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  • A zombie apocalypse at Randall Theatre

    Randall Theatre presents a theatrical haunted house
  • The eccentric Dr. Rutherford Maximillion III is at it again. This time, he's discovered a method to contain nightmare energy, but his plan goes awry, leaving humanity vulnerable to its worst fears.
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  • The eccentric Dr. Rutherford Maximillion III is at it again. This time, he's discovered a method to contain nightmare energy, but his plan goes awry, leaving humanity vulnerable to its worst fears.
    "Nightmare energy is one of the most powerful types of energy there is," says Robin Downward, director of Randall Theatre Company of Medford. "It's also the most volatile and dangerous. We've harnessed that energy so that whenever someone has a nightmare, a machine sucks that energy and stores it in the chamber. This helps cure people who suffer from extreme night terrors."
    Thanks to shows such as "The Walking Dead" and films such as "Resident Evil," zombies occupy the human psyche. Bogged down by these zombie nightmares, Maximillion's machine breaks down and zombies assume a physical form and escape into the public.
    The zombie apocalypse is upon us.
    Downward concocted this deliciously scary plot as the setting for Randall Theatre's 2012 haunted house, The Nightmare Chamber — Lair of Zombies.
    This year, Randall Theatre retired its annual Shriektoberfest event but retained the haunted house, which will be open from 7 to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 24-25, from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26-27, and from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28, and Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 30-31, in the warehouse behind the theater, 10 E. Third St., Medford.
    About a dozen live actors, dressed as zombies, victims, a crazed embalmer and, of course, Maximillion, who Downward describes as "a mix between Victor von Frankenstein, Edgar Allan Poe and P.T. Barnum," will be situated inside the theater's 12,000-square-foot warehouse to produce the maximum scare.
    Visitors can purchase tickets and concessions and watch clips from classic horror movies in the theater while they work up the nerve to enter the dark and terrible chamber.
    With zombies on the loose, the chamber is supposedly the safest place to be. But is it really?
    Inside, there's an industrial area, a graveyard, a mausoleum, a torture chamber, prison, a deserted party room and a public restroom.
    Downward says the darkness will unnerve people while high-tech sounds, lighting effects, air-driven pop scares and live actors will push them to the edge of sanity. (Flashlights are not allowed, but visitors are welcome to use cellphones for light if the darkness overwhelms them.)
    This haunted house is not recommended for children 10 and younger. A shorter, toned-down, lit-up, zombie-free version of the haunted house will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 27-28. Tickets cost $3 for children and are free for adults.
    Tickets to the grown-up version cost $8 for adults, $6 for kids who are 4 feet and shorter. Advance tickets cost $6 for adults, $5 for kids, and are available at Magic Man Costume & Fun Shop in Medford.
    Call 541-632-3258 or see www.randalltheatre.com.
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