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13th Gate, one of Baton Rouge's spookiest attractions, is back with more scares

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BATON ROUGE - The 13th Gate, one of Baton Rouge's spookiest spots, has returned for another frightful season. For more than 20 years, the haunted crew, led by Dwayne Sanburn, has continued to scare the city silly.

"We have grown bigger and better every single year, and our cast and crew have gotten bigger," Sanburn said.

Sanburn says working on the attraction is a year-long process. As soon as the last guest leaves for the season, the hammer and nails come right back out. 

"As soon as we close the doors for this year, we will start tearing out a section and rebuilding for next year, " he said. "It's right before people come in, we're still working on the haunted house. So it never ends."

This year's newest haunt is a Stranger Things section based on the popular show. To keep the mystery alive, cameras had to stay off in those parts. 

Behind the scenes, 150 people make up the cast and crew, and since zombies and monsters aren't just roaming the streets of Baton Rouge, make-up artists take over, making nightmares real.

Sarah Brown is in her second year as the head make-up artist for The 13th Gate. As she spoke, Brown applied special effects makeup to an actor's face. Others in the room airbrushed on dark colors and painted fake blood. 

"It's magical—the actor always brings it to life," Brown said.

Brown says each artist works on ten actors each, starting the work at 5 p.m. and finishing in less than two hours, just before doors open to the crowd. 

The 13th Gate is open Thursday through Sunday from 6:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m..


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