Terror at the Dam: Fear World is coming to Stevenson

Steve Bartlett, owner of Fear World, and his girlfriend, Drodrolagi "Rainbow" Smith pose for a picture with a vampire prop.

Monroe is well-known for its haunted history, from Hanna Cranna and the White Lady Ghost to famed ghost hunters Ed and Lorraine Warren. Now the town will host Fear World, a scary attraction coming to Z-Topia in Stevenson this October.

Steve Bartlett, owner of Fear World, a Bridgeport based business, found his passion for horror as a child, while planning haunted displays with his father at their Fairfield home every Halloween. Over the years he has designed haunted houses, adding more elaborate props as he goes.

“Every year after November 1, I start planning for next year’s haunted house,” Bartlett said with a smile.

Fear World, a traveling haunted house, will open at Z-Topia, 1545 Monroe Turnpike, on Friday, Oct. 6, and run from 7 to 10 p.m. It will open for the same hours that Saturday and Sunday, and for every Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the entire month.

Private corporate parties can be arranged for on Thursdays.

Gates will open at 6 p.m., an hour before Fear World opens its doors to brave visitors. Though tickets will be sold at the gate, buying tickets online is recommended. For tickets, click here.

Tickets cost $20 and include a “Scare Cam” picture, a photo taken of groups during a scary moment inside the haunted house. There are also options to upgrade a ticket to a Fast Pass to get right in. Parking and entry to Z-Topia is free.

Food, music, shopping …

Peggi Gnandt, who is organizing Terror at the Dam, said The Parlor: A Pizza Joint will serve wood-fired pizza every night. Other food vendors coming on select days include Vazzy’s Canteen and Little Kernels kettle corn. Cotton candy and popcorn will also be available for purchase.

“We will have freshly baked apple cider doughnuts and pies brought from Oronoque Farms,” she said, adding there will be hot apple cider from Beardsley Cider Mill, hot chocolate and coffee.

A Haunted Beer & Wine Garden will be available for those age 21-and-older.

Z-Topia will have face painting on select dates, as well as a costume contest with cash prizes and gift certificates.

On the last weekend there will be live music by the Tony Ferrigno Trio and Badboy playing rock, classic rock and modern country on Friday, Oct. 27, and Igniter will play two sets of hard rock covers on Saturday, Oct. 28. No cover charge.

Vendors will include Readings by Kellyann, Mystify crystals, sage and more; Because I Soy So candles, Phire in the Hole organic hot sauces, That’s Cool I Need It 3-D Printed Models; Tumblers by Evmi; and Handmade Jewelry by Carolina.

Check the website for the latest details.

“This is going to be one jam packed month full of excitement, and something for everyone to enjoy,” Gnandt said.

Enter Fear World

Fear World is a 6,000-square-foot outdoor haunted house with animatronics, special effects and actors. Bartlett said it takes 50 people to operate with actors, builders, safety people and ticket-takers.

Bartlett said he has repurposed things for his haunted house, including pieces of old furniture his parents were going to throw out.

On recent evening, Bartlett walked through the haunted house with his girlfriend Drodrolagi “Rainbow” Smith.

Among the frights are a ghost prop that flies around and pictures that drop with an actor behind it.

The house is decorated in sections, including The Manor with hallways, a living room with a couch and a TV armoire and a wooden rocking chair that rocks by itself. An animated possessed girl pops up from a bed, and a possessed child emerges from a crib in a nursery with a shelf of creepy dolls.

Scary props will drop down onto visitors when they least expect it and some of the props spit a spray mist at passersby.

A centralized room amid the displays has different windows and doors that allow an actor to scare the same group in five different spots.

“This is going be a kitchen,” Bartlett said of one area under construction. “You walk through the refrigerator door and enter a meat locker.”

Fear World has a toxic area with a monster that’s eight-feet-tall, electric chairs and a spider wall on the way to the cemetery with a haunted mausoleum.

There is a torture chamber and a 20-foot claustrophobia tunnel that gently squeezes people as they walk through it, while making them momentarily lose sight of their friends.

“It’s so scary, some are allowed to bypass that section,” Bartlett said.

Fear World ends with the Carn-Evil, an area filled with scary clowns.

For parents wondering about bringing their children to Fear World, Bartlett said they should think of the PG movie rating.

“We’re trying to make it contained and over-the-top scary,” he said, while promising visitors will have, “a night of fear and fun.”

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