AHWAHNEE – Prepare to be scared as the creaky doors open at Camp Pacifica, summoning ghouls and ghosts to the sixth apparition of the Oakhurst Mountain Lions’ Haunted House and Night of Terror. Horrible hosts welcome all specters, 13 up, on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26 & 27, from 7 to 10 p.m. The chilling charity event costs $10.
Monsters, mazes, slashers and clowns (not the nice kind) are all part of the fun, according to club president Wayanne Markley, who estimates that volunteers have put in over 200 hours working on the best and scariest haunted house a team of twisted minds can create.Markley was appropriately warped early on, growing up in a family of 5 kids who celebrate Halloween to the fullest possible extent.
“We were an imaginative group,” remembers Markley, “always coming up with new things to keep us occupied. I think all of us really enjoyed Halloween, not just because we got plenty of candy, but because of the challenge of working on what type of costume we could come up with and decorating our house.”
Markley admits going with friends and family to “every kind of Halloween event” they could find.
“It is so fun to get startled,” says Markley, “and even more fun to be the one to startle someone else. My friends and collaborators who work to bring these Haunted Houses to life enjoy this stuff just as much as I do. Even now, we visit all the Halloween events we can find, to see others’ creativity.”
That spirit continues to motivate Markley as she and club Treasurer Gail Hawksworth rally the zombies to pull each haunted house together. Spoiler alert: this year features a terrifying tableau with a very bad leprechaun and a room full of dolls that one wouldn’t want a child to play with.
Markley also says that the electrifying experience will take longer to pass through than last year.
“The Lions Clubs I have been affiliated with have been very indulgent with me, letting me put together these events,” explains Markley. “I enjoy the challenge to keep them different, and as a Lions Club member, appreciate the opportunity to offer this to our community, where the proceeds go towards helping our needy.”
The Lions Club was first established in 1917. Members were called upon by Helen Keller to be “Knights of the Blind.” The world’s largest service club, Lions number about 1.35 million individuals with 46,000 clubs.
The Oakhurst Mountain Lions club was chartered early in 2012 and meets on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, at Yosemite Gateway Inn Community Room, 6 p.m. Their mission is to serve the community in whatever ways they can.
Markley has a tip for anyone who finds themselves too deep in devilish mayhem for their own comfort.
“French fries,” Markey says “is the code word to be escorted out of the haunted house.” With the bloody bacchanal the Mountain Lions are cooking up for Halloween, we know there will be plenty of ketchup.
Haunted House and Night of Terror located at Camp Pacifica, at 45895 Highway 49, 9 miles north of Oakhurst.