A unique, interactive haunted house experience opens Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Merced College Theater.

Directed by Professor Lauren McCue-Bryx and written by Merced-based Phoenix Creative Collective, The Last Masquerade is a frighteningly fun event that you don’t want to miss.

There are a variety of scares, from vampires and moving statues to bloody ghouls and zombies. In the elaborate maze of the castle, creatures lurk behind every corner. The awe-inspiring scenic and lighting design is by technical director Chad Phillips, who brings years of experience designing haunted attractions to this production.

“We hope that each and every spectator gets a personal scare,” said Phillips.

Merced College students are enthusiastically rehearsing for their performances. As Maxx Smith says, “I’ve never acted in a haunted house before, but I’ve been to several, and the best part is always the interaction. You aren’t just watching someone else’s story on a stage, you’re a part of the story. And it’s thrilling, whether you’re an actor or a guest.” 

Director Lauren McCue-Bryx notes, “It is a joy to watch students embrace the immersive style of this production and collaborate as an ensemble to bring this haunted attraction to life!”

The show runs Oct. 20-23 and Oct. 27-30, and will be open 6-10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 6-9 p.m. on Thursdays and Sundays. Tickets are $5, and refreshments will be available for purchase. A deluxe popcorn bar with all the fixings, along with snacks, drinks and hot cocoa will be waiting for patrons who have escaped the castle.

The Last Masquerade is not for the faint of heart, but do not fear — bracelets will be available for patrons looking for a milder scare. Anyone attending the event will need to sign a simple waiver before entering. Waivers can be completed online when purchasing tickets for the event, or they can be completed at the door.

“I’ve never seen another show like The Last Masquerade,” student Allister Roehrenbaeck said. “As a huge horror fan, this haunt is amazing, and for just five bucks it’s an awesome experience. The team put so much work into this show, and it will be something you never forget.”

For information, contact 209-384-6073 or visit mccd.tix.com.

Merced College does not discriminate, and prohibits harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, age, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, or sexual orientation.

Media Contact: James Leonard, james.leonard2@mccd.edu, 209-681-1061