BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — If you can think of a building, there’s a chance there’s a scary story involving it. Homes, banks, churches, schools, restaurants, and even parking garages and toy stores have previously been seen as places where terror takes place. But even among spooky structures, there’s one that many would never expect to be the sight of a scare: your local car wash.
The cramped environment and machinery of a car wash make them strange in their own right, but the feeling one gets in a car wash is more claustrophobic than horrifying. That doesn’t seem to have deterred the Tommy’s Express chain of car washes, though, and locations all across the United States are gearing up to convert their cleaning corridors into Tunnels of Terror for the Halloween season — including in North Dakota, where their Bismarck and Fargo branches are decked out to celebrate the season of scares. The Bismarck branch began its tunnel tradition only last year and is hoping to continue it into the future as a family-friendly fright fest that promotes both car cleanliness and candy.
“It’ll be busy,” says Tommy’s Express Bismarck’s General Manager Tyler Adolf. “Yyou’ll go through the wash, the guys’ll be handing out candy, they’ll all be dressed up, and they might come scare you a little bit- but it’s all family friendly.”
During the event, by paying the entry fee, guests can not only receive a full car wash and clean but do so in a drastically different wash than the one they may be used to. All the while, costumed employees will be handing out candy and frightening those who do venture into the wash.
Of course, it’s one thing to write about the Tunnel of Terror, and another to experience it. As we took the KX news van for a cleaning, we were also horrified by the change in lighting — the bright red and shadowy atmosphere, fused with the thrumming of the wash’s heavy machines, is only made even more unsettling by the occasional shifting of costumed figures in the background. All in all, the majority of our group found it a quick and fun experience — which seems to be the intent of the car wash, to begin with.
” The last year, it worked wonders for our memberships,” said Adolf. “It’s definitely a fun night for us too.”
These unique haunted car wash experiences are only available on certain days during the month, so be sure to verify the date before you go. The Bismarck Tunnel of Terror is open on October 28 and 29 from 7-11 p.m., and admission is $20 per car.
For more information on Tommy’s Express or the Tunnels of Terror, as well as a list of locations across the states, visit the company’s website.