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Edge Haunted Tours host terror-filled nights at The Cottage

PHOTO BY BRIAN BASHAM/DL NEWSPAPERS

‘Tis the season of witches, monsters and things which go bump in the night.

It’s also the season for haunted houses, which is the perfect frightening tool to push your limits of being scared.

From now until All Hallow’s Eve, there are haunted houses which fright seekers can tip-toe through and scream at things in the dark — and then there are full-blown haunted productions which can throw you right off the cliff of total terror.

That’s exactly what Sterling Edge Productions proprietors Kyle and Lyndsey Knutson are seeking to thrust on would-be thrill-seekers with their Edge Haunted Tours production at The Cottage, located behind the Kirkbride Asylum in Fergus Falls.

The Edge Haunted Tour will open its doors for scares on Thursday, Oct. 10, and continue through Nov. 2.

Tours will be every Thursday-Sunday, starting Oct. 10, with hours Thursday and Sunday from 7-11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday tours running from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Halloween night, which is Thursday, Oct. 31, the show will run from 7 p.m. to midnight.

Located at the former nurses’ cottage, which housed the Kirkbride asylum workers, the ambience is a perfect setting for a fright-fest.

“The story we have come up with goes perfectly with the cottage,” Lyndsey Knutson said. “It is based on the nurses who work at the Kirkbride asylum; they don’t like the therapy being provided there. So they take matters into their own hands and start experimental testing on the patients at the cottage.

“Then, of course, things start going terribly wrong.”

The Edge Haunted Tour isn’t your typical walk-through; rather, it’s a haunted house jacked-up on steroids.   

Every group will start out with a tour guide, who will walk them through a maze of dark, creepy hallways and rooms.

“The tour guide will set the pace and take the groups through the entire cottage and outside area,” Lyndsey Knutson added.

The cottage itself is three stories tall, with the haunted tour taking groups through the “experiments” in which the nurses have partaken, encountering roaming insane patients, who interact with the tourists along the way.

Part of the tour also goes outside, behind the cottage, where even more scares are awaiting the innocent walkers.

“The total time to get through the tour will depend on the group and tour guide, but it should last up to 35 minutes,” Kyle Knutson said.

There will be plenty of opportunity to jump and scream, with the Edge Haunted Tours utilizing around 45-50 actors and actresses, who will be scattered about the entire tour ready to push those fright limits of people taking the tour.

Two of those stalking the hallways will be Melissa and Scott Fronning, who each helped haunt the Kirkbride last year during an Edge Haunted Tour.

“This isn’t like any other haunted house, both places are amazing,” Melissa Fronning said. “It’s just crazy inside these buildings and so many people who have worked in these buildings have so many great stories.

“Our goal is to give the people what they pay for.”

That, of course, is to get scared, which is another draw for the people who will dwell inside the Cottage throughout the month of October.

“The thrill of scaring people is very entertaining,” Scott Fronning said. “And I do apologize for the two missing people from last year’s haunt (said with a laugh).”

The actors and actresses will also know their roles, after rehearsing them earlier in the week.

“They have their generic scripts, but they also have the freedom to improvise, as well,” Kyle Knutson said.

Sterling Edge Productions was created this past year by the Knutsons, but the couple has been running haunted tours the last seven years.

It began with a small, four-room haunted house inside Edge Dance and Performing Studios in Fergus Falls.

“The first year, we had about 60 people come through, along with eight actors performing,” Lyndsey Knutson said. “It just kept growing and growing after that.”

Last year’s production, which was housed inside the Kirkbride asylum, was by far Edge Haunted Tours’ biggest success.

The cast included 45-50 people and they didn’t disappoint, as 3,700 customers walked through the intimidating asylum.

People waited in line up to three hours to take the tour last year, showing how popular the haunt was.

But this time around, tickets can be purchased online in advance at www.edgehauntedtours.com, where the customer picks an allotted time.

“Now you can get a certain time slotted and the wait shouldn’t be longer than 30 to 45 minutes if they make their time slot,” Kyle Knutson said.

There are also three different scare levels a group can agree on, with the intensity of the tour based on slight scare, full scare or insanely scary.

There also could potentially be some extra — but unseen — help during the haunted tours at The Cottage.

“There have been some very weird occurrences that happened while we were constructing the (set),” Lyndsey Knutson said. “It’s definitely a creepy atmosphere.”

If a scare is something you’re after, it’s a scare you will get and one thing will be for certain…you will be teetering on the brink of fright if you decide to pass through The Cottage of the Kirkbride’s doors during the month of October.

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN. 
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