Silverwood Theme Park version 3.0
Scarywood’s new features foreshadow frightful fall
July 9, 2010
Last year a group of 20-something women was wandering through Scarywood – the
Halloween incarnation of Silverwood Theme Park – wondering aloud how scary it would
really be, when a zombie lurched at them from behind a trash can. They fled to the
other side of the path, only to be jumped by another zombie emerging from behind
"They were literally like a pinball machine" running from one side to the
other, said Cody Pearson, a 32-year-old Coeur d’Alene construction company owner
who was among the actors playing zombies at Scarywood. Pearson said he quickly
signed up to work this year, too.
"It was that much fun," Pearson said. "I was looking forward to it
This year, the North Idaho amusement park is taking haunting to a new level, fueled
by a more than $1 million investment. Silverwood hired a professional design
company that has created haunted features at major theme parks nationwide. Gore
Galore of Illinois built dozens of "tree creatures" and "swamp
monsters" – towering 12- to 16-foot-high creations – that will lurk in the new
haunted swamp attraction.
The swamp, which has yet to be named, is being built in Silverwood’s former
museum. It joins two features that the park offered last year – a haunted canyon
and a scary train ride. The park will also plant actors, like Pearson, portraying
zombies and other creatures in "scare zones" throughout the park.
Last year, Kaylee Kosareff, of Hayden Lake, played a porcelain doll, sitting
quietly on a hay bale holding a balloon. She appeared fake, she said, so it was
easy to scare people by either following them or just turning to look at them
with her blacked-out eyes when they sat down next to her.
"It’s hard not to start cracking up laughing because people are so scared,"
the 18-year-old said. "I’ve always loved Halloween."
Scarywood will be open weekend nights in October, along with all the park’s other
features, except the Boulder Beach water park. Preparation included a publicity
photo shoot at Hamilton Studio on Tuesday in which two young women, Dianna Temple
and Alisha Hart, played the parts of scared visitors, screaming their lungs out
as they were clawed by the creatures. The creature costumes are operated by
actors either wearing them or manipulating the arms from behind.
In the new attraction, visitors will wander into a dimly lit swamp where dozens
of creatures will emerge out of the fog, eyes glowing red, large skeletal
claws reaching out. The attraction will be a themed story that visitors will
walk through, passing through a sewer, snakes and rats the size of German
shepherds, said Nancy DiGiammarco, the park’s marketing director. Visitors
will decide which way they want to go based on what they see and hear.
"There will be twists and turns and switchbacks. They’ll be totally
disoriented," DiGiammarco said. "Pretty much anything that people fear,
they’re going to find it in there."
As a result, she said, this attraction is not for young children or the
faint-hearted. DiGiammarco said Scarywood is targeted at visitors about age
13 and older. The park will remain open full time through Labor Day then
switch to weekends only for the remainder of September. In October, the park
will be open Thursdays through Saturday nights, starting Oct. 1.
Silverwood is expecting to attract between 3,000 and 5,000 people nightly
for Scarywood, at $24.99 per ticket. The park will break even if it
attracts 1,240 people per night, DiGiammarco said.