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whatzup2nite • Tuesday, October 21

Click on the headings below for full calendars


Things To Do

The Haunted Jail Haunted tour of jail where Charles Butler was hanged, 7-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, Oct. 21-23; 7-11 p.m. Friday- Saturday, Oct. 24-25; 7-9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26; 7-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, Oct. 27-30; 7-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Oct. 31-Nov. 1; 7-9 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2; 7-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Nov. 7-8 and 7-9 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9, The Haunted Jail, Columbia City, $13-$18, www.columbiacityhauntedjail.com


National Shows

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Music & Comedy

KT & the Swingset Quartet — Blues at Latch String, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m.-2 a.m., no cover, 483-5526


Karaoke & DJs

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Stage & Dance

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Movies

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Art & Artifacts

America’s Spirit: Evolution of a National Style — Collection drawn from FWMoA’s permanent collection chronicling American art from 1765-1900, Tuesday-Sunday thru Jan. 25, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467

Contemporary Realism Biennial — National invitational highlighting the strength and innovation of America’s current trends in realism, Tuesday-Sunday thru Nov. 30, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467

Crafting a Continuum: Rethinking Contemporary Craft — Arizona State University Art Museum and Ceramics Research Center in the Herberger Institute’s comprehensive collection of craft holdings and new international requisitions in wood, ceramic and fiber, Tuesday-Sunday thru Dec. 21, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467

Photography Show — Annual photo exhibition, daily thru Nov. 5 (public reception, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5), Clark Gallery, Honeywell Center, Wabash, 563-1102


Featured Events

Fort Wayne Dance Collective — Workshops and classes for movement, dance, yoga and more offered by Fort Wayne Dance Collective, Fort Wayne, fees vary, 424-6574

IPFW Community Arts AcademyArt, dance, music and theatre classes for grades pre-K through 12 offered by IPFW College of Visual and Performing Arts, fees vary, 481-6977, www.ipfw.edu/caa

Sweetwater Academy of Music — Private lessons for a variety of instruments available from professional instructors, ongoing weekly lessons, Sweetwater Sound, Fort Wayne, $100 per month, 432-8176 ext. 1961, academy.sweetwater.com



Features

The Haunted Jail

Open 7-9 p.m. Thursdays & Sundays
7-11 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays thru Nov. 9
116 E. Market St., Columbia City
$13-$18, www.columbiacityhauntedjail.com

The Haunted Jail

Judge. Jury. Executioner.

There are haunted houses, and then there are haunted places. The difference? The former relies on special effects and cunning craft to scare the pants off of you for one month out of the year; the latter need only exist, with its history of part fact and part fiction – both equally nightmarish. A genuinely haunted place is volatile year-round, but it is especially active when people invite the darkness to come and play each Halloween.

The Haunted Jail in Columbia City is the real deal. You know it the moment you set eyes on the looming, old, empire-style building. The Grim Reaper and his pet vulture bid you ominous welcome from the perimeter of the property. Carved from a tree as old as the jail itself, they are harbingers of the rich history and sheer artistry that await those brave enough to enter. But Grim and his beaked companion aren’t the only gatekeepers you must pass to gain admittance.

  As we stood on the stoop of the jailhouse, fumbling around for our courage, a guide recounted the tale of Deimos and the damned soul of Charles Butler.

  “You are standing at the site of Charles Butler’s execution, an event that scarred this community forever,” our guide began. “Butler shot and killed his wife, Abbie, in a drunken rage one evening back in 1884. Abbie was simply trying to protect their son from Butler’s notorious beatings. She pushed the boy out the door, taking a bullet to the back. She died three days later in the hospital.”

A chill filled the air, carried by a somber wind. He went on to say that when police arrived, Butler surrendered without a fight and confessed to the crime but would later threaten to haunt the grounds forever. As the gallows were being erected for Butler’s execution by hanging, a curious figure known only as Deimos was seen about Columbia City. He had the air of a well-traveled aristocrat, someone who had seen a great deal of the world. But he had never witnessed a hanging, and he decided Charles Butler would be his first.

  “That warm June day, a remorseless Butler mounted the gallows,” our guide said. “As the executioners placed the noose around his neck and began reading last rites, the mysterious stranger pestered the guards with incessant questions. He was enraptured by this ritual. The guards did not take kindly to the onslaught of inquiries. They beat the stranger and placed him in a cell to resume Butler’s execution.”

As the gallows door dropped, the guilty man did not suffer the swift end of snapping his neck. No, Butler was too cunning, we were told. He would not go without a fight. He slowly slid down the trapdoor and began to strangle to death for the next 10 minutes. The crowd, horrified by this ghastly death, vowed never to have another execution by hanging again. But it was too late. Events were already set in motion that would change the town forever.

They brought Butler inside to discover the impossible: he still had a pulse. His heart beat faintly for another three minutes before he finally died. Make no mistake: this was not the end of Charles Butler. And as the sun went down, an even greater terror was growing in the depths of the jailhouse.

  “As Deimos’ anger grew, so did his power. The guards had no idea they had imprisoned a king of the Nosferato,” orated our guide. “Deimos was a king of the Le Masshar de la Nui, a very old and powerful clan of vampires. And the folks in Columbia City were about to find out that you never anger a vampire king – a lesson you are about to witness yourselves.”

  The doors creaked on their hinges as we were ushered inside. The air was thick with foreboding electricity. When you pass over the threshold, you’re immediately plunged into an immersive, interactive experience. You become part of the Deimos myth, like it or not. And there’s no turning back.

  The third floor is open as a VIP section, a first for the Haunted Jail. Previously forbidden, this is where the warden and his family spent much of their time (a jailhouse must include a house portion, after all). Among other perks, the VIP experience also includes a glow stick to help light your way. Keep it to use as a night light when you get home. You’ll need it.

For those familiar with the Haunted Jail, some favorite terrors are back this year: the snake pit, Giggles the Clown, Grinder’s Meat Market, Doctor James “The Cutter” Johnson, Chainsaw Larry and perpetually tortured Cain, to name a few. Of course, Butler has actively haunted the area for the last 130 years, but the real horror is Deimos himself, who may be lurking in the halls or waiting in his tomb. While it’s polite to knock before entering, you do so at your own risk. Your rap at the door echoes like a dinner bell.

  The jail cells and catacombs in what our guide called “the dungeon” are entirely authentic from the 1875 building. Prisoners were housed, beaten and even killed in these cells. 

“This is where we get a lot of activity. So many lonely and angry souls …” he said. “You’ll know when they’re around. You’ll feel it in the air with temperature changes. You’ll hear their whispers and screams. They might even follow you home.”

  As you travel deeper inside the jail, Deimos’s grip on your soul tightens. Your fear is with merit. The Nosferato king is infamously referred to as “The Soulkeeper,” and his appetite is never satiated. His minions track those who dare enter. They select the tastiest of humans based on the scent of their fear, delivering them into the clawed hands of Deimos, perhaps never to be seen again.

“You smell so much better when you’re awake,” a strange, arresting voice whispered in my ear. “Join our coven. Don’t fight it. We’ve been waiting for you …”

Ashley Motia







The Haunted Hotel

Checkout at Never O’Clock

Time erodes all things. Well, except for the spirits of those who meet an untimely death. Time, it seems, only makes them more potent and volatile.

Such is the case of Huntington’s Haunted Hotel. Built in 1889 and clad in beautiful architectural details, the building was a sight to behold in its day. Damian Warwick, the owner and architect after whom the hotel was named, loaded the towering marvel with amenities like a heated swimming pool, telephones in every room and electric light bulbs. He even had a motion picture theater installed to attract guests.

And it worked. The Warwick Hotel was a huge success – albeit a bit of an unlikely one. You see, Warwick himself was known around Huntington for being a bit, well, “off.” Rumors swirled in the streets that Warwick and his wife Anastaise practiced the dark arts. Several townsfolk reported witnessing and/or hearing about bizarre secret rituals on the hotel’s 13th floor and odd occurrences around the hotel grounds. Several people went missing in the area, but an overwhelming lack of evidence left investigators puzzled and helpless. Huntington residents were convinced that something wicked festered in the heart of their beloved, otherwise quiet downtown.

It wasn’t long before Warwick’s own daughter Lilith became a victim to the evil lingering in the hotel. Police were alerted late one night that the young girl was missing. Upon arriving on the scene, they discovered Lilith’s nursery had been torn apart in a frenzy, but no evidence of the girl was found. Several days later, her shredded nightclothes and doll were discovered in an area now known as Devil’s Backbone. No other sign of Lilith was ever found.

Mrs. Warwick was beside herself over the loss of her daughter. Police said they were still investigating her disappearance, but Anastaise felt the case had gone cold. About a month after Lilith’s doll and clothes were discovered, the lady Warwick was found hanged to death in one of the hotel’s bathrooms. Her death was labeled a suicide, likely out of the immense grief she felt regarding her daughter’s death.

On October 13, 1904, tragedy again struck the Warwick Hotel. A fire erupted, seemingly out of nowhere, and quickly consumed the building. All 302 sorry souls inside perished: men, women, several children, members of the traveling circus lodging in the hotel, hotel staff – the fire destroyed indiscriminately. Some witnesses reported hearing their blood-curdling screams, even after the fire had been extinguished. 

  The raging inferno incinerated the hotel and everything in it. Few bodies were recovered. Among the missing bodies was that of hotel owner Damian Warwick who was suspected of starting the fire. Some say he went mad after losing his wife and daughter. Others claim it was part of the dark rituals they practiced deep within the confines of the hotel, that the devil himself commanded Warwick to do it. No one knows for sure. Legend grew that Warwick’s sinister activities kept his soul chained to the hotel’s location, eternally ravenous for other spirits to join him and those who perished in that terrible blaze of 1904.

For reasons not exactly known (and much to the chagrin of the town), the hotel was rebuilt on top of the old location. Today, it is a haunted house celebrating the infamous legend of Damian Warwick and his hotel.

Whispers continue of things going bump in the night at the hotel, especially during October, around the anniversary of the Warwick fire and all those lives lost. Some even say they’ve seen Warwick himself, in a hotel window or taking a stroll nearby in the downtown streets. Perhaps most disturbing of all are the unexplained disappearances. People who enter the hotel’s front doors sometimes vanish, never to leave or be seen again.

  “That place is a gateway disguised as a haunted house,” one long-time Huntington resident warned as we waited our turn to ascend the stairs. “Spend enough time in there, and you’ll see what I mean. Things happen that you can’t explain … and some of them, you’re not even sure you’d want to.”

  I felt a chill, blaming the October night air instead of my nerves.

“Don’t listen to him, friends,” a charming voice floated down from the stairs. “Come in, come in. Welcome to Warwick Hotel!”

Eldon, the hotel bellhop, offered an unassuming yet also creepy grin. His eyes seemed to look right through me.

“Good evening. I am Eldon, your host. Allow me to show you around,” he said while inching closer, seemingly without moving at all.

Our eager host explained that the hotel consists of approximately 30 rooms, some of them featuring the same amenities of the old hotel, like a theater screening room. Each year the staff upgrades the building and rearranges its furnishing to “keep things fresh for the guests.” For added enjoyment, patrons can purchase special glasses that really enhance the environment.

“Some of our residents and staff are rather sensitive to light,” Eldon said as we turned the corner into a dark corridor. “We accommodated them with black lights and coordinating paint. On Thursdays, we don’t even turn the lights on. Guests get around the hotel with a tiny flashlight to light their way. Oh, but do be careful. The walls, they move.”

“Don’t the guests get lost?” a member of my party inquired nervously.

Even in the almost pitch black of the hallway, you could see Eldon’s hungry grin. “Well, we haven’t had any complaints – yet.”

His unsettling tone hung about us, stunning our group into silence as we descended into the depths of the Haunted Hotel. That silence quickly turned into screams.

Ashley Motia







Hysterium

The Doctor Will See You Now

Oh, you mastered the Haunted Cave, did you? 

The creators have a new challenge for you. Located in the same sinister spot as the Haunted Cave, Hysterium Haunted Asylum is currently accepting new patients. And something sinister lurks deep inside the facility – something hungry for fresh souls.

The fun begins the moment you step into the waiting area. Unsettling elevator music pervades the air as you’re told that the doctor will be with you shortly. Patients and orderlies mingle with those waiting in line, whispering tales of what lurks beyond the lobby. There’s a strange sense of foreboding in the air. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea …

When it’s finally your turn to see the doctor, you board the elevator. There is no going back now. The elevator attendant mentions something about earthquakes, and you instinctively grab for the hand rails. “You might want to hold on,” she says with a sharp-toothed grin. “We wouldn’t want you to get … lost … now, would we?”

As you step out of the elevator, your feet shake with aftershocks. You find yourself in a sewer room of hand-carved bricks and running water. Follow the path, you tell yourself. Surely, this is the way out. A short tunnel leads to a biohazard area. It’s clear some of the sludge has escaped from the barrels, and you’re fresh out of hazmat suits. A downed power line crackles and pops in the distance. You must remain alert and on guard if you hope to survive.

You stumble into a long, dark corridor. As you peer into the darkness, you wonder what might be peering back. The corridor leads to a rustic doctor’s office, but the doctor doesn’t seem to be quite in at the moment. Some patients linger, waiting to be seen. They beg you to stay with them, but I wouldn’t advise it.

To further test your sanity and grit, you must pass through a claustrophobia-inducing fabric tunnel that leaves you nearly blind and incapacitated save for a few small steps at a time. With out-stretched hands you feel your way along; if you’re there with friends, holding hands might be a good idea. Strength in numbers, children. Haven’t you learned anything from the horror movies?

After being plunged into darkness, your eyes will need to adjust as you enter an optical illusion room with black lights. Don’t linger too long, though; the room comes alive, threatening to absorb you into the asylum forever. One member of our party exclaimed breathlessly, “I almost peed my pants!”

Do you still have your wits about you? Good. You’re going to need them to figure out the door maze and earn your freedom. (Note: if a door is marked “Emergency Exit Only,” it really is an emergency exit. It’s not a trick. Only use these doors if you can’t handle the maddening terror within the asylum or you have a medical emergency.) As your sanity slips away, it’s easy to get turned around. If you’re with a group, you may quibble about which direction you came from as you go in circles. Within the door maza there are guides, if you’d like to call them that. The choice is up to you whether you listen to them or not. They are, after all, patients in an asylum.

Once you find your way through the door maze, you come across a carnival, an all-new addition to the haunt. 

“What’s a circus doing down here?” you wonder. Hey, even patients in an asylum need some cheering up with balloon animals and clowns! Those who are afraid of clowns will have their mettle tested. And the clowns won’t tolerate misbehavior, so mind your manners.

You must board a second elevator to continue your journey out of the asylum. The elevator attendant latches the door behind you.

“There’s one person here who was admitted by the rest of you. Was it you? Someone will be staying here for rehabilitation,” he says as the lights go dark and the elevator rumbles with a jarring alarm. 

“Also, we apologize for the nuisance of the escaped patient. Security has assured me that he has been contained. The rest of you will proceed to the cafeteria to receive a complimentary meal for your troubles.” The elevator comes to a stop as everyone glances around to make sure their party is still intact.

Is it just your imagination or does Hysterium Haunted Asylum get more terrifying the deeper in you go? The cafeteria seems like a calm reprieve... until you hear the maniacal laughter on the other side of the kitchen door. And what is that smell? The filthy kitchen was one of the most original installations we had seen in a haunted house – one your eyes (and nose) definitely won’t forget.

If you make it out with your head intact, you run into a room of bloodied plastic curtains similar to a meat processing plant. You can’t really tell which way you’re going or, more importantly, which way is out. Wait, did something just move over there? You get the feeling you’re being followed, and you wonder if your head is the next one on the chopping block.

You wind around to what’s known as the “throwback room,” paying homage to the static room in the old Haunted Cave. It features a TV in the corner tuned to static and empty chairs waiting for asylum patients to return. If you have a fear of spiders, proceed with caution to the next room. The nice nurse will keep you safe, right? One look in her eyes tells you otherwise. “He bites!” she warns. Who bites? And what’s that growling noise?

The heart of the asylum holds an especially terrifying treat. But what would be the fun in spoiling it? This is your nightmare, after all. I’ll let you see for yourself.

To earn the right to leave, you must make it through the space-bending vortex room, a feature some may remember as the tunnel from the Haunted Cave. Be sure to hold on to the rails – and your sanity. You rush to the end of the tunnel, gasping the fresh air that surrounds you. You survived!

You made it out alive, but has Hysterium haunted asylum claimed a small bit of your sanity forever?

Ashley Motia








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THIS WEEK'S ISSUE


Sweetwater Studios

Haunted Jail

Fort Wayne Youtheatre

all for One

Hysterium

Haunted Hotel

Different Stages

SPONSORS:

ART & MUSEUMS

Fort Wayne Museum of Art
Northside Galleries

DANCE

Fort Wayne Ballet
Fort Wayne Dance Collective

DINING & NIGHTLIFE

4D's Bar & Grill
After Dark
The Alley Sports Bar
Calhoun Street Soups, Salads & Spirits
Champions Sports Bar
Checkerz Bar & Grill
Columbia Street West
Deer Park Irish Pub
Dicky's 21 Taps
Dupont Bar and Grill
Firefly Coffee House
Green Frog Inn
Latch String Bar & Grill
Mad Anthony Brewing Co.
Shady Nook Bar & Grill
Snickerz Comedy Bar

HALLOWEEN

Columbia City Haunted Jail
Fright Night
Fright Site Hikes
Haunted Hotel 13th Floor
Hysterium Asylum (old Haunted Cave)

INSTRUCTION

IPFW Community arts Academy

MEDIA

WXKE Rock 104

MUSIC SERVICES

& SUPPLIES

Fort Wayne Musicians Association
Sweetwater Sound
Wooden Nickel Music

PERFORMERS

80D
BackWater
Biff & The Cruisers
Big Daddy Dupree and the Broke & Hungry Blues Band
Big Dick & The Penetrators
Big Money and the Spare Change
Dan Dickerson's Harp Condition
The DeeBees
Dirty Comp'ny
Dueling Keyboard Boys, The
Elephants in Mud
FM90
For Play
The Jaenicke Consort Inc.
James and the Drifters
Joe Justice
Joel Young Band, The
Juke Joint Jive
Kill The Rabbit
Little Orphan Andy
Marshall Law
Mike Conley
Rescue Plan, The
Tim Harrington Band
Valhalla
Walkin' Papers
What About Joe

RETAIL

3 Rivers Co-op Natural Grocery & Deli

THEATER

all for One productions
Arena Dinner Theatre
Different Stages Theater
Fort Wayne Youtheatre
Fort Wayne Civic Theater
IPFW Dept. of Theatre

VENUES

Allen Co. Public Library
C2G Music Hall
Embassy Theatre
Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Dept.
Fort Wayne Philharmonic
Honeywell Center
Niswonger Performing Arts Center



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Events (Things to Do)
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