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The list of options for Liberty students to fulfill Christian and Community Service (CSER) requirements is always growing. Choices can include helping the elderly, tutoring kids from local schools — or in the month of October, chasing people around the woods with a chainsaw.
From Oct. 13 to 29, hundreds of visitors to Scaremare will line up for hours for the chance to get creeped out, disoriented and jumped out at from dark places. Scaremare has been a Liberty tradition every fall since it was first started in 1972.
Senior health promotions major Christine Anasco volunteered to work Scaremare for the first time this year as her CSER. Her job was to hold candles in a mourning-themed room in the Scaremare house to guide visitors’ way while adding to the eerie environment. She said she wanted to get involved because of the fun and unique ministry opportunity Scaremare provides.
“You definitely need endurance. I definitely lost my voice by the end of the night, but it’s awesome to hear about a lot of people making decisions or even start questioning the gospel, thinking more about salvation,” Anasco said. “I think it’s good how they share the gospel at the end — it’s not meant to scare you into salvation, because that’s what some people think — but they do try to bring up real-life scary situations to get you to start thinking.”
Volunteers work throughout the weeks leading up to October to make the experience worth the wait for visitors. CSER volunteers work the event four times total — three of the scheduled nights and one day spent either building or tearing down the sets.
“I think it’s definitely a fun Liberty experience, and when you go with groups, it’s all about just having a good time,” Anasco said. “I actually really enjoyed working it in a different way, because it’s a lot of fun to just walk through and get scared and have that experience but it’s different to be on the other end, seeing people’s reactions and being a part of it.”
Although a total number of visitors will not be known until the event is over at the end of the month, approximately 2,000 people visit Scaremare on each of the nights it is opened and about 200 people made first-time salvation decisions on the event’s second night open this year, Anasco said.
According to Kamilla Dening, who coordinates use of CSER workers, Scaremare used nearly 250 volunteers last year. As a result, an estimated 3,000 people made professions of faith.
“It’s fun because it gives you an adrenaline rush and it supports our school. It’s a great fall activity to do with your friends, especially with the student discount on Thursday nights, which is great for big groups of people especially,” said Lindsay Frye, a senior nursing student who has been to Scaremare for the past three years and plans to go again this year.
Scaremare is located at 2300 Caroll Avenue in Lynchburg. The event opens each scheduled night at dusk and closes at 11 p.m. Admission is $8 per person, except on Thursday nights, when admission is $3 per person for visitors with a college I.D. or military I.D.
For more information, visit Scaremare.com or the event’s Facebook page.