Looking for ghosts and goblins? Much more will be found at this year’s Haunted Jail.
By Jason KUROSU
This Halloween, the select few intrepid enough to brave the annual Haunted Jail at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station will find more than bedsheet ghosts and tissue paper bats lurking in the darkness.
This year’s theme will explore horrors throughout history, with a journey into true-to-life gruesomeness across the globe and time itself.
The madness begins Thursday, Oct. 29 through Saturday, Oct. 31, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. each night. In addition to the Haunted Jail, the three-night event will also feature the Twilight Children’s Show on Saturday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. that includes a carnival put on by Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation.
The father and son team of Mark and Charly Shelton have been behind the design and creation of the Haunted Jail for the past four events. The first two years were in partnership with L.A. Parks and Recreation at CV Park, then two years ago Sgt. Cynthia Gonzales from the CV Sheriff’s Station reached out to the Sheltons to help the station bring back the Haunted Jail, one of the community’s favorite events. The Haunted Jail had ended several years ago and Capt. Bill Song, who remembered the haunted event well, wanted to bring it back to the commuinty.
The elder Shelton has worked in the motion picture industry for 38 years as a special effects technician, with several popular, visual effects-laden movies on his resumé, including “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” “Titanic,” “X-Men 2,” “Tremors,” “Darkman” and more.
Mark Shelton said the Haunted Jail has been nearly a year in the making, with the planning stages for the event dating back to February. This year’s event will diverge somewhat from “the standard spiders, clowns and sick medical doctors” of years past, according to Shelton.
The historically inclined Haunted Jail will explore frights from as far back as the Ice Age and forward into human history, with all of its horrors both real and imagined across a variety of time periods and civilizations. Daring souls will experience the mummies of Ancient Egypt, the tortures of the Spanish Inquisition, the wanton brutality of Vlad the Impaler, burnings at the Salem witch trials, Jack the Ripper’s Olde England, and the terrible confines of the Bastille.
Modern day horrors will not be denied their chance to haunt with the hall of American psychopaths, dedicated to some of the most savage minds of the 19th and 20th centuries, including John Wayne Gacy, Lizzie Borden and Jeffrey Dahmer.
Putting on scares of this magnitude takes a lot of help. Volunteers are needed as performers and crew. To sign up, contact Charly at (818) 535-8314 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proceeds from the event will go towards the CV Sheriff’s Support Group, L.A. County Parks and Recreation and Prom Plus. The event will be staffed as usual by a number of Prom Plus Club volunteers, as well as volunteers from the sheriff’s department and the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Shelton, a big supporter of practical visual effects in his work, promises large-scale scares this year.
“My goal is always to make grown adults [afraid],” Shelton said. “I’m happy to say we’ve succeeded before.”
Tickets are $8 for general admission, $5 for the Twilight Children’s Show. They are available at the door at the time of admission. The CV Sheriff’s Station is located at 4554 Briggs Ave. in La Crescenta.