Halloween haunt for kids in the Oxford area emphasizes fantasy

A creepy entrance gate warns visitors that there are plenty of scary cabins inside Camp Spookynaw, AKA, Camp Saginaw, during the Halloween season.

NEW LONDON >> A different kind of Halloween spook attraction that doesn’t emphasize killer clowns and other macabre beings is running at a summer camp in the Oxford area through October.

Camp Spookynaw, using the grounds of the Camp Saganaw grounds, is offering “family-friendly” haunts along the lines of fantasy wizards and witches, said organizers.

“We wanted to go a different route,” said Keith Moyer, who is managing the attraction. “It still startles and scares, but it is a little more of a theatrical production.”

Moyer said he has been a TV actor and producer with an interest in theatrical productions.

They’ve created a storyline involving the summer camp for children being a former summer camp for the children of witches and wizards in a previous age. The haunt is conceived as a fantasy, he said, more like a renaissance fair.

What is “age appropriate” however, is admittedly up to the adults bringing children to the exhibit. Things will still jump out and make a lot of noise. Some kids come through fine, others are a bit more upset, he said. Parents have to judge.

“It’s not an R-rated haunt,” he said. “We are a high-startle, no-gore tour.”

Moyer said his group likes to point out that Halloween used to be for kids to have fun, and was appropriated by teens and adults. He said their effort is to return the holiday to kids.

While the business is separate from the summer camp, Moyer said the facilities are an integral part of creating the atmosphere for the show.

They’ve been planning for the show since February, using existing buildings. There are some animatronics, and puppets.

“We’ve approached it like a film, setting up scenes,” he said. “We have 10 buildings of chilling fun.”

A full description of the show is at their website is at http://www.campspookynaw.com.

It is the inaugural season for the attraction at 740 Saginaw Road, Oxford. The attraction runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through October, and Nov. 1 and 2, from 7 to 11 p.m. Ticket and other information is available at the website.

It is located in southwestern Chester County in the general Oxford area, at “the edge of the world,” Moyer said.

The market for the attraction includes northern Maryland and Delaware in addition to Chester County. “We’ve had interest from as far away as West Chester,” he said.

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