Underground monsters invade Joplin business

A costumed actor from Monsters of the Underground waves bat talons at visitors to the spook house.

A costumed actor from Monsters of the Underground waves bat talons at visitors to the spook house.

Ree Waterford

If you’ve been outside these past couple of nights and wondered about the blue light shooting into the sky, Monsters of the Underground, a new haunted attraction in Joplin, is your answer.

Combining costumed actors with animatronics, Monsters of the Underground looks to thrill visitors with a high-tech version of the classic haunted house.

Set inside the caves of Underground Paintball, the darkness sets the tone for the haunted terrain.

You just don’t see haunted houses in a cave,” said Shawn Dodson, director of operations for Underground Paintball.

The attraction fills roughly 150,000 dimly lit square feet with animatronics characters including “The Slayer,” a gargoyle-like creature with a 20-foot wingspan. There is a 16-foot serpent and an assortment of skulls, bats and a giant spider.

“Some of the animatronics are things like you would see at some of the big theme parks, Universal or MGM,” Dodson said. “It’s spooky – it’s really scary. It’s definitely the premiere haunted house in the Joplin area that tops the competition.”

Gates open at 6 p.m. from now until Oct. 31. Monsters of the Underground costs $10 for an individual ticket and group discounts are available for pre-purchase.

“It was worth the money,” said Monique Canada, senior biology major. “I like that they were not touching and grabbing me and people weren’t yelling in your ear. They had a lot of good special effects.”

Some students were raving about the lack of effects and the scare tactics from last year’s area haunted houses.

“I went to the one last year and I was upset that I wasted my money,” said Angel Andrews, sophomore sociology major. “This year I was a little skeptical about going but I’m glad I went because it was well worth it.”

Dodson says the Monsters show should continue to grow each year, bringing something a little different to the area

“That’s kind of why we did it,” Dodson said. “It’s something really different that Joplin has not seen.

“I really believe there is no competition in Joplin,” Dodson said, “If so, we are at the top.”

For more information, persons may contact Monsters of the Underground at 417-206-9300 or visit www.monstersoftheunderground.com.