My wife (cut off to the left in the picture above) admits that she may have a problem. Previously, I wrote these posts, Build Your Own Haunted House and We’re Going to Start a Haunted House! Now, that dream is nearing reality. Our community has purchased a building that’s no longer used by the local school district. We’re turning the newer parts of the building into a community center. About ¼ of it though is mothballed and the intent of the community – most of it – is to keep it that way. One zealous soul wants to open it back up, clean it up and redevelop it as a community museum since “it’s the part of the building that’s been here almost as long as the village has been”. Of course, she doesn’t have a dime to her name and her idea would cost the moon. Space has already been set aside in the more user friendly parts of the building to showcase local memorabilia.
What’s been mothballed is perfect for our use as a haunted house business and to raise much needed funds for the community center and for the community at large. Musty, dark and dank are perfect conditions for what we intend to do. A photo of most of the mothballed portion is to the right. It has the makings of a perfect haunted house; wouldn’t you agree? Bwaaa ha ha ha ha!
We ran a haunted house as a community fundraiser out of our house (outside views pictured to the left…in the daylight…) last year for just two nights, donation only. We had a good time but it was a lot of work to construct for such a short period of time and a lot of effort to make sure we were in compliance with local ordinances (number of exits, fire suppression, whole structure communication system, etc.). We’ve looked forward to getting access to the school, getting set up and leaving it set up…just changing the scenery a bit year to year and having different actors in different makeup to provide the heavy scares. It’s been a long wait, and where we hoped for a five weekend October run this year, it looks like we may only have time for a couple because we’ve done no construction (since we still can’t get in there) and, in fact, not even applied for all of the appropriate business licenses, etc. and done no advertising. We don’t officially have an ‘address’ yet so we’re playing the waiting game and we can’t do any of that stuff.
My wife got tired of waiting. She’s been asking everyone she can reasonably contact for “scary” Halloween paraphernalia that they no longer want. She’d love donations but, for good stuff, she’s willing to pay. Well, this past week she paid for some from a place, a private home, that we didn’t even get to see half of.
One of our neighbors forwarded her a Facebook link from a lady in a nearby community that lived in ‘Halloween House’ year round who wanted to part with some things in exchange for cash. After my spouse and she went back and forth over text all day from their respective places of work, we drove 40 minutes that evening to meet this woman to find a front yard and porch overgrown and eerily decorated and a carport mostly shrouded in tarps that contained dozens of 50 gallon plus trash bags filled with unopened costumes, props, make up and more that defies description.
There’s no way I can describe the look on my wife’s face that night or her glee as she dug through bag after bag while the youngish woman and her significant other (boyfriend? fiancé? spouse?…we don’t know) looked on and/or kept bringing things from the house to offer up to us. We amassed quite a nice ‘little’ pile of stuff by the time it was time to make a deal. My wife started with $200 for everything in the pile and the blood fountain on the porch (you read that right). That offer was accepted but then other things were counter-offered for more money. By the time we were done, we had everything on the porch (which was a lot), everything in the small front yard (including two very large pieces), and everything in our pile for $300.00. We filled the bed and back seat of our super duty, crew cab F-250.
We never even got into the house. We were told she wasn’t ready to part with any of that stuff yet. We’ll never know what that was all about but, she did have children living there so it couldn’t have been too bad…right?
That lady has a problem. My wife has a problem. We’ve now got a storage shed packed full of this stuff (except for our fake Christmas tree and a few boxes of ornaments and decorations) that needs to be transferred to the school as soon as we can get in there. Once we’re occupying about 20,000 square feet of that space, what we have will likely look piddling in comparison. Someone is going to want lots more. I’m going to need some help reining in my spouse until we can go legit as a for profit business… Any thoughts?