A Petrified Forest has been scaring Central Florida audiences for years.
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS – There’s a place in Altamonte Springs where people have been known to scream in terror. No, it’s not the fight for a parking space or the long lines at the Altamonte Mall, but an open field on State Road 436.
For those who think the Halloween season is about getting your blood pumping as you nervously walk into the darkness, then quite a few very scary folks are waiting for you to take the terrifying stroll down a “Haunted Scare Trail” known as A Petrified Forest.
Located just before the intersection of U.S. 17/92, this attraction has been scaring people every Halloween season for years now as a highly popular Halloween Community Event. The main attraction is the two Scare Trails, which are both quite long and feature uniquely themed rooms and scares lurking everywhere.
Not surprisingly, as A Petrified Forest has built up a loyal following of folks in love with a good scare, this attractions has grown over the years. This month, it features not just the ghouls waiting to jump out at you, but also an entire night of entertainment with live bands on stage, food concessions, and even Backstage tours (and the chance for you to do some of the scaring as well).
Freeline Media reached out to Sylvia Katherine Viles, the director of A Petrified Forest, for her thoughts on why folks love getting scared, what she does to motivate her performers to be their scariest, and why this is truly a must-see event this month. Continue reading
“Phantasmagoria VIII: Chain of Fire” opens on Oct. 13. (Photo by Chris Bridges)
ORLANDO — Phantasmagoria.
If you hear that word in Orlando, it’s likely to mean something special, something unique, to a whole lot of city residents. And the first thing they’re likely to note in their minds is that it must be Halloween season.
“Phantasmagoria” is the long-running series of theatrical shows that have been performed every October for nearly a decade. The show, created by writer, director and actor John DiDonna, features a troop of 40 performers who entertain audiences with circus-like tricks while also recreating eerie tales of terror from the vaults of classic literature. The shows offer a unique mix: dance, music, large-scale puppetry, and acrobatics. Classic authors like Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft and Mary Shelley have all been given their due by the Phantasmagoria troupe.
There is also a traditional VIP event after each show, where audiences who purchase the VIP tickets can see some extra neat tricks being done by the performers.
The series has become so successful that it’s also been performed at the Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival, and DiDonna has also taken it out on the road, with shows in Atlanta, Baltimore, and other cities.
And not surprisingly, now that it’s October, “Phantasmagoria VIII: The Chains of Fire” is arriving right on schedule. Continue reading
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is bringing back its popular Haunted Jail Tour.
BARTOW — For decades, people who committed crimes spent time in the old Polk County jail in Bartow. Some even passed away there.
And today, questions linger about whether a ghost or two has stayed behind in that old jail building … waiting to see who comes to visit.
That includes one inmate by the name of Calvin, who committed suicide in that jail … but did he ever really leave?
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is bringing back its popular 2017 Haunted Jail Tour, and the theme this year is “The Ghost of Calvin.”
Noting that the spooky event was “back by popular demand,” Carrie Horstman, the public information officer for the Polk County Sheriff, said the tour will benefit The United Way of Central Florida.
This is an opportunity this Halloween season to see what’s truly scary about the jail (outside of the obvious – how unpleasant incarceration is, so be sure to stay on good behavior at all times.)
The tours will be held on the final two weekends in October. Volunteers for the sheriff’s office will be leading guests through “The Ghost of Calvin” tours from 6-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 20-21, and Friday and Saturday, Oct. 27-28 at the PCSO old jail at 455 N. Broadway Avenue in Bartow, directly across the street from the Bartow Police Department. Continue reading