'Dr. Giggles' and the 'Dread River Pirates' visit the Haunted Fort

By Jennifer Lassiter
star staff

  The Cloudland High School Drama Club will present their 10th annual Haunted Fort at Sycamore Shoals State Park on Saturday, Oct. 16, from 3 to 6 p.m.
  The annual event includes eight skits that are funny and scary and appropriate for all ages. There will also be a small children's trail outside the fort.
  Guides will lead groups of people through the haunted fort. The 40 members of the Drama Club, ranging from seventh-graders to high school seniors, have been preparing their costumes and candy bags. In previous years they have had a good turnout and are hoping for a big crowd this year. They estimate approximately 300 to 700 people will be attending the annual event.
  James Miller, a junior at Cloudland High School, wrote one of the featured skits titled "The Dreaded River Pirates." The story is of a fictional massacre by Native Americans during the 1770s. Every Oct. 16 the pirates come back to re-visit the fort in authentic drab.
  Senior Deidre Stevens composed a scary tale based on an old film, "Dr. Giggles." The skit will feature the psychopathic son of a mass-murdering doctor, who escapes from his mental institution and seeks revenge on the town of Elizabethton, where his father was caught. The giggling doctor kills his victims with a surgical theme. His goal is to give one of the townsfolk a heart transplant.
  The club is asking for a $1 donation, which funds field trips and next year's haunted fort. They also use the money to perform plays and trips to New York.
  Junior Derek Shell joined the drama club this year, and so far has enjoyed all their events. "I've been willing to do anything they need me to do," said Shell. "It's fun."
  Cheri Miller, sponsor of this year's event, said, "We are very grateful to Park Superintendent Jennifer Bauer for letting us use Sycamore Shoals State Park."