Halloween fun-seekers will no longer need to drive an hour to Poolesville for a scare.
A haunted house attraction called The Warehouse: Project 4.1 is set to open Sept. 28 in the former Filene’s Basement department store on Rockville Pike.
The attraction’s storyline is about the crew of Lucky Dragon No. 5, a Japanese fishing boat contaminated by radioactive fallout from an accidental nuclear blast in the South Pacific during the 1950s. The people, the boat and its contents are quarantined and sent to a warehouse in Baltimore.
In the haunted house setup, the infected matter lies dormant until 2012, when a private pharmaceutical company gains access to it. Lucky Dragon No. 5 and its contents are shipped to a lab in Rockville, where something goes horribly wrong.
Visitors will explore an abandoned bio-hazardous warehouse filled with attacking zombies, decaying bodies, vicious military men and more.
Justin Watson, director of hiring and public relations for Hallow Inc., the company created by five entrepreneurs for the project, said the attraction differs from others because it relies more on live actors and less on animatronics or fake electric monsters.
To get the community involved, Watson hired local high schoolers to play some of the zombies. Sophomore Nicole Fleck will be one of them.
“We’re either going to be zombies running around, in a specific room or pretending to be trapped,” she said. “You’re guaranteed to get scared. You’ll get your money’s worth.”
Occupying 37,000 square feet, the exhibit is larger than most haunted houses and is the first in the Washington metropolitan area that is entirely indoors. It’s also easily accessible by Metro.
“I would definitely go,” sophomore Hannah Hults said, “but with someone else because I get scared easily.”
Visitors might well want to exit the attraction in twos. Watson won’t reveal the surprise ending.
“Nobody knows what will be in our last room, but it’s sure to be terrifying,” he said. “You will leave disturbed.”