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19 Aug 2014


Local comedians to brave haunted venue



If you go...

The Vapor Room
33 Munsonhurst Rd
Franklin, N.J.


For most comedians, deathly silence after their joke may be the sound they fear the most. Those at The Comedy Haunt, however, may dread other sounds even more: the rattling of chains and the melancholy moaning of spooky specters, for example.

The Comedy Haunt, perhaps Sussex County’s only comedy club (and undoubtedly the only one located in a haunted building), will open on Aug. 15 upstairs from The Vapor Room at 33 Munsonville Road in Franklin.

Vapor Room owners Patrick and Cindy Barton are the proprietors of the new venture, according to public relations spokesperson Melissa Allan. The new club will offer an intimate atmosphere for 50 to 60 guests to laugh off the stress of their week.

There’s only one catch: the laughter you hear may not all be of the earthly variety.

“Bizarre and weird stuff happens there,” says Allan of the building. “The basement especially is really creepy.”

Creepiness aside, the Comedy Haunt plans a “Sussex County’s Funniest Standup Comedian” contest on Aug. 15 and 16. Twenty contestants will be selected. The winner will have the opportunity to show off his or her skills in two paid feature shows. So far 11 spots have been filled.

Allan admits to being less than strict on the Sussex County requirement.

“Anyone who is here will be ‘in’ Sussex County,” she says.

A comedienne herself, Allan tired of the long treks to New York and other parts of New Jersey to practice her art. In addition, frequently only ‘bringers’ — those who bring along five to 10 other paying guests — can get a slot at the mike. The Comedy Haunt has no such requirement. However, all attendees should be ghost-friendly.

Ghost stories
Pressed for a ghost story about the building, Allan reports, “Once the owner was coming back late at night and saw a man dressed in a tuxedo staring at him from an upstairs window.”

Upon entering the building, he found nobody inside, and he realized that the window in question was far above the floor. Other stories abound, of dogs going crazy and objects going missing only to return a few minutes later.

Despite the stories, Allan herself will be ready for a weekend of fun.

“I ain’t ‘fraid of no ghost!” she says.

Prospective jokesters should e-mail Melissa Allan at TheComedyHauntFranklin@aol.com to schedule a five-minute open-mike slot. Reservations for attendees are “highly recommended.” The entrance fee is $10 per person plus a two food-item minimum. The club will serve ‘fun food’ initially, with the potential for more complex comestibles in the future.

- See more at: http://spartaindependent.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140819/ENTERTAINMENT/140819939/Local-comedians-to-brave-haunted-venue#sthash.8yTnDGqQ.dpuf

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