FAIRFIELD — You can get your fright on while helping Fisher House and raise you pulse rate to add some funds to the local Police Activities League.
After a two-year stint in Vacaville, Demon Dreamz is bringing some haunted offerings to Fairfield.
Teens and older are invited to check out the 2,000-square-foot scream scene at Oliver Road and Hartford Drive. Also, at this weekend’s Total Home and Garden Show, Demon Dreamz has built a kid-friendly haunted house for the daytime hours and a corn maze for the evening at the former Walmart store at 300 Chadbourne Road.
Eric Land is the man behind Demon Dreamz. The aircraft welder and machinist retired from the U.S. Air Force after 21 1/2 years. He now works in the same shop on Travis Air Force Base as a civilian.
He started out volunteering with another company that staged “The Dead End Haunted House” at Solano Town Center until a few years ago. When that business moved to Cal Expo, Land took his knowledge and put it to use with Demon Dreamz.
“People want to be scared,” Land said. “We try to misdirect them. They may think the scare is coming from one way, when it actually comes from another.”
The former car dealership on Oliver Road offers him about 2,000 square feet of space. It’s the smallest location Land has worked with. He’s using the space to his advantage.
“It’s the scariest,” he said.
The first thing visitors will see is a sitting room, with some gruesome creatures. From there it’s on to a variety rooms with plenty of spots for the volunteer actors to hide and scare the brave souls.
The less brave souls can escape through doors with the words “chicken door” painted on them.
Land owns the props, many of them picked up at yard sales or via Craigslist. The day-after-Halloween sales are enticing but Land prefers not hear visitors say they saw an item at a store.
He works a nine-hour day on base followed by another four or five hours at the haunted house. A small crew, all volunteers, helped with construction. More volunteers work as members of the “Scream Team,” helping with everything from acting to security. About 99 percent of them are military members serving on Travis Air Force Base, he said.
One volunteer, who will work the home and garden show, is traveling from Monterey to resurrect his role as the clown “Crazy Mazy.”
“This is my holiday,” Land said. “This is my passion. This is where I spend my money.”
This year, Land’s final scene puts people in an area resembling a car garage, with a few surprises for the guests.
Land hopes 2,000 people will pass through the Oliver Road haunted house. Being scared is cool, he said.
“I see more of a craze coming back with shows like ‘The Walking Dead,’ ” he said.
The cable series garnered 16 million viewers when the fourth season debuted Oct. 13.
He’s ready to hear “hundreds” of screams each night and watch about 10 percent of the people who enter take advantage of the “chicken doors.” It might be hard to find him, though. Land loves to wear a costume. He has a mask complete with moving eyeballs and skull flap.
Nicole Arabia, of the Total Home and Garden Show, found Demon Dreamz with a Google search. The fact that Land and his girlfriend Sheena Kawakami, who also works with Demon Dreamz, donate proceeds to Fisher House was enough to sell her on the idea of letting them be a part of the show.
“From what I’ve seen, it looks pretty scary,” she said of the maze at the home and garden show. She hopes to find time to explore the maze once the show opens.
Arabia plans to incorporate Demon Dreamz into the 2014 home and garden show. And, go “bigger and better,” she said.
Visit www.demondreamz.com for times and prices.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.