By P.J. Reinke
The caretakers of the famous, or infamous, Reinke Brothers’ Haunted Mansion have finally re-oiled the screeching and cobweb-filled doors after three years of darkness.
It has not been a good sort of spooky darkness either — and we’re talking real cobwebs.
Call it a hiatus. Call it roof damage. Call it scary battles with insurance companies. Just don’t call it late for Halloween. As ringmaster Greg Reinke says, the refurbished Haunted Mansion is now “bigger and badder” than ever.
“Our nightmare has ended and yours is about to begin,” Littleton’s ringmaster said of the region’s most creative, detailed and fun-filled haunted-house experience. You still gotta walk through, but you find your own way out-and you won’t believe what’s behind each corner.”
“… Oh, and look for the egress!”
The reopening will officially darken the doorways of Reinke Brothers costume and Halloween superstore, 5663 S. Prince St. in Historic Downtown Littleton, on
Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28-29. The two-day, pre-Halloween re-inaugural will even include fireworks (Saturday only). Friday and Saturday is KYGO 98.5 FM weekend takeover and the Haunted Mansion will be only
$9.85. Regular prices will be $19 (Sunday through Thursday}, $22 (Friday and Saturday) and $25 for a VIP pass-meaning you can skip the line any day.
The new and improved Haunted Mansion- which is equal parts live theater and scary funhouse-has been long awaited for too long, as far as the two Reinke brothers are concerned. “People would come to the store the last few years and say, ‘We don’t know what to do because this is our family tradition,”’ Chris Reinke said.
The revamped journey of frightful fun will feature new state-of-the-art illusions and the latest in animatronics, creating that rare Halloween experience to mix screams and smiles in equal proportion. Frightening, but in a fun way.
“It doesn’t mean it’s not scary,” Greg clarified. “What we did is we built a place where Mom and Dad can take their kids and have a great time with them. We don’t have chainsaws and entrails hanging out of a person- and does it really take creativity to do that?”
The now-undead Haunted Mansion’s rise from the coffin coincides with its 50th anniversary. As part of the opening-weekend birthday party, the traveling (and free) Big Wonderful festival will drop in for a two-stay haunt in the Reinkes’ parking lot, replete with live music, food trucks and more.
Mansion hours for opening weekend will be 6 p.m. until midnight on Friday, Sept. 28, and 3 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, Sept. 29. A special “lights-on” tour for kids will be also available 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday for $10.
Admission to the costume superstore is free-though that can be an adventure itself. “You’ve seen costume stores-but not like this,” Greg promised.
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