Pickerington Times-Sun

ScareAtorium opens Sept. 27

Haunted attraction returns home to Northland

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Neena Collins describes some of the attractions during a tour of the ScareAtorium haunted house Sept. 12, in the former PharMor store in the Northland Plaza Shopping Center in Columbus. ScareAtorium will open Sept. 27.

It's ba-ack!

ScareAtorium, the haunted attraction owned by the husband-and-wife team who used to put on Terror Park at the old Cooper Stadium, has returned to a home in Northland after being in the Dublin area last year.

This time around, vowed ScareAtorium manager Neena Collins, the attraction has found a long-term home: She and husband Kelly Collins have signed a four-year lease for the former PharMor store in the Northland Plaza Shopping Center, at the southeast corner of the intersection of East Dublin-Granville Road and Cleveland Avenue.

"I'm very excited," Neena Collins said last week.

ScareAtorium first opened in the Northland area in 2009 after Kelly and Neena Collins found that Huntington Park in the Arena District, the new home of the Columbus Clippers, didn't lend itself to being turned into a haunted attraction the way Cooper Stadium had for the previous decade.

"We lost a lot of momentum," she said. "We didn't really have access to all the people who came to Terror Park."

Using the top haunted-house attraction from Wisconsin, which the Lewis Center couple had purchased, the first ScareAtorium was in a long-closed Big Bear store at Karl and East Dublin-Granville roads.

"We thought we were safe," Collins said.

But after two Halloween seasons, Roses, part of a chain of discount stores, snapped up the location.

A new home for ScareAtorium was found in the Dublin Village Shopping Plaza in a former Michael's, but new long-range development plans arose for that venue.

"So we had to move out of there," Collins said. "It's is really challenging to find the appropriate venue for a haunted house."

The new location is 40,000 square feet, about 10,000 square feet larger than the most recent one, she said.

"Every time we've moved, we've made some improvements in our facilities," Collins said.

ScareAtorium 2013 will actually feature two attractions -- the Northland Asylum and 3-D Rip's Revenge.

Together, according to the attraction's website, they make up the "ultimate fear experience in one of Ohio's best and largest haunted attractions ..."

"It is an adult-oriented, extremely scary entertainment venue orchestrated by teams of talented industry professionals, including makeup artists, set designers and theatrical coaches," Collins wrote in an email.

"A combination of special effects techniques are used to thrill guests, ranging from the highly detailed themed sets, to the latest props to acting techniques with elaborately detailed characters. It is a self-guided tour."

ScareAtorium, subtitled "The Dark Side of Insanity," opens Sept. 27 and will run from 7 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays through Nov. 2. It will also be open on three Sundays, three Thursdays and one Wednesday toward the end of October, Collins said.

Two of the Sundays, Oct. 20 and 27, will feature "lights-on tours" from 4:30 to 7 p.m. that are open to children younger than 13, although they must be accompanied by an adult.

Admission is $20 in person, or $18 for those purchasing tickets online.

More details and other ticket options are available at scareatorium.com.