Haunted Sampson a healthy scare

Staff reports
The Chronicle Express

PENN YAN — The past seven months have proved to be a very trying time for many people. Events have been canceled and lives uprooted by the on-going Coronavirus pandemic. However, the volunteers and board of the Penn Yan Theatre Company have found a way to provide the people of Yates County with just a bit of normalcy—The Haunted Sampson.

The Haunted Sampson runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, and 31.

A committed group of volunteers, led by the directorial team of Dusty Baker, Ray Crosby-Willis, and Simon Gaston, have been working tirelessly over the past month and a half to create their biggest, greatest, and most technologically advanced attraction.  

For the sixth time in eight years, the Sampson Theatre will “come to life” during the Halloween season. Most of the haunt experience will feel familiar, but enhanced safety protocols and features have been added to meet current guidelines. New this year will be a socially distanced “queue area” for patrons waiting to enter the haunt. The first attraction once in will be the “briefing room” where visitors will be notified of the rules by way of video instead of a physical person talking to them face-to-face.  The achievement the group is most proud of is that the entire haunt has been mechanized and automated to limit opportunities for exposure of patrons and volunteers.

Due to the nature of operating during a global pandemic, the group has chosen to forgo the usual “children’s area” and concessions this year.  Patrons will be required to wear a mask the entire time they are in the building and adhere to all social distancing guidelines.

The Haunted Sampson will run from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, and 31. Tickets are $6 for youth 12 and under, and $8 for folks 13 and older.  As always, tickets can be purchased on-site, but pre-sale tickets are encouraged and can be purchased by visiting www.pytco.org/shows. No need to print your ticket, just have your email ready on your phone. Visit PYTCo.’s Facebook page to see some behind the scenes looks at the Sampson Theatre and preparation of the 2020 Haunted Sampson.