One of Fredericton's top horror attractions was back in town from Oct. 16th to 19th. A Nightmare on Smythe Street is an event presented by Ambulance New Brunswick, benefitting the CHIMO Helpline. The entrance was $10 for ages 13 and up and $5 for ages 12 and under. A percentage of their gate earnings goes to the Capital Exhibit Center for hosting them and their expenses—the rest goes to CHIMO. All donations collected go entirely to CHIMO.
CHIMO is a provincial crisis phone line accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Their purpose is to provide competent service and intervene deliberately on any mental health crisis.
A Nightmare on Smythe Street has been running for seven years, leaving people talking non-stop about their haunt night experience. The doors opened at 7:00 p.m., and people started arriving earlier to get a spot in line. There was an average wait of an hour and a half to two hours.
While people waited in line, there was a video explaining the do's and don't’s of the haunt. The video had three heads of animated corpses comically talking about the rules. The footage was repeatedly played after short Halloween episodes of the Simpsons, Saturday Night Live and music video clips from Michael Jackson's Thriller video or Beetlejuice.
Besides the entertaining videos on screen, there was one spooky character that walked between the people waiting in line. People took pictures with him and had a good laugh as he remained in role. 105.3 The Fox was also handing out candy just before the entrance.
The staff did a great job of keeping you in suspense before going in. You could feel people feeling extra excited a couple of minutes before, perhaps even an adrenaline rush. Once inside, it was dark and foggy and you began your journey through a weird tunnel with air shooting from the sides.
People followed a somewhat narrow path decorated with creepy dolls, fake heads and flashing lights. It would take groups approximately twelve minutes to finish the horror haunt.
As you walked through the haunted path, you had sudden encounters with creepy clowns, possessed women, as well as a Nun character. Men with chainsaws would come out of the blue with a loud sound and keep you from walking past them for a couple of seconds.
All the participating people in disguise did a fantastic job; they certainly made you jump when you encountered them. People were thrilled with the experience as they left, and besides having a good time, you were also supporting a good cause.
A Nightmare on Smythe Street is over for this year, but they will be back with bigger plans for next year.