The Terror of Tallahassee

Local haunted house opens its doors to the brave

Alisha Buckman

Issue date: 10/26/06 FSView Newspaper Arts & Life section.


All year long an old building on the corner of Woodward and Gaines builds dust, waiting for October and Halloween when it opens its doors and the Terror of Tallahassee begins.


"Featuring over 12,000 feet of fears," this haunted house is not for the faint at heart.


The house of horrors utilizes several techniques. First there are the professional performers acting out horrific sights full of blood and gore. Next is the terrific special effects coupled with professional magic and state of the art illusions. Then, brace yourself for the brand-new technology called the spine tingler, "an invention that uses subsonic sound waves too low for you to hear, but so dramatic that you feel them rattle the walls and tingle your nerves." Finally, enjoy the newest addition, Sunland Asylum, a tribute to one of Tallahassee's darkest chapters in the past.


The Sunland building was an institution on Phillips road that was opened in 1942 as a housing facility for those who suffered from the then-deadly disease, tuberculosis. Most, if not all who were sent to this hospital died there as well.


After a cure was found for the disease in 1968, the establishment was reopened as a dorm for mentally handicapped children. Apparently electric shock, restraints and lobotomies were considered normal, and some claim euthanasia was even performed on some of the children.


The now-closed building is said to be haunted by the dead who once suffered within its walls.


The Terror of Tallahassee has a whole section devoted to depicting some of these images and bringing to life the horrible torments rumored to have taken place at the Sunland Asylum.


To participate in this yearly tradition, simply show up and get in line.


Terror of Tallahassee is open for scaring this Friday night, beginning at 7:30 p.m. as well as every night afterwards until Halloween. They remain open until 11:30 p.m., but will let everyone who is lined up see the show.


Tickets are $10 for those over the age of 13, and coupons are available online. Remember not to touch anything or anyone, because "nothing is quite dead."


Oh, and animal lovers fear not. The haunted house's disclaimer reads, "We harm no animals during our human sacrifices."


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rev. 1.24.07 rev. 10/10