After experiencing the Fear Mine for myself, I stood near the exit with owner and operator Timothy Schober as another group came stumbling out in a fit of hysteria. “This is what I want — people leaving screaming and laughing,” Schober said. He seems to be meeting that goal — in the half hour I spent near the entrance, there was a nearly constant flow of shrieking coming from within.
According to fearmine.com, the mine is haunted by turn-of-the-century miners. The mine was opened to guests for tours this fall, but several wandered off and became lost. Currently, search parties are being sent into the mine on weekends to find the missing guests.
Everyone has a different tolerance when it comes to horror. If you are a horror movie connoisseur you may be less than terrified, but you won’t be bored. The creative use of materials, level of production and sensation of experiencing rather than watching make this haunt worth the trip to Belgrade.
Schober and his wife have over 10 years of experience in the haunting business. They started the Fear Mine last year at their house, funding the project out of pocket. Last year, admission was a can of food, but due to the upgraded experience this year admission is higher. The new price is $13 or $10 with a can of food.
Although the price seems high for a college budget, a portion of the proceeds go to various nonprofits around the valley and all canned food goes to the Gallatin Valley Food Bank. Schober also stressed that most of the money goes back into the project to make it “bigger, better and scarier every year.” Your money will buy you at least a few good scares, but also works as an investment in what is ultimately a community building project. As popularity increases, the Fear Mine will only get better, drawing visitors from a wider area in a state that is noticeably lacking in professional haunts.
The Fear Mine will be open on Fridays and Saturdays from 7 – 11 p.m. and Sundays from 7 – 10 p.m. until Halloween, when it will be open from 7 – 10 p.m. The website recommends a minimum age of 13 for visitors. For more information and a live webcam of the mine, visit fearmine.com.