Some people measure the success of an event by the profits made, or the number of tickets sold. But at the Kenduskeag Haunted House, held at the Cole Memorial Ball Field the weekend before or weekend of Halloween each year for the past 36 years, organizers have a slightly different metric by which they judge how well it all went, and how scary it really was.
“If one person pees their pants, that’s pretty good. If two pee their pants, then we know we did great,” said Wendy Cousins, a Kenduskeag resident and one of six community members who plan the haunted house each year. “If we get more than five in a night, that’s amazing.”
The Kenduskeag Haunted House isn’t the biggest Halloween event in the state. But few can match the enthusiasm with which residents of the Penobscot County town attempt to scare the living daylights out of haunted house attendees.
Each year more than 40 people come out to build the haunted house over the course of several weekends, both inside and outside the baseball clubhouse. Many of those volunteers then staff it for the weekend it runs — whether it’s taking tickets or playing various roles, like a psychotic doctor in a nightmarish emergency room, or a demon crawling out of a well.
“Scaring people is the best thing, but setting everything up is really fun, too, because we all get to scare each other before we scare everybody else,” said Justice Thompson-Gilley, a freshman at Central High School, who this year will portray a creepy little girl in a room full of creepy dolls.
Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.
More by Emily Burnham