Jack Twisted is back and more twisted than ever. This year, he’s lurking in the darkness at the Roller Barn’s haunted house, ready to mess with your senses and snatch the soul out of your trembling body to add to his collection.
The Twisted Barn has a completely new look this year. James Croft, owner of the Roller Barn in Oak Harbor, said it’s the best haunted house that has been put together since him and his wife, Priscilla Croft, have been involved.
Those who are brave enough to set foot inside of the house are greeted by Bare Bones, who warns guests of the many ways Jack Twisted will torment them. Bare Bones will offer frightened souls a chance to leave through the Door of Shame, never to return to the mansion.
Hiding behind your companions and tiptoeing through the darkness won’t protect you from the horrors you’ll meet as you walk through nightmarish rooms and hallways. Croft said some scares are designed to trigger the person in the front, some to trigger the people in the middle and others the person in the back.
“Sometimes, being in the middle is just as dangerous as being in the back or the front,” he said, explaining that most of the scares are activated by laser and motion sensors.
The experience is a voyage through some of humanity’s worst phobias — such as clowns, insects, darkness, dolls, rabid animals and dentists — that leave guests in a constant disoriented state as they wander in the darkness, trying to tell shadows and lifeless dolls apart from animatronics and actors who will come to life when they least expect it. To further add to the panic, guests are hit by loud noises, moving floors and strobe lights. And just when the nightmare seems to have reached an end, relief will quickly succumb to terror, and the cycle resumes.
Croft said his favorite part about the haunted house is seeing people’s excitement when they describe what scared them the most.
“That’s what it’s all about,” he said. “Having a great time.”
Starting Friday, Oct. 13, the Twisted Barn will feature over 2,000 square feet of new corridors and rooms, as well as an arcade and merchandise area. In the past, Croft said, the monsters would chase people away and back into their cars, but this year Jack Twisted and his “collection” are being nicer hosts. Or at least, they’re trying.
People who are down for a good scare can visit Jack Twisted and his collection of souls on Fridays and Saturdays for the remainder of October, with one last session open Tuesday, Oct. 31. Tickets are available online at therollerbarn.com/the-haunted-barn.
There are three options to choose from: the full Haunted House experience (the scariest, which includes actors and animatronics), the Automation Only tour (without the actors), and the Lights on Matinee (with the lights on and milder scares). Normally, Croft recommends the Haunted House experience for people aged 12 and older, but age can also mean nothing. Parents will determine whether their child can handle being spooked.
“We’ll have kids that are eight years old that have the best time of their life,” Croft said. “And we’ll have adults that come in that can’t make it halfway through the house.”