|Photo Courtesy of the Temple of Terror Facebook page, where more photos are posted.|
By now, if you haven't read anything I've written about the Temple of Terror at the Pottstown Mason's lodge then you haven't been paying attention.
There are many remarkable things about this effort, not the least of which is the level of dedication displayed by the volunteers putting it together.
In addition to all the planning, the many late nights of construction have been augmented by a cadre of volunteer actors who really put the "fright" into "Fright Night."
As the photos I've posted here show, they've really gone all out and if you visit the Temple of Terror web site, you will see that there is entire back story that goes along with the haunt, so you will enjoy it even more.
It involves a Civil War veteran returning home to find out his wife has been unfaithful to him, and the murderous rampage that follows, a rampage that ended on the very site on which the temple now sits.
There are at least four more opportunities to check it out; this Friday and Saturday, Oct. 18 and 19; and the following Friday and Saturday, Oct. 25 and 26. The cost is $15.
So far, those who have gone through have given it rave reviews.
In interviews on TV camera after last weekend's opening, "the first two said on camera that it was better than Pennhurst and one added 'plus it's cheaper,' Dave Hollenbach, a past master of the Mason's temple and one of the organizers, wrote in an e-mail to The Mercury.
Hollenbach also wrote:
We had attendees last night from ages 7 to 70. Actors tailored their actions to the individual groups as they went through. Nothing but great reviews.
Screams were audible outside from the 2nd. flr. last night so the folks definitely seemed thrilled. One fellow left, returned with friends, and went through again, commenting it was even better the 2nd time through."I Went through with my ten year old -- well done," Linda McIntosh Meadows posted on the Temple of Terror's Facebook page. "The effects were great and the building is just amazing to look at."
"I had such a fun time screaming and running for my life tonight!" Jessica Skovronski posted in her review of the haunt. "Affordable, close to home, and definitely scary! Great job!"
On The Mercury's Facebook page, Linda Passuth Dudley posted the following review: "We went last Friday and is literally made me cry it was so scarey. My son had gone to Pennhurst and said this was as good. There was also a woman doing psychic readings outside and she was right on with my reading. The area was fine, well lit with a lot of staff and vendors around. Plus, a staff member told me that 100% of the proceeds are donated back to the Pottstown community"
To see more photos, check out the slideshow I posted on The Mercury web site.
As impressive as this effort is, it's part of an even larger picture.
You see it's more than the Masons involved. It's also the Ambucs, the Elks and the Order of the Eastern Star.
They've teamed up ... yes, you read that right ... TEAMED UP....in Pottstown .....
Ahem, they've teamed up to try to build up Pottstown as the Halloween capital of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
Given that, after Christmas, its America's most popular holiday and the one on which we spend the most money, after Christmas, this seems to me like a stroke of brilliance.
So in addition to this haunted house, in addition to Pottstown's signature Halloween Parade, which takes place next Wednesday, Oct. 23 and for which donations are still needed, this group of civic clubs
has also planed another Halloween-themed event -- The Monster Dash 5K and Relay.
The Monster Dash takes place this Sunday, Oct. 20, down at the Pottstown campus of
Montgomery County Community College and the route runs along the Schuylkill River Trail.
Much like the "Funky Santa" 5K that takes place around Christmas time, the Monster Dash STRONGLY encourages people to run in Halloween costumes.
I think perhaps the thing that Hollenbach said which so struck me was this: "People go to Bethlehem for Christmas, we want them to come to Pottstown for Halloween."
And I thought the whole set of Bethlehem Christmas attractions did not just materialize out of thin air, someone got together and planned them. They worked together and it worked.
There is no reason why it could not happen here.
So start supporting this effort this year by stopping by the Temple of Terror tonight or tomorrow night.
Bring some friends and help build up your town and have a good time in the process.
Because the alternative to a rejuvenated Pottstown, which attracts thousands of visitors during the month of October, is downright scary.
And that would make these fellows very, very sad.
You don't want to make them sad.
You really, really don't....