The floorboards tremble beneath you as you slowly move through dark corridors filled with tangled spider webs, holding your breath. You gulp when you see a trap door. You don’t know what’s behind it, but judging from the eerie wails and howls you can hear in the distance, you’re not sure if you even want to know anymore. You can feel the tension in the room, and you know you are no longer alone. You finally feel your way through to a doorway, only to discover severed hands dangle within it.
It’s not a nightmare—it’s the Hall of Horrors.
With an official ribbon cutting from the Cayce-West Columbia Chamber of Commerce on Sunday, the Hall of Horrors reopened its doors with new themes and frights for their 2017 season. Operated by the Cayce-West Columbia Junior Chamber of Commerce—better known as the CWC Jaycees—the Hall of Horrors has terrified Midlands residents for almost forty years. But this year, the Jaycees have maximized their haunting routine by adding another attraction, the Survival Zombie Experience, to their Halloween line-up.
“If you experienced it last year, 100 percent has changed, plus we have a brand new attraction for you to experience,” said CWC Jaycee Bryan Moore.
During the Survival Zombie Experience, guests are divided into teams and strapped with guns with foam darts, then led into a maze that represents a dilapidated, post-apocalyptic community. Players must fend off hordes of zombies while attempting to find and rescue the doctor who has the antidote, then escape the maze within ten minutes. Both hectic and grave, the maze tests players’ speed, alertness, comradery, survival skills, and strategizing. Players who fail to protect themselves from the zombies or escape the maze in time will be considered to have been infected by the zombie virus—in other words, they lose.
The Survival Zombie Experience accompanies the traditional Hall of Horrors, a dark house filled with sinister costumed characters and startling frights. But this year, the Jaycees have also added a complimentary hospitality tent for both attractions. Rather than wait in line like previous years, guests are now given numbers and allowed to enjoy free refreshments, play games, watch horror movies, and take photos with spooky props while they wait for their turn to enter the house or the maze.
Although the terrifying attractions provide terrifying local entertainment during the weeks leading up to Halloween, there is actually a greater purpose. Hall of Horrors is an expansive, well-organized fundraiser for the South Carolina Jaycee Camp Hope, a summer camp for children and adults who have cognitive disabilities. The attractions are produced by volunteers using donations and fundraising through what CWC Jaycee Katie Moore calls “countless hours” of work.
But to the volunteers, creating their own haunted house and zombie maze is extremely rewarding. “There’s not a greater feeling in the world than giving people a really good thrill and having their friends laugh at them,” said Bryan Moore.
Tickets to each attraction are $10, and R.I.P. Skip-the-Line Tickets are available for $20. Tickets come with perks—this year, the Jaycees are offering free bowling games at Beltline Lanes and Gaming Center, 10% off coupons for Quaker Steak and Lube, and free $20 game cards with $20 game card purchases at Dave & Buster’s for each ticket sold. Group tickets are also available. Tickets can be purchased by visiting: http://www.hallofhorrors.com/tickets.
The Hall of Horrors is located at at 1153 Walter Price Street in Cayce. A list of dates that the venue is open may be found at: http://www.hallofhorrors.com/dates.
Featured photo: Cayce-West Columbia Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Greg Pinner joins the Jaycees to for the Hall of Horrors ribbon cutting on Sunday, Sept. 24.