The war between vampires and werewolves is almost as ancient as the human race itself. It has been portrayed on television as well as the silver screen, and can be experienced first hand as the main theme of the ninth edition of X-Scream Halloween at the G-Star School of the Arts in Palm Springs, FL.
This year, more than 130 students produced, constructed, and perform in the spirited event, all under the supervision of George Colavecchio. Many of the students involved in X-Scream are 14 or 15 years of age, and during each of the past nine years, George’s involvement has become less and less hands on.
George is quick to point out that he is only there to provide some artistic direction and assistance, but everything including makeup, set design, construction, and even concession is done by his young crew. They have done so well that their program has received national attention from the Travel Channel, which named them one of the top haunted attractions in the country a few years ago.
Now, the charter high school is preparing to start the first show makeup elective in the country, and is also hard at work putting together a curriculum for special effects and lighting design. None of this would be possible if it weren’t for the success of X-Scream Halloween, and the drive and passion of the students involved in the program.
If you amongst the lucky ones to arrive before the haunted soundstage opens, be sure to catch the preshow outside the main building. There, you will be able to see all of the actors as they rush into the assembled crowd, and pose for a unique photo opportunity.
For 2014, the attraction is centered inside the state-of-the-art soundstage, where you can get a glimpse into the daily lives of vampires and lycan alike. While in line, you are shown a brief news account demonstrating some of the history of the centuries long conflict, and then split into small groups to travel through the haunt.
The maze utilizes state of the art animatronics as well as traditional scare tactics to keep you on your toes. The student actors are incredibly motivated, and all seem to hit their marks.
There are two stage shows that showcase some of the talented individuals who attend the G-Star School of the Arts, as well as a rendition of Thriller by the cadavers dance team that would make professional dancers do a double take. The shows are even more impressive when you consider the fact that the school currently has neither music nor dance classes!
In addition to the vampire and werewolf themed haunts, this year’s event features an all new haunted amusement park, compete with “Ghoulie Golf,” bounce houses, thrill rides, and concessions of all kinds. It also includes a special behind the scenes theatrical presentation that is included with your paid admission.
The scariness continues on October 24, 25, 31 and Nov. 1. Gates open at 6:30 p.m., with the last ticket being sold at 11 p.m. Tickets are available at the box office on site, as well as online.
Remember that Halloween is a time for fun and frivolity. It is a time to come out of your shell, and to acknowledge the mischievous spirit that resides within all of us. Be sure to keep following this column for news on other spooky events and more. If you know of another local event that needs additional undead light shone upon it, please tell me about it!