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Are you ready for The Asylum?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"Every year it gets bigger and bigger - it's basically a monster that's gotten out of control," laughs manager Nick Edwards, from the chilling bowels of King's Pointe resort, where the upscale hotel is in the process of being transformed into gruesome "Spooky Pointe," the area's largest Halloween event.

In past years, the attraction in the lower level of the resort has been known as "Mr. Spooky's Haunted House," an identity that has been retired in favor of the over-the-top development for "Lockdown: The Asylum."

Edwards describes the project with diabolical glee.

"Basically it is a prison that has been overtaken by the inmates, who begin to murder the guards. The story evolves as the guests go deeper into the prison and visit scenes in the kitchen, the cafeteria, the warden's office, the padded insane room, the execution chamber... and then they will be launched into what we call The Other World. This will be like being in a nightmare you can't get out of. We will be putting a twist on some of the most popular rooms we've ever had - the graveyard, the butcher shop, the clown room, the spinning tunnel."

The area is nearly double the size of last year's attraction, and a haunted population of 50-60 staff members and community volunteer actors have been recruited to run the show.

"In a lot of cases we get teenagers from the community who are looking for something fun to do. We actually have something of a Spooky Pointe boot camp where we teach them how to scare people," Edwards said.

All of the Spooky Pointe atrractions are completely built up and torn down each year, so it's a big job to run this chill down Storm Lake's spine.

"We are just about done building, We just have to do some finishing touches and then Wednesday we will have a run-through with the characters in costume to make sure we are ready to open this weekend."

The attraction runs Friday and Saturday nights for the three weeks leading up to Halloween.

But there is much more than the horrifyingly entertaining Asylum awaiting those visitors who dare to attend.

Also new this year is a Kid's Activity Area in the Regatta Grille patio part of the resort. There will be friendly characters, a balloon-art clown, a kids' maze twice the size of any the resort has ever done, a scavenger hunt, s'mores roasting, and trick or treating through the resort. Kids are invited to wear their costumes.

A hayride will take visitors from the resort to the nearby Bones Family Haunted Lighthouse, where the resident dysfunctional family will take guests on a thrilling, chilling adventure to the top with more theming than ever. It may be your last opportunity to cozy up with the creepy Bones clan. Plans are already in the works for an all-new attraction at the lighthouse next year.

"We want to make sure we balance both worlds as this event grows - so there is something totally crazy for older teens and adults, and plenty of non-scary things to do for younger children also," Edwards says. "It's a real blast for us to do and we can't wait for people to see it."

The Bone Chilling Basics

* Spooky Pointe features "Lockdown: The Asylum," the new Kids' Activities Area, and the Bones Family Haunted Lighthouse for 2012.

* Dates: Fridays and Saturdays - October 12-13, 19-20, and 26-27.

* Hours: 5-10 p.m. each evening.

* Admission: $9 per person, ages 3 & under free. (Includes admission to indoor waterpark and all Halloween events.)

* Location: King's Pointe, 1520 E. Lakeshore in Storm Lake

* For more info: 712-213-5720

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I fully understand the Spirit in which this story is written, and King's Point jumping on what they believe to be a "spooky enough theme" to market this event to the youth of Storm Lake and the surrounding Area. Please also do some research through NAMI (The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill)and take special note of their efforts to stop the use of this kind of marketing because of the affect it can have on those people who suffer or have family who suffer from mental illness. These kinds of characterizations can have a devistating affect on a person trying to regain mental health, and in many cases stigmatizes those people, young and old and denies them the societal acceptance they crave to seek help when they need it most. After all, who wants to be one of the crazies in an asylum? They must surely be people to be feared? And the hospitals that serve the mentally ill are certainly spooky places? If one is to believe the rightness of political correctness what makes this different than the story of Little Black Sambo? You are free to say someone with a mental disorder is a crazy spooky charactor in an asylum, but you could never say he was black? Autism, Schizophrenia, manic depression, Bi-Polar disorder, just to name a few, all will be depicted I am sure with someone's creative interpretation at the King's Point event, and the the young boy or girl who is trying to decide to ask for help, will be discouraged once again from seeking it.

-- Posted by JAChalfant on Fri, Oct 12, 2012, at 5:02 PM

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