Pilot stories and photos by Andrea Barkan

Haunted houses and Halloween parties promise to make the days leading up to All Hallow's Eve in Brookings-Harbor gleefully ghastly and gory.

Local churches, businesses and nonprofits are offering up a myriad of activities from the tepid to the terrifying for the delight of all the area's residents.

Shannon Schofield, owner of X-treme Action Paintball in Brookings, wanted to create a horrifying haunted house.

With lumpy dirt underfoot, customers walk the winding tour in semi- or total darkness, confronting a crazed clown, a boy in a bloody bathtub and a very territorial granny who isn't shy about using fire power to protect her property.

A chainsaw-wielding madman makes his menacing appearance in a claustrophobic cabin.

Customers even come face to face with the devil himself - and his subservient mignon, naturally.

andquot;I'm sick and twisted,andquot; Schofield admitted.

He said the keys to making a haunted house truly scary are andquot;lighting and surprise, and we've got to have some gore.andquot;

Another hair-raising haunt is the Performing Arts Center in Harbor, which the Chetco Pelican Players are transforming into a haunted mansion.

The old, rickety theater is fast becoming a maze, which winds through the seats, up the stairs, in and out of dressing rooms and onto the stage.

Actors will portray ghosts, vampires, the living dead, mad scientists and movie villains.

Dori Blodgett, president of the Chetco Pelican Players, said an early show from 6 to 8 p.m. will feature a milder version of the spooky mayhem for children.

Teens and adults should come to the tour between 8 and 11 p.m., when the players will turn up the horrific heat.

andquot;There may even be a chainsaw involved,andquot; Blodgett said.