Ironton Haunted Tunnel to open this weekend


Joseph Pratt

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Christmas decorations are on display at most major retail businesses, which could only mean Halloween is right around the corner. With the ghoulish holiday of costumes, trickery, and candy quickly approaching, people are wondering what mischief there is to get into this season.

While it is easy to get distracted by pumpkin spice everything, it is important to remember all of the seasonal attractions that come along with this time of the year.

One of the haunted attractions in the area with a history is the Ironton Haunted Tunnel. The tunnel is set to open for victims once again this weekend.

The haunted attraction, which is operated by The Lions Club of Lawrence County, operates out of an old tunnel in Ironton that is no longer open for traffic.

Lou Pyles, volunteer, has been involved with the tunnel and the Lawrence Lions club since 2002. She is dedicated to the quality of the haunt, since it is the club’s only annual fundraiser.

“I love being a Lion and serving. That is our motto, ‘We Serve.’ We do a lot for our community and our only fundraiser is the Ironton Haunted Tunnel, so we put a lot into it,” Pyles said.

Money raised by the Ironton Haunted Tunnel will go back into the Ironton community through many projects accomplished by the Lions Club.

The tunnel was once a part of State Route 75, which went through Ironton before State Route 93 was opened. The tunnel was an entrance and exit for Ironton traffic, but was sealed off with dirt when the new route was built. In 1989, a member of the Lions Club decided to pursue its clearing. By 1991, the group was orchestrating haunted attractions in it to raise funds to accomplish their mission.

“I think the people in the community know we put all the money back into their home, so they are happy to support us,” Pyles said about the success of the haunt. “We also have many dedicated volunteers. We just have a good time with it, but we know how important it is, because it allows us to work so much in the community throughout the year. We work really hard to make it scary.”

The haunts always begin with a Lions Club member telling the history of the tunnel and a story involving a school bus accident and the “deaths” of many young children.

The tunnel is 20 feet wide and 200 feet long, and is full of mazes and scenes. The tours typically take victims around 10 to 15 minutes to travel through the haunt.

The haunt this year features new scenes and mazes and even a hoard of zombies.

The show will run until the end of October, providing scares for thousands. The haunt opens at 7 p.m. each Friday and Saturday and will provide tours until 11 p.m. General admission is $5.

Reach Joseph-Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.

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Submitted photo Lions Club members in Ironton with one of their actors. photo Lions Club members in Ironton with one of their actors.

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