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Welcome Bisbee Drama Club!

This is our second year hosting this annual Community Event here at the Mile High Ranch and we’re very excited that you can join us, taking the haunted tour from “okay” to “amazing!” With your help the entire journey up the hill to the haunted miner’s cabin will be frightening as they get hit with scares repeatedly until their return to safety at the ranch below.

 

We have time between now and Halloween to prepare props, costumes, plan out the makeup, refine the script, and anything else you want to do, and I want your creative talents to be included in accomplishing these tasks. As in previous years in Oregon for Scream at the Beach, I anticipate that this will be a great learning experience and a lot of fun. In fact, having fun while learning is what this is all about (that, and the potential for donations to fund school projects). I’ll show you methods for prop building, costume making, and demonstrations for applying monster makeup (I have all of the supplies here). We’ll also learn acting methods for creating our own monster characters in rehearsals at the school. Are you ready to SCREAM?!

 

For now, please read through the attached materials to acquaint yourselves with the plan for this season and then start brainstorming ideas. Think about what kind of character you’d like to be — energetic or quiet, highly visible or hidden — you get to choose how and where you will perform so that you will feel comfortable. Consider changes or additions to the script to make it as creepy as possible. Remember, our guests will be looking for a frightening experience, so let’s give them one!

--Henry

Contents

  • Schedule of Events

  • Haunted Tour Guide Script

  • Haunt Character Descriptions (subject to change)

  • Ideas for interacting with Guests when NOT performing in the haunt

  • Promotion Ideas

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Schedule of Events

  • Brainstorming - let’s try to get something close to a final plan within the next two weeks.

  • Prop Project - building tombstones for the cemetery scene - at the Ranch - Date TBD (after school or on a Saturday?)

  • Costume Project - sewing some white banshee costumes - at the Ranch - Date TBD (after school or on a Saturday?)

  • Monster Makeup - demonstration using a variety of techniques - at the Ranch - Date TBD (after school or on a Saturday?)

  • Rehearsals - during club meetings - Dates TBD

  • Setting up the Props, Lighting, Sound, Special Effects - at the Ranch - after school October 24th and 25th

  • Dress Rehearsal - at the Ranch - after school October 26th

  • Show - at the Ranch - Oct 28, 29 & 30 - Costume and makeup 5:30, Haunt opens 7:30 to 8:00/8:30 (depends on how long the queue line is)

  • After Show Party - at the Ranch - Nov 5th, 6:00 pm (celebration dinner)

2022 Haunt Tour Guide Script

1 - “Hello. It’s nice to have visitors.” (Creepy smile) “You’ve all come to see the Scorpion Mine, I suppose. Many, like you, have traveled here to find out if the rumors are true: is the mine haunted? Let’s just hope that you do not disappear...like so many others.”

“Do you all have flashlights—on your phones, perhaps? If you do please get them out. We will be traveling to some pretty dark places and those lights may save you from what lies in the shadows. This way please...”

Enter the garden

2 - “As we enter the garden, please be quiet because the Swamp Monster is sleeping in the fish pond.”

Pause to hear snoring and then cross to stairs and climb to Boo Hill Cemetery.

3 - “We will begin the scorpion hunt here in the Boo Hill Cemetery. Let’s see if we can find any...”

Walk slowly across the terrace level looking for scorpions. When you do not find any scorpions, say:

4 - “That’s strange. Where are all of the scorpions? There were plenty a few days ago. They’ve all disappeared! Where could they have gone?!”

5 - Continue looking, trying to avoid the monsters and pretending to be frustrated that you can’t find any scorpions. Pause momentarily to “notice” the wood shed sounds. “How strange.”

6 - Walk cautiously past the Murderous Miner as he tries to harvest some more bodies from your group.

7 - Climb stairs to second terrace, just below haunted shack, but before approaching the basement door stop and say: “Okay. Now I know where all of the scorpions have gone...and look at the size of that one! Please turn off your lights, I want to try and sneak up on them!”

Cross to viewing area into basement.

“Hello? Is anyone there?” (no response) “Wait. I know how to get their attention...” Clap hands to activate pop up spider.

“I don’t think they like that. We better go before they get angry. Quick, follow me!”

Revised 9/8/22

8 - Take guests carefully down road, pausing for the skeletons and shadow monster, and onward down the hill. Walk slowly so they can take small steps to avoid slipping on the slope.

9 - Lead the group past the white figures, continuing to walk slowly to avoid slipping.

10 - “Thank you! See you next year!” Pass out candy to each guest.

Haunt Character Descriptions

(subject to change, the number in parenthesis is how many characters are needed)

  1. Gate Keeper (1) - Dressed in black (I have a costume), this character is both creepy and overly friendly. Think of the witch in Hansel and Gretel: her toothy smile and “warm” invitations hides her true motives. You welcome your victims…I mean guests, and give them helpful tips on surviving a tour to the haunted miner’s cabin. You are a little TOO nice, and that creeps the guests out, giving them a reason NOT to trust you.

  2. Tour Guides (3) - (Note: these roles were filled with women from the community, and at least one or two have agreed to come back. I plan to send an invitation out inviting others who may also be interested. But you are welcome to perform as a tour guide if you like.)  Last year: women dressed as witches, all in black. There is a separate script for these guides.

  3. Spider (1) - (optional character) I have a spider puppet that you can use, drawing out across the stone wall next to the staircase that guests will be climbing.

  4. Cemetery Ghoul (1) - This hidden, faceless monster hides in the shadows next to the entrance to the cemetery. It speaks to each group, invites them to “come closer” while whispering warnings, followed by an “attack” as it reaches a moldy black arm out to grab at the group.

  5. Grave Zombies (1+) - You lie in graves with tombstone above, hidden below the fallen leaves, and as guest pass by you rise up reaching for their legs, moaning as if you’re suffering intense pain.

  6. “Headless Joe” Scene (1) - A local legend, Headless Joe lost his head in a mine accident, and now he roams the endless mine passages below Bisbee for eternity. Fortunately, for Joe, his great great grandson Junior is here to save the day. Guests pass by a bloody scene where someone is chopping at body parts on a chopping block with an axe. Headless Joe’s body is slumped on a chair behind. As the group pauses by the fence to watch, he turns towards them, his face in shadow. He steps forward, toward the fence that separates him from the crowd, and in doing so enters a patch of light. “It’s Junior, Headless Joe’s great great grandson!” exclaims the tour guide in fear. Junior smiles an evil grin and speaks: “This is perfect. I need a new head for grandpa, and you’s all look fine to me!” He raises his axe and tries to grab at the crowd across the fence with his free hand. “Come mere!” he yells. The tour guide rushes the group onward, and Junior’s screams of anger fade into the darkness. (Option add on: as the groups return back down he hill they pass nearby the slaughter scene. Junior can use this opportunity -if he is free- to rush at the guests one last time.)

  7. Joe’s Cabin - Site of Scorpion Mine - No characters here, just a mechanical spider that pops up to scare the guests while they are looking into the entrance of a mine in the basement below the cabin. Sinister shadowy figures bang on the window above.

  8. Shadow Monster (1) - Something is growling in the bushes and as the guests pass by the sound, the Shadow Monster makes a loud noise from the opposite side of the path, leaning out from the darkness to lash at them.

  9. Screaming Banshees (2+) - Bisbee’s Screaming Banshees wear shredded white robes that obscure their faces. They stand unmoving in the pathway down the hill, until someone gets close and then they hiss and snarl, twitching and jerking while grasping at the passing guests. After the last guest of the group has passed, they move slowly down the hill, moaning or screeching (protect your voices), as if to follow, but then they quickly return to their positions, ready to scare the next group.

  10. Big Finale - ?  What would you like to do to send them out the exit screaming?


Additional Character Ideas

    • Dancing Zombies - part of the program on the Event Lawn. Choreographed dancing to https://youtu.be/2mKN6PDZTmc, or something like it - you choose!

    • Black robed Death figures that silently follow guests around the ranch, as if waiting for them to drop dead.

    • Lost Child - a lost little girl sitting on the ground and crying as guests on the tour pass by. In a child-like voice, “Have you seen my mommy?!” And then, in a low, forceful, angry, demonic voice, “Have you seen my mommy!!”

    • Dying, tied-up, slashed “Bodies” in Junior scene, begging for help.

    • Crazy Mutants - ragged clothes, dirty faces and hands - they LOVE everyone, “can I have a hug?” They try to dance with guests (especially couples that they separate so they can “dance with their favorite”). They say things like: “You have lovely eyes…may I touch them?” As they reach for their eyes.

Guest Interactions

How to Earn Loyal Guests

Our goal is to engage with every guest, even if it’s just a quick hello. Why? Because by doing so we create a connection that will remain in their memories. By engaging we say “we care about you,” “we see you.”

I’ve been to local amusement parks where the costumed actors walk around providing “atmosphere” but they never engage in conversation with the patrons. They talk amongst themselves, but ignore the guests. Imagine how different the guests would feel if the actors had routines they could use to make the guests a part of the show. Suddenly the park becomes “their park,” that place where they were made to feel special, the place where they wish to return often.

Example One: During one of my Halloween events we had a mining themed attraction filled with mutant “hillbillies.” Two of the women actors made themselves up to look hideous (teeth, moles, hair, ragged clothes) and they went wild over all of the married men who walked by, even going so far as to fight over and dance with them while their onlooking wives laughed hysterically. These kinds of connections are powerful. It turns a one-time visitor into a repeat devotee.

Example Two: As the Swamp Monster I would use this method and each year when excited children and teens would see me, scream “there he is!” and run up to me asking “do you remember me/us from last year?” Of course I always said “yes, of course” and we would go on as if we were best friends at a reunion.

My challenge to you is to find a way to make every visitor to the haunted event feel special. Find a way to make them a part of the show and not just onlookers.

IDEAS

  • Tease them about their shying away from you: “Where do you think you’re going?

    We’re going to be BEST friends!” And then chase them.

  • Compliment them about their costume: “Do you wear that every day?! It’s lovely!”

  • Tease them about their hair: “Your hair is lovely...almost as nice as mine!” (But only if

    your hair is a hideous wig.)

  • Talk about how much the monsters inside will love them

  • Say: “You have lovely eyes. Can I touch them?” (As you slowly reach for their face)

  • Say to the ladies with a big strong man: “Be sure to hold his hand so he doesn’t get

    too scared.”

  • To a frightened child: “Be sure to hold daddy’s or mommy’s hand so he/she doesn’t

    get scared.”

  • Say as you begin the tour: “Did you bring your ropes in case someone falls down a

    deep hole? No? Well in that case, who’s going first? ...To the rest of you, when he/

    she falls down the hole, make sure you go around.”

  • If a child is lost, take their hand and help them search for their missing parent.

Promoting the Event

What do you feel is the best way to promote this event to our community?

  • Posters downtown in store windows?

  • Online communications?

  • Online event listings for Bisbee?

  • The website? (https://www.gardensatmilehighranch.com/halloween-1)

  • What is the best way to spread the word to your fellow students?

  • What about the Boys & Girls Club, or other clubs and organizations?

We Can't Wait to Hear Your Scream!

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Contact

Feel free to share ideas and ask questions using my email.