Poe-themed haunted house includes stories

    Halloween is still almost a month off, but haunted houses already are beginning to open in the region. One of them pays tribute to the acknowledged master of horror: Edgar Allen Poe.

    Halloween is still almost a month off, but haunted houses already are beginning to open in the region. One of them pays tribute to the acknowledged master of horror: Edgar Allen Poe.

    On the 200th anniversary of Poe’s birth, a Philadelphia theater company has put together a haunt with literary trappings.
    Photo Credit: Photo from www.canarypromo.com, photo by Gabriel Bienczycki

    Listen:
    [audio: 091005pchauntedpoe.mp3]

    Theater director Michael Alltop explains why his Haunted Poe production is not really a haunted house.

    Alltop: No zombies, no werewolves, and chainsaws.

    But it does have 1000 live cockroaches, four dead waifs in a graveyard, and Death in a red mask. A warehouse space in South Philly has been partitioned into a warren of dark rooms where audiences interact with 32 actors playing out Poe’s stories. The audience literally walks into the ballroom of the Mask of the Red Death.

    Alltop: What we do is the audience is actually pulled into the scene by the revelers. Then the plot kicks in – the actors go from partiers to victims of red death. What we’re doing with Haunted Poe is allowing them to have this close-up experience with Poe’s work.

    Alltop says the haunt relies more on storytelling than sudden screams… sort of.

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