Monster Chiller Horror Theatre
With all the foofarah about the opening of The B.C. Experience on Monday, few Victorians have noticed that a very different kind of tourist attraction has crept into town.
Nightmares is the demented brainchild of Randall Carnell (that's him at right, wearing zombie contact lenses), a local firefighter with a taste for the macabre. In 2003 and 2004 he created a popular Hallowe’en spook house near Sidney, and had so much fun terrifying kids that he’s become a professional “haunter,” and turned a cafeteria below Trounce Alley into a year-round chamber of horrors, using frighteningly realistic effects he bought from Hollywood catalogues. “You can produce just about any kind of smell nowadays,” Carnell explained. “Burning flesh, congealed blood, you name it.”
Once admitted, you’ll be able to participate in a seance, witness an execution in an electric chair, and tour Victoria’s spooky (if mythical) underground. Only the electric chair was working the day I was there. “You’ll come out laughing,” Carnell told one worried girl at the entrance. “If you don’t, we sell new undies in the gift shop.”
This past weekend Nightmares was busy with a visit by Kane Hodder, who played the goalie-masked killer Jason Voorhees in the Friday The 13th movies, parts VII through X. After a bunch of goth kids got their well-worn Jason DVDs autographed by the beefy Mr. Hodder – who enjoyed the role so much that he had “KILL” tattooed inside his lower lip – I asked him, Why is Jason so popular? “A lot of teenagers, there are some people they really hate,” he said. “They want to do the same things that Jason does.” Talk about scary.