Volunteer actress helps make Fear Fair successful

A nearby haunted house has provided patrons with thrills and chills for 17 years because of the help and passion of volunteers.

One of them is 15-year-old Jennings County High School student Madison Swindall, who has been acting at Fear Fair in Seymour for two years. She listed several reasons why she volunteers to perform.

“It’s the thought of making people laugh and/or get scared. They love it! I love seeing people go through and interacting with them,” Swindall said.

“And the cast treat each other like family. It’s a wonderful and supportive group to be with. I couldn’t picture myself doing anything else,” she added.

All Fear Fair actors are volunteers. They are diverse, and also passionate about their acting, and find great joy in being able to do it.

“I love to create, and this is a platform for that,” said Brett Hays, who has been operating Fear Fair all 17 years.

It’s notable that part of ticket sales go toward improving the haunt and the other part goes toward charity.

Hays constantly builds and creates all year-round. By hosting seasonal events, Hays can do more with Fear Fair and create events that people seem to enjoy.

Fear Fair hosted its first Christmas-themed event Dec. 8 and 9. The event featured many twisted Christmas characters, including elves, Jack Frost and most notably Santa’s demonic helper Krampus. Fear Fair featured garland, bows and presents, and new characters were created to fit the theme. It even had an actor dressed as Oogie Boogie from the movie “The Nightmare Before Christmas” with whom attendees could have their picture taken.

This was just one of several planned seasonal events.

In February, Hays plans on hosting the second annual “Valentine X,” where actors are given a different storyline to follow than that of a standard season.

In addition, Fear Fair will also open on both Friday the 13th dates that occur in April and July. One will be for “Zombie Apocalypse Live,” an interactive zombie shooting experience, while the other will be a “Blackout” event where all of the lights in the haunt are shut off.

Seasonal events have another benefit.

“It’s great for actor retention. Getting the cast together every few months keeps the group cohesive and keeps the rust off,” Hays said.

For more information

For more information about Fear Fair events, go to its Facebook page or its website, fearfair.com.

Ashley Browning is a senior at Jennings County High School