The 8th annual Haunted Sawmill presents ‘The Nocturnal Carnival’
The 8th Annual Haunted Sawmill opens on Friday, Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. This year’s theme continues to build off the history between Vincent Mudgett and the Morris family in “the Nocturnal Carnival.”
The youngest of the Morris brothers, Barnabus, left home at an early age to pursue his fortune and glory in the circus. Barnabus was clever and a master showman and quickly gathered performers and amazing acts together to form his own company – “the Nocturnal Carnival.” Years later after travelling the world and a series of sold out shows all across Europe, Barnabus decided to return to Merrill and reclaim his family’s property at the site of the old Merrill Sawmill. Barnabus was very aware of the history of the Merrill Sawmill and how his older brothers, Dorian and Adrian had both come face-to-face with the eternal wrath of Vincent Mudgett.
The Morris family had long been one of the wealthiest families in Merrill – building their empire off of the logging industry. The oldest brother, Dorian, ran the Merrill Sawmill for his family. Dorian’s downfall came when he coveted a pretty secretary named Louise that a young employee named Vincent Mudgett was madly in love with. Dorian warned young Vincent to stay away from “his girl,” but true love would not be denied. When Vincent and Louise continued their love affair, Dorian ordered a gang of his thugs to beat Vincent up and show him a lesson. Vincent and Louise were both tragically killed in the underhanded attack. Vincent returned from the grave and in what became as the “Massacre at the Merrill Sawmill,” took his revenge upon Dorian and all of the Merrill Sawmill employees. Vincent’s body was never found and the Sawmill was closed up.
A decade later the second Morris brother, Adrian, took over the abandoned and dilapidated Merrill Sawmill. Adrian was a psychiatrist and he remodeled the old building into the Arcane Asylum for the Criminally Insane. A patient with amnesia nicknamed “John Doe” was brought into the asylum claiming to be the reincarnated Vincent Mudgett. Even though he was well respected in the community, Dr. Adrian Morris was a monster who conducted cruel experiments upon his patients. With his fellow doctors, like Henry Gouge and Ivan Evansky, Dr. Morris abused the patients of the asylum on a daily basis. John Doe was no exception. Mad with grief over the death of his older brother, Adrian lost touch with reality, and when someone claiming to be Vincent was committed and brought into his hospital, Adrian saw an opportunity to take revenge. John Doe refused to admit that he was not Vincent Mudgett no matter how much Dr. Morris tortured him. In an ironic twist, a nurse named Louise helped John Doe by bringing him Vincent’s mask and axe and letting him out of his padded cell. John and Louise then led the prisoners in a revolt against Dr. Morris and his evil staff. Before the police could arrive, Adrian Morris was killed and the reincarnated Vincent and Louise slipped away and were never found. The “Arcane Asylum Mutiny” became another footnote in the long and bloody history of the Haunted Sawmill.
Now Barnabus Morris has returned to the site of the Merrill Sawmill. He plans to raze what is left of the building that his family had built and raise his circus tents on the property. Barnabus laughs off the notion of there being a curse upon the property and that somehow Vincent Mudgett is going to come back from the dead and continue his quest for revenge against the entire Morris family. Barnabus has spent his lifetime being a master showman and presenting amazing circuses for children of all ages. “Vincent,” he says, “was just a man, and John Doe was also just a man. I’m not afraid of any moldy old ghosts.” During his interview, Barnabus added, “I want something good to come out of my family’s sawmill. There has been too much bloodshed and too much negativity attached to the Merrill Sawmill. It’s time for some fun! Come and see the Nocturnal Carnival. Our circus train will be arriving shortly and we will be raising the big top on the land that my family has owned for over 200 years. I have spent a lifetime gathering together incredible performers like Mysterio the Magician and his lovely assistant Esmerelda, and the gifted fortune teller Tatiana Bladavinski. You will be captivated and astounded by my thrilling performers like the scintillating and sweet Candy Kane. You will laugh hysterically at the antics of our clowns like Buzz Buzz, Sticky and Rags! Come tour the circus wagons and see the circus train conductor and my specially built circus locomotive up close! Bring the kids, bring the grandparents. Take pictures on our fabulous midway. Watch for exotic performers and sideshow stages with acts that will blow your mind. I promise that you will see amazing sights and sounds the likes of which you have never seen before!”
Vincent has other plans in store though for Barnabus and his circus. Vincent has proclaimed time and time again that no one should dare to enter his sawmill. Some doors should never be opened and another meddling Morris is daring to once again open the doors of the Haunted Sawmill. What terrible fate awaits Barnabus Morris and the performers of “the Nocturnal Carnival?” What horrors await you if you dare to enter the Haunted Sawmill this October?
The Friends of Vincent Foundation, LLC, is proud to present the 8th Annual Haunted Sawmill – “the Nocturnal Carnival.” Show dates in October are every Friday and Saturday. Gates open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door or $8 with the donation of a non-perishable food item. Concessions will be available through Pack 502. Even before you enter the haunt itself, the yard of the Haunted Sawmill will be decorated like a circus midway with a big top and side shows taking place including performances by the Haunted Sawmill Scare Crew and “Bloodlust.” Beware of wandering ghouls, twisted carnival performers and the ever-present spirit of Vincent Mudgett! If guests want to skip the line speed-passes are available for $20. Tickets will be available on-line at the Haunted Sawmill website. A special family matinee performance will be held on Saturday, Oct. 27 from noon to 2 p.m. for younger kids and those a wee bit older who don’t want to be too scared. There will also be a special show for Vincent’s birthday on Wednesday, Oct. 31 – Halloween night! Check out more details on Facebook by to the Haunted Sawmill page and friend Vincent Mudgett on Facebook for a chance to win free tickets and Haunted Sawmill merchandise.
All proceeds from the Haunted Sawmill go to help youth in Merrill and the surrounding communities. The Friends of Vincent Foundation, LLC, is a non-profit organization whose goal is to help promote youth activities and youth organizations.