Scream into History — The Crazy Train will have you trembling
The wastewater treatment plant in New Freedom used to be a glue factory.
"They took the old horses there to be made into glue — the place has some bad juju because of that," Cal Weary, CEO of Weary Arts Group, said Monday.
You might think that fact alone is creepy enough, but on the Scream into History — The Crazy Train later this month, for which WAG is teaming up with Steam into History, the plant's story will veer into even more unsettling territory.
Guests will ride a replica of an 1860s diesel engine from Steam into History's headquarters at 2 W. Main St., New Freedom, to Taylor Hill and back. During the 40-minute ride, actors with WAG and some members of the community will act out a series of stories built around a narrative that the wastewater treatment plant has been partially converted into a mental health facility — an insane asylum, Weary said.
But perhaps everything isn't all well and good at the asylum.
"Maybe everything's on the up and up, and it is just a mental health facility," Weary said, sounding doubtful. "I'll just put it this way: The ride there will be different from the ride back."
Side plots along the way will include true, embellished and invented tales such as that of "a wanderer who killed some ladies of the night," Weary said.
There will be scenes acted out along the route and even inside the train, he said, and participants are encouraged to get into the spooky spirit by dressing up.
Community participation: Local businesses such as the Jackson House bed and breakfast have volunteered their space for staging purposes on the ride, and residents along the way also will get in on the fun, said Victoria Ribeiro, who provides marketing services for Steam into History.
Weary is excited to involve local residents in the performances. It's good to bring people together and connect with residents on something that's "culturally connected to them," he said.
In New Freedom and Glen Rock, "they love their occult stories," Weary said.
Scream into History is a work in progress, he said. Some of the tales to be acted out have been in the community for decades. "Some stories, we don't know about yet."
Weary welcomes more local lore — mysteries, missing people, "the little things that happen," he said.
Truly terrifying: "Look, all 40 minutes aren't terror," Weary said. "There are at least five or 10 minutes where everything's cool."
That being said, the ride is genuinely scary and is not appropriate for kids under age 10, he said. "There's nowhere to go — you are with us for the whole ride."
The crazy trains will leave the station at 7, 8 and 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23; Saturday, Oct. 24; Friday, Oct. 30; and Saturday, Oct. 31.
Tickets are $17 and can be ordered at www.dynamicticketsolutions.com/sih/. Those interested are advised to order tickets sooner rather than later, as the rides are expected to sell out.