Werewolves on the run!

Hoards of scary beasties are descending on the small city of Burlington. Zombies walk UVM’s halls, and there is definitely something under your bed – at least, that’s what you’ll imagine after this terrifying trip.Nightmare Vermont, an interactive haunted house that features an entire hour of bloodcurdling monsters and special effects, unleashed its horror this past Friday for anyone who dared to enter.Jana Beagley and Wendy Farrell, the coordinators of the event, have kept busy setting up for the show’s four spook-tacular performances.”I guess I’m the producer, and Jana’s like the director,” Farrell said.For Beagley, designing spooky productions started at an early age. “I started doing haunted events when I was 13, and I totally found my calling,” she said. “I love the spirit of Halloween.”In their 2005 haunted house, which crawled with vampires and werewolves hiding in the shadows, 40 people could not even make it through all of the scenes of the performance, Beagley said. “One person faint[ed].””Thankfully it was in a hospital setting, so we had a wheelchair handy,” she said, laughing.There was plenty of high-quality theater in Burlington, but the selection of high-quality haunted events was minimal, Beagley said. Nightmare Vermont was inspired by that “disconnect.”Beagley saw a problem. “None of the haunted events that I knew of used rehearsed actors [or] an integrated story line,” she said. “None of them did stage combat [either] and almost all of them were geared for little kids.””I was getting older, and I was just like, am I going to get disenfranchised out of Halloween?” she said.To make sure her performances could continue each year, Beagley teamed up with Farrell, who came up with the idea to pair Nightmare Vermont with the South Burlington Rotary.”I realized what was missing was a parent organization … that having this incredible group of young artists also trying to run an organization was killing them,” Farrell said.”This project morphed from being just a really cool Halloween project to a community project,” she said.Beagley believes the production aids the community by providing a constructive Halloween pasttime.”This provides a thrill so that you can pass on a lot of other stuff that might give you a hangover the next day,” Farrell said.People have come all of the way from Canada just to partake in the amazing show, Beagley said. “You will not find any eyeballs in Jell-O in our haunted house.”The proceeds from Nightmare Vermont have two destinations. “They’re either going to be used as seed money for next year or going towards South Burlington Rotary charities, which are committed to literacy,” Farrell said.Farrell and Beagley are also determined to make sure the performance is available to everyone.”We’re committed to keeping it on the bus route so it’s accessible. Too often these things happen in suburban areas, so they’re for entitled kids that have cars,” Farrell said.Students think it’s a great idea as well.”I’m definitely going,”  freshman Lauren Brogden said. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard of such a wicked Halloween event.”For those who missed the show’s spine-tingling debut, the final two performances take place Oct. 30 and 31. The terror begins at 78 Eastwood Dr. in South Burlington at 7 p.m. and ends with special late night performances from 9 p.m. to midnight on Halloween.