Monsters on Main: Downtown neighborhood plans a frightful Halloween

Published 10:34 pm Thursday, October 24, 2013

NEWS_MONSTER MADNESS_2012 graveyard web

Monsters on Main is an event full of fun characters and scary haunts. This year’s attraction will include an original play. The productions will begin at the top of the hour (5 p.m. to 9 p.m.) Halloween night.

For the eighth Halloween in a row, one block of East Main Street will set out to scare downtown Washington.
Monsters on Main is a handful of people who haunt 520 East Main Street every year. Across the street at 511 East Main Street, Junius Swain often joins in on the fun with his ever-growing collection of goblins and ghouls.
“Part of the story is that Main Street really has become the safe place for Halloween. Word of mouth has really made it big,” said Main Street monster Spraynard Krueger. “We started out with just a few props in my friend Riley Simpson’s front yard. It was just a few props and a few friends and eventually it grew into a yard full of Halloween items.”
The event is free to the public.
The group was formed by a group of theater friends who used to act in productions at the Turnage Theater. Krueger said Halloween was just an extension of what they used to do on stage.
“It’s not the ghoulish aspect of it that appeals to us. It’s an actor’s holiday. It’s a chance for us to become someone else for just one night,” he said.
This year, the group will perform an original play, “Hecate’s Haunted Circus.” The six-minute act will start each hour at the top of the hour, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Halloween night.
Monsters on Main will continue to haunt the downtown streets Friday, Nov. 1, but encores of the play are not scheduled.
“If people are nice, we might do it on Nov. 1,” said Krueger.
Riley Simpson wrote the script, a macabre take on the circus.
“We just try to get the most out of it and entertain the community as much as we can,” she said. “One of the great things about it is seeing the reactions.”
Simpson said adults usually enjoy the show as much as the children do. With the audience in mind, Simpson and her daughter, Raven, made it a point to add something special to the performance.
“They love it when we dance. We’ve done maybe one or two shows with scripts and they would yell out, ‘dance,’” Raven said. “It’s highly recommended that we dance.”