Find a ‘boo’ behind bars at Madhaunter’s Madhouse

Oct. 6 through Halloween, Workhouse Arts Center transforms its former prison-turned-art destination into a spooky spot.

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Photo courtesy of Madhunter’s Madhouse

With countless choices for Halloween torment this October, you may want to opt for a place with a history of punishment.

madhunters
Photo courtesy of Madhunter’s Madhouse

On weekend evenings from Oct. 6 through Halloween, find fright at Madhaunter’s Madhouse, a terror-filled tour on the campus of Workhouse Arts Center, the former prison-turned-art destination in Lorton. For roughly 35 minutes, tourgoers 16 and up (younger attendees must be accompanied) will trek through the grounds, encountering several fearsome visitors along the way.

The event made its Workhouse debut last year, but several elements are new for 2017, including a stop at a haunted church in the nearby woods. (For couples looking for a wedding venue that’s well beyond the beaten path, production partner Jeff Keiling notes that the church is open for weddings and vow renewals through the month.) Long lines are a haunted tour’s greatest nemesis, but Keiling hopes to combat that this year with a slew of in-line entertainment options, including a “mobile escape room”—where your place is held by a zombie or other freaky figure—or a trip down a vortex tunnel.

madhunters
Photo courtesy of Madhunter’s Madhouse

Scare-seekers and the general public both stand to benefit from the Workhouse fear fest. On “Bloody Friday,” through a partnership with Inova, discounted tickets are offered to those who donate some of their vampire fluid at an on-site blood mobile. And throughout the month, ticket proceeds will support the Flight 93 National Memorial and Workhouse.

“One of the reasons it made sense to us is that so much of what we do is heavily arts-focused; we’ve got the gallery, the artists, lectures, things of that nature. But those things typically appeal to a specific audience,” says Frank Pappas, marketing director at the Workhouse Arts Center. “Madhaunter’s is another way that we reach out into the community and say, ‘Hey, come on over to the Workhouse—in this case because you’re going to get the pants scared off of you.’”

(October 2017)

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