A young writer has inherited a house from his great-uncle, who went mad. The young writer's family has settled into the house, but alas, the house itself seems to be haunted, or is the writer himself going mad?
Poison Pen: Writings of a Mad Man, this year's Ghost Ridge production currently being set up at the Albion Fairgrounds, will open next week for the eighth time. The event raises money for four organizations and gets everyone into the mood for Halloween.
"It's more creepy than in-your-face scary," said Joan Granholm, creative director of Ghost Ridge.
"We hope that people are able to suspend disbelief and get into mood."
The dairy barn at the fairgrounds has been divided into rooms, hallways, and outdoor scenes - including the obligatory cemetery - which visitors will be able to walk through - if they dare.
The recommended rating on the show is PG14, Granholm said, but sometimes younger kids are okay with the scary elements. But, she added, a good judge of whether they're ready for it is if they don't have to be forced through the door.
Organizers don't buy a lot of props and most sets are built from scratch because, Granholm said, if they were bought off the Internet or from larger suppliers, Ghost Ridge would look that same as Fright Nights at the PNE or other haunted attractions.
But the props are only a part of the event, Granholm added. What really gives the production "life blood" are the actors performing the roles, many of whom are local high school students.
And instead of sitting and watching a play, visitors walk through the scenes at Ghost Ridge as they change in front of their eyes.
"Ghost Ridge is more theatre than a creepfest - it's performance art," Granholm said.
This year, the sets are being built by the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Agricultural Association that runs Country Fest, the Society for Creative Anachronism, Ridge Canoe and Kayak, and Ridge Meadows Roller Derby.
The four groups are tasked with set-up and take down, and they all get one-fifth of the entrance fee. One-fifth is kept as seed money for the next year.
Ghost Ridge is completely organized by volunteers with no one receiving any wages, Granholm said.
Ghost Ridge is wheelchair accessible for the most part, Granholm said, something the organizers take pride in.
Poison Pen: Writings of a Mad Man takes place at the Albion Fairgrounds on Oct. 21 and 22 and on Oct. 27 to 30 from 6 to 9 p.m. with a family viewing on Saturdays from 4 to 5: 30 p.m. Tickets are $8 and $4 for the family viewing. For more information, go to www.ghostridge.org.
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