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A haunted drive-in car wash experience is coming to Long Island

This fall, Johnnie’s Car Wash on Oak is mixing scares with suds. The full-service auto cleaning company in Copiague is debuting the Tunnel of Terror — a car wash haunt where you might scream as your car gets clean. Credit: Howard Simmons

Johnnie’s Car Wash on Oak is mixing scares with suds. The full-service auto cleaning company in Copiague has debuted the Tunnel of Terror -- a car wash haunt where you might scream as your car gets clean.

"I figured 2020 has been pretty scary, why not make it a bit scarier?" Johnnie Miranti, 45, business owner/haunt creator, says. "I knew this year I needed to get creative by providing families with an opportunity to have fun in a COVID-safe environment. What better than in their own vehicle?"

HOW IT WORKS

Cars will enter from Railroad Avenue into the wash where they will be queued in groups of 10, spaced 6-feet apart. The horror begins on the line, where four scenes will be set up along the sides with live actors feeding off a zombie apocalypse theme.

"There will be creatures coming through the crowd," says Miranti, of Rockville Centre. "It will be quite gruesome, but from a distance."

Once entering the Tunnel of Terror, the driver must put the car in neutral and take their foot off the brake as the vehicle gets guided along a track.

"The tunnel will be completely black, but there will be illuminated arches casting off some shadows," says Miranti. "Characters inside the tunnel will wipe off the suds and be peering in [the glass]. It will be more of a shock factor than anything else."

For those wondering if they will have a hard time seeing anything, Miranti already has that element figured out.

"We will be toning down the suds so people can see what’s going on," says Miranti. "This is not a demonstration of how we clean cars. It's more for entertainment. We are an award-winning, full-service car wash. This will be more of an express wash with all state-of-the-art equipment. Your car will come out fairly clean and everybody stays inside the whole time."

The fright level will be high, especially after 7:30 p.m. when darkness sets in.

"We have some pretty wild props, plus there will be actors running around with body parts and chainsaws," says Miranti. "Even Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers will be making appearances."

TICKET INFO

Tickets ($25) are not sold in advance. They are strictly available at the door and are cash-only, with proceeds going to Kids Need More and the Copiague Chamber of Commerce.

"I didn’t want people to buy tickets in advance and then have to wait on a long line," says Miranti. "It’s a 12-night event. If they drive by and see it’s too busy, they are more than welcome to come back later or on another night."

Miranti hopes to make this an annual event and may even do a Christmas version for the holiday season.

"If this is successful, every year it will grow," he says. "I love Halloween because you can experience a good scare without being at risk of real danger."

THE TUNNEL OF TERROR

WHEN | WHERE Oct. 16-18, 23-25 and 29-31; 6 to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays; 6 to 9 p.m. on Sundays; 521 Oak St., Copiague (across the street from the Copiague train station)

INFO 631-891-6111, facebook.com/johnniescarwashonoak

ADMISSION $25 per car

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