The day before the Newburgh Civitan Zombie Farm was set to open, teens finished perfecting their scary makeup skills. Bloody eyeballs, black lips and fake bruises were all painted on the teens with the hope of scaring their parents during the farm’s open house.

The Newburgh Zombie Civitan Farm had its opening Friday for its 44th year in operation, with pre-teens and teens from the junior club — who are the humans behind the creepy creatures — showing off all their work during the open house.

Rob Wargel, who is in charge of the junior club and has been with the Newburgh Civitan since 1988, said more than 70 kids are participating in the junior club this year, with the goal being to help raise money for nonprofits.

“Basically, we are raising money for good things, we work a lot with Special Olympics. They are the main thing,” he said. “We’ve helped with the Humane Society before.”

This year, they are hosting a special kids day from 1-4 p.m. Oct. 21, with all proceeds benefiting the Easterseals Rehabilitation Center.

“So far, we have hayrides, trick or treating, face painting,” said Kaitlyn Milan, president of the junior club and Kid’s Day chair. “We’re having one of the police officers from the Warrick County Sheriff’s Department and a firefighter as well.”

Wargel said the junior civitan is a club for the kids don’t fit into any other club.

“And a lot of them will come down as quiet as quiet can be,” he said. “And by the time we’re done with them, they are the most outspoken, open people that you will meet.”

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Wargel also said it is a judgmental free zone.

“It’s a place where they know they can come down and be themselves down here,” he said. “There is no judging of anything. Once they get the mask on, the makeup on, no one knows who they are. So they can play, they can get out of their comfort zone without anyone knowing about it.”

Milan is currently on her fifth year of being a part of the club and participating in the zombie farm and is now seasoned at putting on horror makeup.

“My favorite makeup look, I actually have a character developed — her name is Daisy,” she said. “And I use her out in the front in the shed as an interaction and I just look like an old zombie lady.”

Milan said her favorite scene takes place in an area set up to look like a deranged dining room.

“Probably because there are so many different types of distractions going on. We have two people on chains, somebody with a table, somebody with a saw,” she said. “They can put up to five people in there so it’s just a really intense scene and you set each other up and it’s a lot of fun.”

Milan said although the haunted house is centered around zombies, they have some new and exciting scenes this year.

“We have some pretty basic zombie scenes, like we’ve got two major talking scenes where we really try to make customers feel welcome and try to give our personality to them,” she said. “You got to be really quick on your feet and know what to say, and that’s where the most experienced people go.”

Milan said they also have a good variety of scenes this year.

“We have some really high intensity scenes like our clown scene and what we call perspective and it’s going to be a lot of noise, a lot of lights and people just popping up everywhere,” she said. “We have some really quiet scenes — we have a puppet that we use. We call her Bloody Mary. And just some regular, fun zombie jump scares.”

The Newburgh Civitan Zombie farm is open every Friday and Saturday in October from 7 p.m. to midnight and every Thursday and Sunday from 7 to 9 p.m. They also provide no scare tours on those dates from 6 to 6:45 p.m. and are open Oct. 30 - 31. Tickets are $12 per adult, $5 per child and free for children 10 years and younger. The no scare tours are $5 per person. For more information, visit

Milan said being apart of the Newburgh Civitan Zombie farm is incredibly exhilarating.

“It’s just a lot of fun to be able to scare and see people’s reactions,” she said. "There's nothing better than being able to knock a big biker off his butt."

Marisa Patwa is a graduate of the University of Evansville with a degree in journalism and minor in political science.

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