Above: The original North Monroe location before demolition.
As an organization, the Terror of Tallahassee has its roots to Tallahassee's first commercial haunt, built by Kurt Kuersteiner of Monsterwax Trading Cards and Brian McAfee of McAfee Construction Company in 1999. It was originally called "The Mystery Playhouse of Terror " and was located at 2576 North Monroe Street (see photo). Brian left in 2000 to work on other McAfee Construction projects, but Monsterwax has continued to sponsor the haunt ever since. The building was previously an old restaurant called The Brooklyn Pasta Factory (and before that, Eastside Marios). In 2003, the building was torn down to provide parking for Goodwill, so the business was moved to a new location at 826 West Gaines Street. That location has four giant warehouses (most of which are connected to each other) and includes large fenced-in grounds. It was originally an F-R-M. grain business next to the railroad tracks. Years later, the tracks were buried and the main building was converted to The Milk Bar nightclub. In 2000, it was converted again, this time into a haunted house (Nightmares) which closed after two seasons. It reopened in 2002 under new management as Bloodlines, but closed again after one season. In 2003 (the same year his first haunt was demolished), Kuersteiner teamed up with Terror On Highway 12 (operated by Tanner Enterprises), and together, they reopened the Gaines Street haunt under the new name of Terror of Tallahassee. (Kuersteiner has directed it solo since 2004, but encourages haunt fans to also visit Terror On Highway 12 near Havana.)
In 2005, Kuersteiner traveled across the country to film surviving Spook Show magicians for a documentary on their craft. He met with Phillip Morris, Harry Wise, Roy Huston and many other pioneers of macabre magic. Many of their trademark illusions have been revived at the haunt and continue to mystify audiences today.
Like the original Mystery Playhouse of Terror, the new location could be demolished as well. (At first, it was to expand Gaines Street, but now it looks like it may be sold for student housing.) So those who are brave at heart should check it out while they can. Experience a thrill and part of history at the same time. See THE TERROR OF TALLAHASSEE!
Below: Kuersteiner and ghoul outside the original Mystery Playhouse of Terror before the name and location change in 2003.
To read archived articles about the haunt, go here.
If you wish to buy one of our limited edition trading card sets shot on location at both locations, go here.
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