A Community of Creeps

Merging artist-created environments with a diverse range of performance styles, the Haunted Basement is an interactive experience focused on absurdist psychological horror.

As a nonprofit arts organization, the Haunted Basement is radically inclusive providing an array of year-round educational opportunities, group workshops, individual training, peer guidance and mentor ship.​

It Started with a Rope

In the Autumn of 2006, an art gallery volunteer explored the nether region of the Soap Factory. They emerged with a lung full of filthy, spore-infested air and a fundraising idea: Send patrons into the labyrinthine basement of this historic Northeast Minneapolis building, armed with only a flickering flashlight and a rope to guide the way.

Through word-of-mouth, the tours became an immediate success and tickets sold out.

Ferocious Flourishing

The basement tours became a yearly tradition, mutating and growing each time. Artists and performers clamored to add their twisted imagination to its dark corridors. What emerged was the Haunted Basement.

Send in the Clowns

Within five years, the Haunted Basement earned the reputation as a premier “alternative” haunted attraction. Boasting artist-driven environments with psychological horrorscapes. A focus on performance, dance, professional clowning, improv and theatrical influences. It went beyond the usual horror tropes of vampires and chainsaws.

Beyond Halloween

In 2014, Noah Bremer and Live Action Set brought Dostoyevsky’s Crime & Punishment to the Soap Factory’s basement. This ambitious immersive theatre performance was in the spirit of the Haunted Basement. Its success showed audience hunger for the Haunted Basement experience outside October.

New Home, New Horrors

The Haunted Basement celebrated its ten-year anniversary in 2016, ending its first decade with a bang by declaring its independence. Moving into Building No. 9 of the old General Mills Research Facility in Northeast Minneapolis.

“We trudged through a lot of basements to find the right location,” Christopher Barton (President) said. “When we viewed the dark corners, twists and turns in 2010 Hennepin’s basement space, it was love at first sight. We have options here we’ve never had before. The new digs are perfect for us – miserably, horribly perfect!”

Our Staff

Bo Brunner

Bo Brunner

Interim Executive Director

Bo Brunner is a local small business owner, running The Wandering Mug, a coffee shop food truck in the Twin Cities. Bo graduated with a degree in Mathematics from Cal Poly University in 2009. He spent most of the next decade traveling the world and working various jobs in many different fields. Back in the Twin Cities, he is ready to take his knowledge and experience and put it towards making the Haunted Basement a terrifying success this and every year.

Walker Friend

Walker Friend

Operations Director

Walker Friend immersed himself into the Haunted Basement from the first night he acted. The following year he designed several of the environments, and last year he was asked to come on as Associate Director. Walker has had a passion for the arts his whole life and last year received his Bachelors in Graphic Design. He’s held various manager positions and runs a small business. He spends his free time working on his various design projects, collecting oddities, and eating his weight in nachos.

Sarah Salisbury

Sarah Salisbury

Production Manager

Sarah Salisbury was discovered by the Haunted Basement two seasons ago as the stage manager, and has since moved up into the roll of Production Manager (or “Dungeon Mistress” as our company of Creeps like to say). When not running through the Basement, chasing suspicious patrons and crawling into dark corners, Sarah is the house stage manager for the Ted Mann Concert Hall, as well as a freelance stage manager for various dance companies around the Twin Cities. She is also a freelance theatrical props designer and technician. Sarah’s limited free time involves sleeping, reading, dancing in fields, and meeting as many puppies as she can.

Todd O’DOWD

Todd O’DOWD

Marketing Manager

Originally from the East Coast, Todd O’Dowd is a Twin Cities-based writer, editor, publicist, and event producer with an extensive background in marketing for the arts and non-profit sectors. He made his Haunted Basement debut as a performer in 2016, and has been a core company member ever since. As an actor, singer, director, and stage manager he has worked locally with The Playwrights’ Center, Theatre in the Round, Bedlam Theatre, Red Eye, nimbus, Actors Theater of Minnesota, SteppingStone Theatre, Patrick’s Cabaret, Unicorn Theatre, Theatre Unbound, The Open Space, the Minnesota Fringe Festival, Oratorio Society of Minnesota, and the Minnesota Orchestra among many other credits throughout the region. Mr. O’Dowd is also the Artistic Associate of The BAND Group.

Becci O'Kane

Becci O'Kane

Project Coordinator

Becci O’Kane has been involved with the Haunted Basement for 10 of the 12 years in existence; starting as a patron and then eventually becoming a core actor. While her educational background is in Accounting, Finance, and Project Management, being involved in the Arts is her passion. Outside of the Haunted Basement Becci is highly involved in the marching arts community. She is a current marching member of the world class drum and bugle corps Minnesota Brass for the past 14 years. She also is the Director of 2 high colorguard programs and a Co-Director of an independent Winterguard program. In her free time she loves to sit on the couch and watch TV or take her 2 small dogs to the dog park.

Rowan McKinney

Rowan McKinney

Volunteer Coordinator

Rowan found the Haunted Basement through a fellow Art History student at the University of Minnesota. She had interned with a community of artists at the Katherine E. Nash Art Gallery. Intrigued by the Haunted Basement’s unique opportunities she joined the following season. She spent her first year learning to walk on three foot stilts. That was 2011 and she has returned each year since to volunteer, most recently in the costuming department distributing costumes before performances. It was in that role she found her interest in welcoming and engaging the newcomers.

Tonya Preston

Tonya Preston

Technical Director

Tonya began her Twin Cities theater adventures helping St. Paul Jaycees build haunts in the Wabasha Street Caves. From there, she worked as a costumer and electrical designer for the Minneapolis Holidazzle Parade till its hiatus in 2013. Needing a new project, Ms. Preston attended several of the Haunted Basement’s ‘Fraidy Cat tours and marveled at the love and effort put into the Basement’s physical production. From then on, she has been the Basement’s lead builder. Outside of Basement, he works as a stage hand, rebuilds houses, helps out with her family business in Texas, and hangs with her awesome 5 year old.

CORE COMPANY MEMBERS

CORE COMPANY MEMBERS

James Graham

Craig Kossen

Jack Lasecke

Logan Vice

Nikki Vice

Brian Watson-Jones

Kjer Whiting

Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Christopher Barton - President

Dru Gronewold-Pedraza - Vice-President

Nicole Kennedy - Vice Secretary

Rachael Rhoades - Treasurer

Todd O’Dowd

Maggie FitzGibbon

Mike Leffler-McCabe

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2010 East Hennepin Ave. Building #9
Minneapolis, MN 55413

The Haunted Basement is a nonprofit arts organization which promotes a culture of radical inclusion and expression thanks to our volunteers and donors.