aimee suzanne kruse-ross | gb fear | oct. 2018
All was still and quiet in Green Bay. Then the sounds of roaring school buses filled the air, and since then, fall has descended over football paradise. Social media feeds are now filled with orange sweaters, mugs of floating marshmallows over hot cocoa, fire pits, and Jason-faced unknowns wielding rusty machetes as they lumber through crunchy leaves. Nothing too out of the ordinary.
Until he came.
Green Bay's near infamous clown is at it again, setting to work with fright most on his mind. Often at dusk, Mr. Jingles emerges to show his disfigured face and his web-covered clothing as he's spotted wandering the neighborhood streets with a tangled bouquet of balloons while he mutters or sings to the trees.
“Balloons are always a seemingly innocent way to drag victims, I mean fans, closer to me," says Jingles of his modus operandi. “That, and singing. Singing draws people in, lulling them to a sense of normalcy. Until the feeding begins."
Life for Mr. Jingles did not always require such bizarre rituals. This former Parisian resident fled Paris in 1735, where on the eve of his wedding, life took a drastic turn.
“My fiancé's sister was not only insanely jealous, but she also turned out to be a powerful witch," says Jingles. “On the eve of our wedding she killed my love in a fit of rage with a small granite block, then laid a powerful curse upon me."
The curse left Jingles permanently disfigured and in retaliation, he devoured his first soul right then and there. He then retreated to the catacombs of Paris where he was given the nickname Monsieur Jongleur: the Demon Clown of Paris.
After years of migrating the globe, Mr. Jingles has found a permanent home in Shawano Manor, now named Green Bay Fear. Mr. Jingles' residence is also home to the Fearstein family of darkness that includes such characters as The Morgue Witch, Lucy, Rydir, Karnage, Thing, Jinx and Mr. Nice Guy. Other faces you'll find here are B.O.B. The Bunny, Malyce and others.
These monsters will come alive this October and spend hours in torment filling the night sky with screams of torture and foot-dragging pursuits as they wander or run aimlessly around the haunt's attraction looking for fresh victims.
Voted #1 Most Haunted House in Wisconsin by FrightFind, Green Bay Fear is a yearly fundraiser in benefit to the Beja Shriners. Each year, dozens of volunteers gather together to reimagine rooms at Shawano Manor as well as build new props and sets throughout the haunt.
“It is awesome that our volunteers keep coming back," says Green Bay Fear General Manager and Marketing Coordinator, Liz Van Pay. “They keep coming back because they want to, not because they have to — which is what's so special about them."
Green Bay Fear is a total of three freaky attractions, including Shawano Manor, Mr. Jingles' Funhouse and the Twisted Trail.
The Twisted Trail contains those family members that are much too wild for Shawano Manor. Several of the freakiest members promise that tricks and treats will be replaced by freaks and screams.
“As for new elements at the haunt," says Van Pay, “there's a couple of brand new rooms in Shawano Manor. We've also made improvements to our Funhouse and Twisted Trail attractions. Each year, we try to change about 30 percent of the attraction so that there's always something new to see."
With all attractions at GB Fear being both equal parts thrill and haunt, Mr. Jingles can't pick a favorite.
“There's the Twisted Trail as it's always fun to hunt in the wild; the Manor since my heart and curse are tied to the block used as their cornerstone; and last (but by no means least) the Funhouse. Not only does it have a rather fetching image of me on the façade, it's exciting to watch souls lose their way within the maze and sometimes, a few don't make it out."
For those that do make their way out, shivers can be warmed up by the fire pit while listening to live music or taking in a sideshow at the Freakshow Center Stage.
In the event that you're not a soul-hungry zombie, human snacks are available at on-site food trucks.
And the gift shop? Well, you'll certainly need a memento of having survived your evening by visiting the Voodoo Hoodoo gift shop.
“There's some impressive swag," says Jingles of the shop. “Clothing, gifts, buttons and (if rumors be true) some salacious documentation about moi!"
How should one prepare themselves for the night of all frights?
“Remember to eat something buttery before you arrive," says Jingles. “It makes you taste so much better!"
Visit Green Bay Fear every Thursday through Saturday in October. Gates open at 7 p.m. each night. Nightly admission to the haunt is $20 for regular admission and $30 for a Fastpass admission. For more information visit greenbayfear.com and follow along on Facebook.
Green Bay Fear is located at 1950 Bond Street in Green Bay.