Fall is officially here, leaves are beginning to change, apple cider is beginning to brew, and haunted houses across the region are opening their doors.
But one organization has a long-standing history of providing Portsmouth with fright — the Portsmouth Jaycee’s organization.
Next Friday, Sept. 30, marks the 37th year that the opened the doors on their Haunted House attraction, located at 2033 Gallia Street.
“We’re really excited to get the season started,” said Vice President Katelyn Clark. “We’ve got completely new concepts and we’ve got two new rooms. I don’t want to give any spoilers, so people are just going to have to come and check it out.”
The Haunted House will be opening every Friday and Saturday Sept. 30 through Oct. 29. Ticket sales start at 7:30 p.m. with Tours beginning at 8 p.m.
“One thing we are doing this year, that is different from last year, is we’re just sticking to the weekend format,” explained Clark. “Last year we were open the entire the week of Halloween. We decided that it was best to just be open on the weekends this year.”
According to Clark, there are no age limitations on the Haunted House, but it is required that children ages 10 and younger attend with a parent or legal guardian.
“There are plenty of exits, if someone should get scared and want to leave,” explained Clark. “Our tour guides will help you, we don’t want anyone to feel trapped. Another thing we get asked often, is ‘are there going to be clowns?’ Yes. We will have clowns visiting again this year.”
Over the years, the organization has continued to see growth, with the concepts for the haunted house, the number of volunteers and the attendance as well.
“I think people in our area really enjoy the haunted house because you don’t have to travel,” said Clark. “It’s right here in town, we have a lot of people just walk down. It’s become a staple event in the Halloween season, people really look forward to it. We’re in our 37th year now, and we wouldn’t be if it wasn’t something that the community wanted.”
In addition to providing the area with spooky Halloween entertainment, the organization also provides for families in need.
“All the proceeds from the haunted house go towards purchasing our Christmas baskets,” said Clark.
The organization goes through Catholic Social Services and purchases gifts for families, in addition to providing them with a Christmas dinner.
“Not only are you having fun, but you’re help us give back to a great cause as well,” said Clark.
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.