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Brooke spookhouse closed this season

'Rocky Horror' also coming to Brooke Hills

October 15, 2012
By WARREN SCOTT - Staff writer ( , Weirton Daily Times

WELLSBURG -The doors of the Brooke Hills Park spookhouse have been locked tight - not to keep any ghosts and ghouls from getting out but so crews can make some repairs to the structure.

Janice McFadden, the park's manager, said while crews of volunteers have rebuilt sections of the 185-year-old house many times over the years, putting in and taking out walls to create various horiffic scenes, the house's electrical wiring and overall structural condition require professional attention.

"It was a long, thought-out decision by the park board," said McFadden, but the board ultimately decided not to re-open the spookhouse this year.

McFadden said once repairs are made, "Hopefully it will last another 25 years."

The spookhouse, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, was originally a farmhouse belonging to the W.C. Gist family, who donated their farm to Brooke County for use as a park more than 40 years ago.

McFadden said while the spookhouse will be closed this year, the Trick or Treat Trail, geared at younger visitors, will return Saturday while Brooke Hills Playhouse will be staging its production of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" Oct. 19, 20, 26 and 27.

She said the Trick or Treat Trail will be open from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is $5 for the event, which includes a hot dog and drink provided to each child and assorted treats supplied by various businesses and groups who man stations along the trail.

Participants will be entertained by storytellers from Brooke High School and treated to a hayride at the trail's end.

The children are encouraged to wear their costumes, and prizes will be awarded.

McFadden said it's not too late for businesses and groups to get involved. They should call (304) 737-1236 for information.

For older visitors seeking Halloween thrills, the folks behind Brooke Hills Playhouse are hoping their production of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" will quench their appetite. The show will be staged at 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Oct. 26 and 27, with special midnight presentations on Saturday and Oct. 27.

For reservations, call (304) 670-1093.

Admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and students and $11 for children under 12.

Because of the show's language and adult nature, no one under 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.

Because some adults have expressed interest in bringing their children, the playhouse has set admission rates for them.

A cult favorite, the rock musical inspired an even more popular film adaptation, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," in 1975. It was written by Richard O'Brien, who was influenced by his love of low-budget horror and science-fiction movies, rock and roll and musical theater.

"The Rocky Horror Show" tells the story of a newly engaged couple, Brad Majors and Janet Weiss, who seek refuge from a storm in the home of Dr. Frank N. Furter, a cross-dressing mad scientist who is about to unveil his new creation, a muscle man named Rocky Horror.

Julia Barnhart, the playhouse's director, said water guns and other props will be supplied for the audience participation portion of the show.

Director Peter Fernbaugh of Weirton is heading the production's large cast, which includes Dave Zanieski of Weirton as Frank N. Furter, Andrew Ferguson of Brilliant as Brad and Bethany Snyder as Janet.

Among the many working behind the scenes are assistant director Terri Perry, co-musical director and accompanist Lakin Weaver, set designer Shawn Holmes, make-up designer Alina Lynn Cross, costume supervisor Marci Zangrando and lighting and sound technician J.D. Lanzy.

(Scott can be contacted at

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