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Creatures of the Night returns to the event center for an October of scary storytelling and fun

Sights and sounds of the season will permeate the Clackamas County fairgrounds throughout October.

Creatures of the Night returns to amp up the Halloween vibe in and around Canby this season, beginning Oct. 7. Once again, David Jones and his group will create "A terrifying haunted experience daring you to survive all the ghouls, ghosts and shambling horrors of Halloween and trick or treating through the ages."

Putting the show together has been an ongoing process for a couple months now as Creatures of the Night has been working up schematics on what they'll present and having auditions for cast members for this year's performances.

Jones said preparations have gone well.

"It's going amazing," he said, "which is actually, ridiculously impressive. It's surprising us how this year is going to be leaps and bounds above what we did last year."

COURTESY PHOTO: CREATURES OF THE NIGHT - Creatures of the Night returns to the Clackamas County Event Center with a new story, new characters and a desire to provide a unique haunt experience in October.

Jones and his group put together an original story for the haunt every year. They treat it like a three-act story.

"This year's story is 'Knock, Knock' with a narrative and central characters," Jones said. "We don't do just a bunch of sounds."

Creatures of the Night members have been busy building and holding auditions for specific parts for this year's haunt. Jones said they got a big response from the Canby area, and he's excited to see them work this year's event.

"They are absolutely amazing as actors, puppeteers and in helping building things," Jones said. "We don't just give someone a mask; we develop a character and a backstory for that character. They have a reason to be there, and they have a job as part of the whole story."

Work on a new haunt begins in January and takes time to develop and, Jones added, requires studying trends they see working in the new year.

"We try to prognosticate people's thoughts and where their brains are at going into the fall," Jones said. "It was very clear and evident that, for whatever reason, it was going to be about nostalgia this year.

"People are interpreting that in different ways," he added. "Some are looking at the '80s or the '90s for their themes, but we are doing a Halloween through the ages. From back to the very early times to medieval times to the 1950s, 1980s and into a modern-day home haunt and trick or treating. When people come out and they are asking questions about what they saw and heard, that's a good haunt."

COURTESY PHOTO: CREATURES OF THE NIGHT - You never know who will show up at the Clackamas County Event Center in Canby during October's haunt nights.

Work has been going on at the fairgrounds for just over three weeks and the build is progressing nicely. Jones said that it normally takes about three months to create a haunt, but his crew will do it in about a month-and-a-half.

This year's haunt will be from 7 to 10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday, beginning Oct. 7. Additionally, the event is customizable as a Jr. Haunt for youngsters will run from 7 to 8 p.m. every Saturday, and the adult experience offers a customizable option. Using "creature candles," patrons can raise or lower the level of fright they are provided.

Jones said that as attendance increases week to week, more dates may be added. Right now, the final weekend will be Oct. 28-29.

"If we are going to add days, check the website," Jones said. "Haunt attendance tends to grow exponentially as the weeks go on."

To buy tickets, go to canbyhaunt.com. For daily updates on the haunt, check the Facebook page at creatureshaunt.

Who will visitors meet?

• Mari Lwyd: The Grey Lady, she calls from the back of the cave and the fog-laden Celtic moors in revelry and longing. Beware of bargains made with those of the Fae, twinkling and bright in the eye, they can be sharp and cutting to the touch.

• Maya Spinneret: Jilted Bride, Murderous Lover or far older than Eve, Uttu, Ixchel or The Fates? Story spinner, she weaves webs of tales darker and kinder through fables across eons. She awaits you in her Castle Dark, braiding webs of tales and betrayal, just for your heart.

• The Greeter: The Imposing Greeter welcomes and warns you of the dangers going forward onto the haunt. Heed their words, mark their warnings. Smile when kindness is shown. Those who stray are beyond doomed, but banished!

• Trick: Embodiment or cursed by Halloween itself, a kind, dancing scalliwag terrifies and delights those entering this most deadly of haunts. But he may hold sweet prizes for those in costumes most clever. Perhaps if you are lucky, some nights you might even meet his most beloved child, Treat.


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