Every year for almost three decades I have worked on a home haunt in my neighborhood and each year I have tried to deliver something better, more ambitious, and more entertaining. But that also means more expenses for tentacles, coffins, body parts, costumes, blood and full size Snickers bars.
In the past I have done a Star Wars Cantina, a House of Demented Clowns, a Freak Show and Cthulhu's Temple of Horror (see video below).
This year I am doing a home haunt inspired by Bram Stoker's Dracula and we have an ambitious plan that we hope will send people screaming for the exit.
Each year my friends travel here from around the country to volunteer their time. I am fortunate to have friends who are artists, musicians, sound designers, actors, filmmakers, and writers and they all contribute their talents to making the haunt better each year.
This year I've had some financial setbacks (my fridge broke and needed replacing plus I have other home repairs) that will make this year's haunt a little harder to pay for. So I decided to set up a GoFundMe to offset the expenses. The past three years the haunt has cost anywhere from $1500 to $3500. I don't charge admission for the haunt and anyone can come enjoy it and get a full size Snickers bar as a reward for surviving. I've had teenagers volunteer to help in the haunt because they remember coming to my house when they were 3-years-old and getting the crap scared out of them and now they want to give that experience to someone else.
If I can raise $1000 it will go a long way to offsetting the expenses for this year's haunt and it will allow us to make it the best we can. Since Dracula is set in the Victorian era we have the added expense of period costumes for our actors. We also need to build three wooden coffins and a casket with a plexiglass lid.
I start planning each year's haunt the day after Halloween so I started working on Dracula's castle about ten months ago. I am hoping to get these funds by October 1 so I can put them to good use. Here are just some of the expenses we have:
Renfield's straight jacket $170
Victorian jacket $79
Dracula costume $120
Vampire fangs (4 sets) $120
Hanging human sized vampire $300 (see photo at top)
Halloween is my favorite holiday and I love providing a scary good time to the kids and adults in the neighborhood. We get close to 500 people coming through the haunt and after almost 30 years it's a challenge to keep coming up with new ideas and a fun haunt. But you can be a part of making this year's Dracula's Castle a bloody good show by being a part of this campaign.
You have my deepest, darkest thanks.
- Victor Laruccia
- Karen Van Dyke
- Jose Iturriaga
- Robert Penny