Looking behind the curtain of Fort Branch’s Sinister Cellar

The Titans of Terror was the fourth installment of the Sinister Cellar


Jenna Schleter, Reporter

During this year’s Halloween season, the Brewer family of Fort Branch organized a haunted house, a fun activity for Halloween for the community. It was held at the Fort Branch Park on October 28 and 29, with no scare walkthroughs from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m., and scare time was from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The event was held in the Fort Branch Park. A lot of time and effort was put into making Sinister Cellar happen this year. The big project came with a lot of help from the community and some Gibson Southern sudents.

“This is my first time [working the haunted house], so this is really exciting for me,” sophomore Jacie Bedwell said. 

Other girls at Gibson Southern took this opportunity to complete their Sunshine Society philanthropy for the Sweetheart Dance. 

“I participated in the haunted house last year, and I thought it was very fun, so I decided to do it again for Sunshine,” sophomore Avery Lemmons said.  

Sophomore Sawyer McKimmy had a different approach to volunteering to work the Sinister Cellar. 

“I just thought that it would be fun,” McKimmy said. “I would get more acting experience. And, I love it (scaring people).”

Cameron Brewer started the Sinister Cellar as a joke in 2019, but four years later, the joke has turned into a community event.

“It first started off as a joke,” Brewer said. “Someone said that we should do a haunted house in town, and now four years later, we are having thousands of people walk through the haunted house.”

The Gibson Southern students and community volunteers have one thing in common: they all love Halloween and fall.

“I love the spooky season!” Bedwell said. “I like candy and all the decorations. Most of all, I love to spook people because I get a good reaction. It makes people happy.”

“I love all the fall leaves,” Lemmons said. 

The organizers spent time, effort, planning and a lot of patience setting up this event for only two nights of Halloween festivities.

“We started building [the set] in January, and we didn’t finish the set until the day of the haunted house,” Brewer said.

Since the start of Sinister Cellar four years ago, the organizers have seen growth. The haunted house was originally located in the Fort Branch Old Gym basement. That is how the haunted house originally got its name. With the growth and popularity of the haunted attraction, Brewer thought it would be best not to use the basement anymore. He wanted to go somewhere else that has a lot more space so he could create more ideas with his brother, Justin Brewer.

“We have been working incredibly hard,” Justin Brewer said. “I got a little preview and it is definitely going to live to its expectations.”

There were a lot of different ideas that went into this year’s theme, The Titans of Terror: Scream, Pennywise, and even “Stranger Things.” When people walked into a different room, it felt like they were in that TV show or in that movie. Most people were afraid of Scream or Pennywise, but some people were not phased at all. They are excited.

“I am also a horror fan at heart, which is kinda surprising as I am a little senior,” senior Annalise Folsom said. “I’ve always wanted to do this, just to volunteer. And, just to act in a haunted house has been my dream, so this is a wonderful experience to know about and do.”

Halloween is mostly the time where people get scared. But the actors acting in the haunted house love scaring people the most. 

“It’s Halloween,” McKimmy said. “What other time of year am I able to scare people?”