Creepshow debuts at History Museum

By Kristin Kendle on October 19, 2012

Get ready to get spooked, Halloween fans, Tacoma has a new haunt in town.

From Oct. 25 to 27, the Washington State History Museum hosts "Creepshow," which organizers hope will terrify Tacoma with scenes straight out of a movie.

Marcel Banks, a Hollywood special effects artist who worked with museum staff and a team of film professionals to make Creepshow come alive.

Banks, a Tacoma native, has honed his special effects and makeup skills in Hollywood on a host of zombie films, the Syfy Channel TV show Face Off, and The Chronicles of Riddick. He is here to ensure that the ghosts and ghouls of Creepshow don't look like they bought masks at the local Spirit store. He is here to make you feel like you're walking through a museum full of real, live (or dead) zombies, ghosts, mutants and worse.

"The special effects involved are Hollywood quality makeup and scenes, live actors, mechanics and typical Halloween effects such as smoke and eerie lighting," says Kimberly Ketcham, marketing and communications director at the museum.

Being set in a museum makes Creepshow unique. Museums are already naturally creepy, if you think of it: Items from the past; things dug out of the ground; hallways left empty and echoing all night long. The marriage of haunts and a museum - especially a history museum - is bound to thrill.

"Creepshow will take visitors through a historical representation of horror through the last century with graphic details and special effects," Ketcham says.

What are exhibit halls by day will be filled with live actors and created scenes by night. Some of the scenes will be from classic horror movies, some will be straight out of the imagination of the devilish minds of the haunt designers - stumble away from mutated dogs snapping at you and straight into a radioactive wasteland; meet the evil Pumpkin King; and enter the haunted movie theater. Hauntees will enter via the outdoor amphitheatre and wind through the various rooms of terror before exiting at the loading dock. There are some stairs involved.

"It will be a realistic, graphic haunted house chronicling horror through the decades," Ketcham says. "This haunted house will have scenes from Hollywood scares like Psycho and Frankenstein, but also real-life scares as well. It's pretty graphic and designed for teen/adult audiences."

On the museum mezzanine will also be a Boo-Teek set up by Goodwill. Visitors can shop for unique costumes and masks and dress right onsite, if they so please. There will also be complimentary make-up artists to help you get into the act.

Creepshow admits teens 13 and older.

(Creepshow: Terror in Tacoma will be at Washington State History Museum Oct. 25, 26, and 27 from 7 to 11 p.m. Admission is $13 for regular admission and $20 for the VIP line. Tickets are $10 for WSHM members, seniors, military and disabled persons.)