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A Haunted Family Reunion

Filed in Blog by on October 17, 2017 0 Comments • views: 652

Capt Lazarus’ Haunted Harbor isn’t just a scary spooky Halloween attraction, it’s a high school reunion of sorts. Mr. John Sullivan when working on the idea for the Haunted Harbor (first called the Harbor of Horror) turned to former Students Emma Carpenter and Jen Kunze to help recreate the flavor of Sullivan’s 30 year run with the Barnstable High School Drama Club Haunted House.

Karen Mannal Sullivan’s longtime costumer and her husband Dr. Richard Mannal joined up with Karen working on costumes and Richard helping to build the sets. Karen said about this production “It’s different, it’s fun, for a good cause and we wanted to keep the tradition going!”



With a script in place and it’s layout, Sullivan turned to former student Matt Kohler, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the New Classics Company to help make the flats and assemble the maze. While the flats took a few weeks to get ready the walls were all put up in three hours. Kohler said “Halloween is my favorite time of year and I would never pass up the chance to help create an attraction like the Haunted Harbor! Working with John is always a blast! It’s always exciting to see the new ideas he comes up with and helping him bring those ideas to life!”

Once the maze was in place the call went out for actors, a lot of members of the Cape Cod Community Media Center gladly played parts and the rest were filled by BHSDC alumni.

Local actor Marc Stone showed up at auditions and got the part as the King of the Bog Monsters who doesn’t like trespassers entering his domain. Marc liked the part so much he returned to it of a second year.




Sullivan called on former student  Sean P Hagon, Chair of the Professional Music Department, to compose a new theme for the Haunted Harbor, since completing that theme, he has also composed music for the cannibalistic clowns and the zombie pirates. Mr. Hagon aside from teaching, composes music for television shows such as American Pickers. Last year Sean and his son appeared as extras in the Haunted Harbor and this year Sean acted the part of Col Cornelius who together with his group of Carnivorous Clowns escaped from the Barnstable County Fair Sideshow Tent and have hidden in the Haunted harbor. Hagon said “Giving back to your community to those who have helped you on the way up is paramount to social entrepreneurship. As a composer for film and TV shows such as American Pickers on the History Channel, when I was asked by John Sullivan who was my former drama teacher to contribute original theme music, I didn’t hesitate to jump on the opportunity for what I felt was an important cause. It felt tremendously rewarding to know that I was making a difference by giving back to those who had made a difference in my life.”

Sullivan asked Richard Archer, a professional magician known as the Amazing Richard, to come up with some magic tricks for a few extra surprises for the unexacting people who bravely try to get through the maze. His magic illusions added greatly to the eerie suspense you find in the Haunted Harbor.

Lisa Griffin Brennan said “I enjoy giving time and being a part of something that gives back to the kids. Seeing the excitement in the faces of the cast brings back great memories of those first haunted houses I was lucky enough to be a part of.”

Bobby and Leah Price joined the team as the lost soul Guides who lead the groups of guests through the deadly maze. “When I first saw the Haunted Harbor post on Facebook I hit “like” instantly because I couldn’t wait to see it. But, when I got the message asking if I wanted to be a part of it, it was an honor I didn’t hesitate for one second to accept!” said Leah.

Bobby added “Some of my best memories, and the same holds true for Leah, are of coming together as a group toward a common goal of sending people screaming from the building and not being able to sleep without a nightlight. The John Sullivan haunted house is the Macy’s Day Parade of Halloween. You’re a part of something special.”

This year even more former students have joined in the fun bringing their children to be in it also. Courtney Tennyson drove almost two hours from Blackstone, MA so she and her two children could participate. “It’s been wonderful to come back after all these years and work again with my former drama club director, John Sullivan, on another fantastic show! It has been particularly rewarding to introduce my own children to something that was such an important part of my own teen years, and gift them with the love of the stage that was instilled in me by participating in the BHS Drama Club so many years ago.”


Even Siobhan Magnus has returned to help, the American Idol Alumni appears as the Oceanic Oracle who predicts the fate to the guests who happen to wander into her lair. Of her experiences with the Haunted Harbor she said “Some of my fondest memories of being in the Barnstable High School Drama Club are of being in John Sullivan’s haunted houses. My entire career in performing more or less began with being a screaming victim attacked by killer clowns when I was about nine years old! Halloween has always been my favorite holiday, and the Haunted House provided us with a fantastic opportunity to share our enthusiasm for the season with hundreds of patrons. The production brought us together as a team, as everyone was included and integral to the final outcome. I am so excited to be a part of this year’s Haunted Harbor! It’s is such a thrill to perform for a new audience every five minutes, never knowing what to expect. Some guests are amused while others are terrified! On Saturday night I brought my younger sister Ceili to be in it with me, and it delighted me to see her excitement when she scared a grown man! The best part is to be able to invite people to get lost for a little while in a world of make believe, mystery and magic, where anything could lurk around the next corner and it’s all in good fun. I have truly missed doing this!”


Overall this has become one big family event for the cast.

Don’t miss Captain Lazarus Haunted Harbor Open Oct 20, 21, 27, 28, 29, 30. 17 Shad Hole Road, Dennis Port MA  Admission is $10 and it is open from 6pm until closing.

Caution: it may be too intense for younger children.


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