Nightmare Chamber Haunted House Back From The Dead – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News

Robin Downward prepares for the reopening of the Randall Theater Company’s haunted house in downtown Medford. [Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune]

“Our lair is incredibly actor-driven. We do a lot of acting classes and things that really make a big difference to an average haunted house,” said Robin Downward, creator of the Nightmare Chamber Haunted House in downtown Medford. [Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune]

The Nightmare Chamber was given a facelift last year through a partnership with theater students from South Medford, Robin Downward, pictured says. [Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune]

After a disturbing near miss with a final curtain call last year, the Nightmare Chamber Haunted House is back, overcoming dwindling volunteer numbers and even a split from its parent organization, Randall Theater, in 2020.

“Back from the dead!” declared a victorious Robin Downward, who founded Randall in 2009.

Downward said he almost came to terms with the annual charity haunt’s unwelcome demise, but a partnership formed last year with drama students from South Medford High School has breathed new life into the production.

“Last year we planned for it to be the last, after 13 years. Like many other places, we had trouble finding reliable people,” Downward said. It’s something I only want to do if we can do it well.

“Our lair is incredibly actor-driven. We do a lot of acting classes and things that really make a big difference compared to going to an average haunted house. Every year we have people in transition who do this for a few years and move on. It just seemed like there was a big hole in terms of finding those people to fill in the gaps. Really near the last minute last year, I met the drama teacher at South Medford High, and it was a great match.

Downward said the partnership is a win for the haunt and for the students.

“It gives the students a chance to work with a different director and work on character creation and stuff like that – and they get commercial benefits for being part of our haunted house,” he added. .

“The kids really, really saved our bacon. Not only are they young and energetic, but they act like kids, and that’s what they really love to do.

Downward said the show’s continuation under his production company, Eventwerks, isn’t the only fun surprise this year.

The hideout will be one of two in the same location at Third and Front Streets. New this year, Nightmare Chamber joins forces with Nightmares on the Rogue Haunted Mines. The two free-standing haunted houses will provide a “unique haunting” along the train tracks in downtown Medford – billed as “Frights on Front”.

Customers will be able to purchase a VIP Season Pass for unlimited access to both lairs – a vampire-inspired lair for the Nightmare Chamber and a haunted mine for its new neighbor – throughout the upcoming season.

Downward said he was delighted that the haunting would continue for years to come with the new recruits breathing new life into it – and perhaps a little well-practiced and solidly executed “death”.

“As soon as we got the kids on board, it was just great. 2021 turned out to be our best year since we opened in 2009,” he said.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the students again. They really helped make our haunted house memorable.

Downward said he would pass on his philosophy of doing something well, or not at all, to haunting students. To really become your character, he noted, is key.

“I always share a story in my beginner acting classes. About 25 years ago, maybe 30 years ago, I was walking through a haunted house, and there was a young man in a clown costume doing tiny figure eights on a tiny tricycle in a small room, chuckling to himself,” Downward said.

“He accidentally hit me on the ankle, then he broke character and he said, in a steady voice, ‘Oops, sorry, man.’ And my experience of this whole haunted house was tainted by that exchange.There were so many ways – while still being in character – that he could have handled this situation.

Downward added, “So now I tell all my actors, ‘Don’t be the clown unless you’re the clown! “”

This season’s hauntings, sponsored by Magic Man Medford and Grants Pass locations, begin this weekend, 7-10 p.m. each night, and continue October 14-16, October 21-23, and October 27-27. October 31. The lair (not recommended for ages 10 and under) is located at 10 E. Third St.

Tickets — available online or at any Magic Man store — are $15 and $18 for regular admission. Tickets purchased at Magic Man come with a 20% discount on all Halloween items purchased in store.

For more information, call 541-622-3979 or visit nightmarechamber.com.

Contact journalist Buffy Pollock at 541-776-8784 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @orwritergal.

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