Hunt for Demon Outlaw Brings Hundreds to CV Sheriff’s Station

A couple of small children nodded shyly when Lisa Dutton asked if they were scared, so she asked them to think of their favorite superhero. Then she instructed them to stand tall, as that character would — the way she was, with hands on hips and back arched.
“Am I brave?” she asked. “Do you feel brave?”
They did.
“Physiologically,” she explained earlier, “that makes you feel better.”
So might a good fright, which a group of volunteers and deputies from the station spent the past nine months designing. About 600 people stopped by Saturday to tour Deadwood, a “haunted jail” constructed on-site. They also enjoyed Kona shaved ice, participated in costume contests and posed for pictures in a sheriff’s cruiser.
The community event was revived three years ago after a several-year hiatus, said Dutton, a Community Emergency Response Team coordinator and member of the Haunted Jail Committee. Two years ago, the event — held over three days — coincided with a rainstorm. Last year, the jail was open again for three days, which were plagued by Santa Ana winds.
The conditions for this year’s one-day-only approach were ideal, and a record crowd showed up, Dutton said. The event usually breaks even, she said, and her husband, Paul, another volunteer and committee member, said any funds raised will go to the station.
Young visitors hunting for the “Demon Outlaw” before 7 p.m. experienced a relatively tame tour of the 18 rooms, set up to depict a jail, a judge’s chambers, the gallows, a haunted saloon and other spooky scenes. When the sun went down, lights, music and 26 “scharacters” were added to the scene.
Deputy Eric Matejka helped build the maze-like wooden structure and admitted that he still was frightened when one of them popped up unexpectedly during a trial run.
It wasn’t anything that Isabella Armstrong-Fiallo couldn’t handle. The 7-year-old, who dressed as Tigress from “Kung Fu Panda,” said she was particularly impressed by the Dracula she spotted in a coffin. “That was fun!” she said.

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