The crew putting together the Panic in the Ballpark Halloween event at PeoplesBank Park talk scares and Halloween candy.
From the outside, it still looks like a baseball stadium.
But make no mistake.
PeoplesBank Park is no ordinary ballpark anymore.
For the first time, the York Revolution is celebrating Halloween with a spooky baseball-themed attraction on its home turf called Panic at the Ballpark. It’s the first haunted attraction of its kind in downtown York and the first haunted house set inside a sports facility within at least 100 miles, according to Doug Eppler, York Revolution director of marketing and communications.
And in this game, no one is safe.
At least that’s what the banner hanging above the stadium entrance says.
The warning was written by Jed Stickman, a former Revs player.
Legend has it that the up-and-coming baseball star suffered a career-ending injury 10 years ago and disappeared. Some thought he died. Others said he planned to come back.
And now, he has. But not to play. He’s come back to haunt the stadium.
I first heard the story of Ol’ Jed during the “misguided tours” at the Head Basher’s Hideout attraction during Friday’s soft opening of Panic at the Ballpark.
Of Panic at the Ballpark’s three attractions, Head Basher’s Hideout is the best place to start.
A spooky tour guide meets you on the field in the dark – the only light coming from a spooky video playing on the scoreboard – and tells you all about Ol’ Jed’s mysterious past.
Then, she leads you through a dark tunnel to the visitor’s clubhouse.
That’s the unique thing about Panic at the Ballpark. While it doesn’t offer the longest or scariest haunted attractions in the region – the two haunted houses only last about five minutes each – you do get to walk on the field and see parts of the stadium fans normally don’t get to see.
However, those areas won’t look quite like you’d expect.
In addition to the spooky lighting and theatrical effects, there’s a lot more blood and limbs and screaming than you’d typically see in a team locker room.
As I stepped inside Friday night, I quickly understood why the York Revolution chose the name Panic at the Ballpark.
The agonizing screams alone were enough to send me into a panic as I hurried through the attraction’s torture chambers.
Actors from Weary Arts Group give convincing theatrical performances in both the Head Basher’s Hideout and the Dismemberment Shop – Panic at the Ballpark’s second attraction.
The Dismemberment Shop is like the Head Basher’s Hideout minus the tour guide – only this time, you go through the trainer’s room, home clubhouse, groundskeeper’s shop and the field next to the Revolution’s bullpen.
It’s a place where mad scientists experiment with the York Revolution players off the field. Maybe one needs a faster set of legs or a better pitching arm, Eppler said.
So, again, there’s lots of blood and limbs and screaming.
Want to avoid the blood and gore? Dead Man’s Playland – the final attraction at Panic at the Ballpark, located in the picnic pavilion – is more of a freak show than a haunted house.
It’s a mix of humor and bizarre tricks, Eppler said, such as a twin contortionist act, fire breathing, sword swallowing and other danger acts.
Panic at the Ballpark also includes a dance party, with food and drink – including craft and domestic beers – available for purchase.
If you go
What: Panic at the Ballpark
When: Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 29
Where: PeoplesBank Park, 5 Brooks Robinson Way, York
Admission: $19 in advance; $24 at the gate; $14 per person for groups of 12+
Suggested age: 12 and up
More info: Visit panicattheballpark.com.