The Old Wagram Prison has been taken over by the Scotland County Parks and Recreations department and turned into an unconventional haunted house. Saturday, Oct. 28, and Tuesday, Oct. 31, you can step into a genuine abandoned prison and find yourself wading through the zombie apocalypse as a tale of terror and desperation unfolds with you right in the center of it. The cost for such a pleasure? Just $10.
This is no clichéd haunted house with nothing to do but shuffle through strobe lights and wait for a teenager in a latex mask to jump out at you. Bryan Graham, who helped found the project said, “It’s almost like a theatre production. This isn’t a standard haunted house where you enter and walk through. This has a build up.”
Unlike other haunted attractions, the Insanitarium at the old Wagram Prison has a unifying plot that the guests take part in. Graham said, “This has a story to it, a script – and paramilitary guys at some points who defend you from the zombies.”
To make the experience more immersive and terrifying, many of the actors have gone through a fourhour paramilitary training session. The Gryphon Group, which helps train soldiers in everything from surviving gunfights to protective mission programs, counseled the actors so they could move with the kind of professional lethality that lends authenticity to the performance. The zombies they will be fighting received costumes and makeup from the St. Andrews University theatre department.
To further distinguish this event from other haunted houses, all proceeds will go back to the community. The Old Wagram Prison is in the process of being transformed by the Growing Change organization into a youth recreation center and will be partially funded by the event proceeds.
The rest of the profits will go to the Laurinburg Chamber of Commerce, the Parks and Recreation department and other nonprofit organizations.
Graham, along with his fellow project founders Noran Sanford and Chris English, have “high hopes and expectations. The mystique of the facility already sets you up for success.”
If you are interested in becoming an actor next year or lending your talents to future performances, contact Graham at the Laurinburg Parks and Recreation department via email at bgraham@ scotlandcounty.org.
For those who wish to go through the Insanitarium, tickets are $10 and sold only at the venue. The event will run from 7:30 p.m. to midnight on Oct. 28 and 31 at 22600 Wagram Rd., Wagram.
The experience is estimated to last between 20 to 25 minutes, and Graham suggests patrons come wearing close-toed shoes. “We plan to scare you so that you think that you need to be running,” he said.