory confines your fears in a dark and isolated basement, Bedlam Theatre’s annual Halloween show airs them out in the open.
A spooky trip through Mississippi history, Bedlam Theatre’s 14th Annual Outdoor Puppet Mississippi Samhain Extravaganza begins Sat., Oct. 27 this year. For the annual outdoor Halloweeen show’s latest incarnation, participants begin at a carnival on the Mississippi River at the base of the North Entrance to Hidden Falls Park and are ushered along a haunted trail to an old river town, where they are met by Huck and Jim of Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” From there, the pageant continues down the Mississippi River bank. Following each show is a reception with live music and hot food and drink provided by Sister’s Camelot.

The North Entrance to Hidden Falls Park, where the BareBones show begins, is off of Mississippi River Boulevard just south of the Ford Parkway Bridge. On site parking is available, and… Bedlam Theatre advises participants to dress according to the weather, and encourages costumes and masks. There is a limited amount of seating available for those who are unable to walk the distance.

Many local groups helped to make Bedlam’s Halloween production possible this year, including grants from the COMPAS Community Art Program and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.

The show runs from Sat., Oct. 27 through Wed., Oct. 31, with Mon., Oct. 29 as a rain date for the first two shows. Each performance begins at 7:00 p.m. The cost of the event is donation-based.