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Arts & Culture

More boos for your buck at indie haunts The Shallow Grave, The Petrified Forest and A Haunting in Old Town

Live Active Cultures

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The Legends Dark Amusements team – led by designer Jim Shackelford and Skull Kingdom and Terror on Church Street veteran Dan Carro – have resurrected Old Town’s Grimm House, which closed after a quarter-century of operation, into a brand-new year-round haunt.

Your tour of Archibald Ashdown’s Victorian funeral parlor begins with a live guide (a devilishly ditzy Clare Ghezzi during my visit) giving a goofy stage-setting soliloquy, establishing the mirthfully macabre tone. Smart use is made of the compact two-story space – multiple staircases must be navigated – and the half-dozen actors are so active they seem like at least a dozen; the climactic chapel scene is a symphony of creepy chaos. Even with only a couple of actors (which the attraction will use in the off-season) the projection effects and numerous animatronics created by Distortions Unlimited of the Travel Channel’s Making Monsters should make this a satisfying experience.

After the scares, there’s a small gift shop stocked with vintage Halloween tchotchkes, and a “ghost tour” of the locale’s spirited history will soon be offered. Here’s hoping that Legends Dark’s mix of horror and humor will help it thrive where its forebears foundered, and that they’ll be around to haunt for many Halloweens to come.

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