HURON — It’s scary season! The crew at the Huron Haunted House are working on some frightfully festive attractions again as they return for the fourth year.
Opening night was held on Friday. The haunted house will be open tonight from 7 to 10 p.m. plus each Friday and Saturday between now and Halloween at 155 Waibel Dr. NE. There will be signs for direction. A children’s trick or treat night will also be held from 6 to 6:45 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31, at the same location.
This year, all the original props will be featured in a new location with different and creative fashions, while some brand-new items will also debut.
Owners Jessica Wagner and Logan Johnson discuss the 2020 haunted house. “This year is going to be way different than any year they’ve experienced — there’s an atrocious amount of space in the building this year, the building in itself is creepy because it’s so big,” Wagner explained.
Johnson noted, “There’s plenty of room to run.”
“They’re going to need it,” added Wagner. “We have all of our same props but with different scare tactics.”
Alongside owners are co-owners Josee Johnson and Dillon Peterson, while Boy Scout Troop 222 and their parents continue to help “build, scare and tear down,” Wagner noted.
The Boy Scouts receive the proceeds while the Haunted House Association continues to work with them on raising awareness for and preventing suicide.
“The main focus is suicide prevention. Solely teen suicide, usually the recipients of the haunted house are a teen organization,” Wagner explained.
The focus of suicide prevention began after the tragedy of Isaac Machtemes passing away in October 2018.
“Isaac Machtemes was a part of the boy scout troop that is involved with our haunted house,” said Wagner.
After another successful year in 2019, the team hopes to continue to grow in 2020 and provide fun and safe Halloween activities for the youth of Huron to enjoy.
“I feel last year turned out to be a pretty good year, we had a big turn out,” Johnson noted.
Jessica added, “last year we had the public sending us messages on Facebook requesting that we open another day or two so we ended up going for more nights. We used to go by the theme “five nights of fright,” last year we ended up running for eight nights. This year we have seven nights scheduled and spaced out due to the COVID.”
Sanitizer stations will be set up and available on entrance at the haunted house.
“We want people to know we will follow the CDC guidelines for the COVID issue, we have an enormous amount of space, this year when the customers come in they will pay for their admission, we will then take their phone number down and give out a tag, have them go back to their vehicle, then call them when it is their turn,” Wagner explained. “In previous years we’ve had up to 20-30 people in the waiting room, but because of the COVID issue we will let people know when it’s their turn and meet them at the door.”
The goal of the Haunted House Association is to have safe and fun places for the local youth to utilize.
“Every year our goal is to get bigger and better, we want to let the kids know there is a safe fun place to go for Halloween,” Wagner noted. “We’re working on some other goals and events so kids always have an outlet.”
“We would like to thank Curt Kempf, owner of Curt’s Heating and Cooling,” Wagner and Johnson said. “Curt owns the former Wilbrecht’s building and has given us free access to it, he has also given us cash donations to give candy out to the little children on kids night.”
This is the first year the Haunted House Association have received a cash donation and continue to receive material donations to keep the haunted house running including Vern’s Manufacturing in Wessington and Kuhler Funeral Home.
Members of the public that bring a non-expired canned food item will receive two dollars off the admission cost. Food items will be distributed to local food pantries by the Boy Scouts.
More information including admission fees may be found on the Facebook page “Huron Haunted House.”