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Scream supreme 

Spook central opens on the Central Coast

Little do most people know that in the depths below the Olde Arroyo Grande Post Office, there once operated an old delivery service dating back to the days of the Pony Express. Over the years, this service has developed its own—um, unconventional—methods of delivering the mail. Once the post office moved out, these creepy subterranean couriers took over. Now, with the help of a team of local paranormal specialists, this underground world is finally exposed—and just in time for Halloween!

The Mid State Scare is offering nightly guided tours of the labyrinth of horror throughout the month of October. For a small fee, and maybe a grey hair or two, witness the madness firsthand.

The newest haunted house on the Central Coast is not a typical maze with hokey creatures jumping out with a ‘Boo!’ According to co-creators Robin Burns and Randy Russom, guests can expect an adrenaline-pumping theatrical performance, ripe with state-of-the-art special effects, custom animatronics, and hand-made monsters and costumes. The experience promises to entertain through the moment you walk out the door (or don’t!).

“This isn’t just someone pushing you through dark corridors with cheap gags popping out at you,” said Burns. “We wanted to tell a story with the way we laid everything out.”

The Olde Arroyo Grande Post Office building was donated for this event by Mullahey Ford. In its first year on the Central Coast, the idea for the Mid State Scare came about over a year ago when Burns, who specializes in custom audio and electronics, and local architect Russom and wife Monique, hooked up through Craigslist after realizing the Central Coast didn’t have a prominent haunted house for Halloween. The current operation is the result of more than two months of intense construction by a group of more than 30 horror junkies.

“I’ve loved working on this project. It’s so fun because you work in emotion, aided by the right lighting and sound,” Burns said. “It’s absolutely wonderful to see people when they come out; their faces all flushed and they want to go through again.”

Guests will experience the terror together in small groups. Young adults and older will be treated to a no-holds-barred smorgasbord of terror, but the Mid State Scare is indeed family-friendly, with a custom experience for children that is less intense, making it a fun choice no matter how squeamish the visitor.

The Mid State Scare is also constantly evolving, meaning a tour one day may be different from another. Arrive sooner rather than later as it promises to get busy during the week of Halloween.

Tickets are $13, available at the box office at 250 Traffic Way in Arroyo Grande, at the Halloween Express in San Luis Obispo, and presale discounts and hours are posted on the website,

Fast Fact

Halloween Express in San Luis Obispo is working with United Blood Services and Coast 101.3 F.M. for the “We Vant to Draw Your Blood” Blood Drive. The event will be held from 12 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 1541 Froom Ranch Way. For more info, or for all your Halloween needs, call 541-1023…

The San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum will hold its annual fundraiser, “With a Little Help From Our Friends,” at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2 at the Avila Beach Golf Resort. The event will be Beatles-themed and feature music by Unfinished Business. Beatles attire is encouraged and all proceeds will benefit the museum’s programs and events. For ticket information, call 545-5874 or visit…

Celebrating the fishing tradition of the Central Coast, the Avila Beach Community Foundation and the Avila Beach Civic Association are teaming up to host the first annual Albacore Feed from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 10, at the Avila Beach Community Center. The dinner will feature 300 pounds of albacore prepared by local chef Pete Kelley, as well as garlic bread, baked beans, salad, dessert and drink. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. Tickets are presale only, available at the Community Center at 191 San Miguel Street until October 10. For more info, call 627-1997…

As the holiday season approaches, a new nonprofit shop in SLO, which offers fair trade goods from democratic and transparent organizations in developing countries, is an excellent place to find uncommon gifts while helping people in developing countries. Humankind is located at 928 Monterey Street and sells an eclectic array of handmade crafts from all over the world: jewelry, home décor, musical instruments, childrens’ items and more at reasonable prices. Profits go towards supporting improving the economic and labor conditions for the craftsmen and women in these countries. For more info, drop by the shop, call 594-1220, or visit

Staff Writer Matt Fountain prepared Strokes&Plugs this week. Send your business and nonprofit news to [email protected].

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