‘Tis the reason for the season — getting scared — and one of the best places to get scared in Seymour is the Fear Fair haunted attraction in the Freeman Field Industrial Park.
Now in its 15th season, Seymour Jaycees’ Fear Fair brings the scares back again, starting Friday night.
“People like to pay to get scared,” said Patrick Alvey of Brown County, an actor at the haunted attraction. “It’s so much fun.”
Alvey said he had acted at other haunted attractions before coming to Fear Fair.
Story continues below gallery
This year, he will be the set’s “living shadow,” a character dressed all in black used to scare people from the shadows before disappearing unseen.
Craig Montgomery of Seymour is a teacher and part-time house manager at Fear Fair. He has been involved with the haunted attraction for 12 years but said he is just as excited for this year’s scares as he has been in previous years.
The cast gathers every night during the haunting season to undergo makeup from professional artists before stepping into their extravagant costumes and slipping into character.
This year, the scares have gone beyond the traditional scenes, bringing an underground military labyrinth complete with post-apocalyptic creatures to life in the former World War II barracks at 800 A Ave. East.
Visitors will still find their old favorites, such as zombies, “Silent Hill” nurses and others.
“The ‘Silent Hill’ scenes are a fan favorite,” said Samantha McCormick of Seymour, an actor in the cast at Fear Fair. “The scene itself is just so creepy. It’s probably a favorite for me, too.”
McCormick said she grew up watching horror movies and was hooked on the experience of being a horror character at the attraction.
She has played the role of a nurse before, but this year, she has the chance to be, in her words, “the possessed chick,” in another fan-favorite exorcism scene.
Fear Fair has been rated one of the Top 10 Best Extreme Haunted Attractions of 2015 by USA Today, a Top 13 Great Haunted Attraction in the United States for 2014 by Forbes magazine and a Top 5 Haunted Attraction in the U.S. by Coaster Nation for 2015, along with numerous other awards from past years.
The haunted attraction again is competing in the competition for USA Today’s Best Haunted Attraction. To vote for Fear Fair, go to 10best.com/awards/travel/best-haunted-attraction before Monday and cast a vote.
The entire attraction takes between 30 and 45 minutes to walk through depending on crowd size, making it one of the larger haunted attractions in the state.
Montgomery credits a large portion of it to the cast.
“The real scares don’t come from the props or the makeup. It’s from the people,” he said. “We’re a weird group, but we’re fun to be around, very eclectic.”
A large portion of the fun comes from tailoring the scare to the group, he said.
“Sometimes, you get people who you can tell want to be just a little scared, while others can take the full force,” Alvey said.
Fear Fair is open from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays and from 8 to 10 p.m. Sundays. It also will be open from 8 to 10 p.m. on Halloween, Oct. 31.
Tickets are available online at fearfair.com. Cost is $20 for general admission and $25 for a fast pass, which cuts the wait time in half.
Fear Fair will feature “flashlight fright nights” on the last two days the attraction is open, Nov. 4 and 5.
Each year, the haunted attraction draws more than 12,000 people, coming from points across Indiana and the Midwest.
The crowds easily bring six-figure incomes for the Jaycees.
A portion of the proceeds from the income is put back into the attraction, paying for bigger, better scares each year, though a large portion of the proceeds will be donated to numerous causes in the community.
“I like that we do good deeds with our work, donating to groups and buying equipment for fire departments,” Montgomery said.
Through the years, Fear Fair has purchased automatic external defibrillators for emergency agencies in Brownstown and Seymour. Another portion of the money was used to help purchase new playground equipment at St. Ambrose Catholic School and Emerson Elementary School, both in Seymour.
What: Seymour Jaycees’ annual Fear Fair
Where: 800 A Ave. East in Freeman Field Industrial Park, Seymour
When: 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 8 to 10 p.m. Sundays through Nov. 5; also open 8 to 10 p.m. Oct. 31
Cost: $20 for general admission; $25 for fast pass
Information: Fearfair.com or visit the Fear Fair Facebook page
To vote for Fear Fair for USA Today’s Best Haunted Attraction for 2016, visit 10best.com/awards/travel/best-haunted-attraction before Monday.