RAWLINS — Wyoming Frontier Prison Haunted Prison visitors will get a bit of understanding what is it like to escape from prison with real escape stories during tours.
Historic Site Director Tina Hill said Thursday this year’s haunted prison tour theme will involve “Escaping the demons within.” The volunteers will run tours every half hour Friday and Saturday night from 7 p.m.- midnight.
Volunteer Marcus Martinez said the staff will also use the entire cafeteria as well as break in a new room, in addition to its usual rooms, to pull out all the stops this year.
“There are a lot of new surprises for those people out there,” Martinez said. “I hope they are ready.”
The volunteer staff started meeting Sept. 28 and has met every Friday, preparing last week decorations and plans. They also met Monday and Tuesday this week.
Leading up to the tour days, volunteer Nic Portz said they plan to have a run through and make final adjustments. They plan to check all the smoke machines and designs to make sure all is in place.
The group will meet about 1 p.m. the day of each tour to clean a bit and dress their parts.
“Unfortunately it’s a small town and everybody knows each other,” Martinez said. “People kind of try to recognize who is working in it — everybody’s like, ‘Oh, I know that person.’ It kind of ruins the experience, so we try to stick it out there and make everyone look completely different.”
The volunteers wear paint and plastic molds to hide their identities.
While trying to scare people, Portz suggested people visit for the fun of it rather than the scare.
“This thing is supposed be more fun,” Portz said. “Tina always says its supposed to be more fun than scary. People that come prepared to have fun, have fun. You have people that come prepared to get scared, and sometimes they get scared and sometimes they don’t.”
The staff normally goes in 1 p.m.-6 p.m. and sometimes goes until 9 p.m. or even 11 p.m. to finish everything.
Residents interested should call in advance to reserve tour spots. Each spot is $14 and are only open to those 13 and up. All midnight and Halloween tours are $15.
Prior to the haunted houses, residents are invited to attend the Old Prison Masquerade Ball.
The Masquerade ball will occur 7 p.m.-10 p.m.Thursday in Cell A Block of the Old Prison.
The ball will involve music, food and a bar by donation. In addition, the prison staff will host a costume contest.
Tickets are $30 and are available to residents 21 or older.
The Wyoming Frontier Prison will reopen Nov. 13 for tours.