The Clackamas County Scare Fair is returning this year with an indoor, in-person haunting experience, titled "Harbinger of Souls," and you could be a part of it all.
Creatures of the Night, the group organizing the event, is seeking volunteers for acting, tech, design, makeup and more.
"Weirdly, there isn't a skill set that we can't use at haunt," Creatures of the Night founder David Jones said. "Historian, writer, graphics, artists, tech, programmer, engineer, architect, lawyer. We have a purpose for everyone."
Jones also said that volunteering looks a lot like adults playing with big toys.
"It's stupid fun, and it's addictive," he said.
Creatures of the Night is primarily looking for volunteers in high school and older, but middle school students are welcome along with a parent volunteer.
Those interested should start by visiting the website creatureshaunt.com.volunteer and then attending one of the auditions from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturdays, Sept. 11, 18 or 25, at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds and Event Center, 694 N.E. Fourth Ave. in Canby.
According to Jones, volunteers can expect a flexible schedule and a safe environment. In eight years of running events, Jones said the organization has not had a single injury.
"They will constantly hear us say the most important thing is to be safe and have fun," Jones said. "And those are not things we kid around with. We're very serious. If an actor is not having fun, they're honestly not scary. And if they're not safe, then they're not having fun."
Those who volunteer to act also can expect real coaching.
"Nobody is just handed a mask and told, 'Go over there,'" Jones said.
Instead, Creatures of the Night provides extensive character development. Each character is an integral part of the overall story, which is new each year. Actors will learn who they were before they became a monster, why they're a monster, what they like, what repulses them, and more.
This year's story plays on the Willamette River Valley's long and dark history of strange sightings along the rivers: eldritch-robed figures seen at dusk sulking and gibbering and large monstrous shapes with elongated necks striking like lightning while thick clouds burble in the area near drownings. Nets and fishing lines are breaking or pulling up repulsive things. But hope flickers with sightings of a girl in a long, white dress holding a single candle and guiding the lost to safety.
"What (guests) can expect when they come inside will be social-distanced small groups, and they can expect an amazing, magical, terrifying underwater world they've never seen before," Jones said.
Creatures of the Night is one of the only customizable haunts in the nation, according to Jones. Using a unique process wherein actors adjust to the guests' "creature candle," each guest can set their own level of fear throughout the event to change their experience from terrifying to family-friendly. Jones said the haunt is based on therapeutic milieu, so it is a form of trauma recovery.
Ther also will be an opportunity for guests ages 10 and younger to visit a haunt junior on select nights an hour before the full haunt begins.
The event will run from 7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 1-31, and tickets will be $25 each.
Creatures of the Night is an all-volunteer organization that seeks to provide magical and terrifying stories throughout the greater Portland area. The group partners with local community organizations to raise funds and make entertainment destinations that raise money, support local business and bring communities together.
For more information, visit creatureshaunt.com, clackamascountyfair.com/scare-fair/, facebook.com/CreaturesHaunt, Instagram.com/creatureshaunt, or creatureshaunt.com/volunteer.
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