WEST PORTSMOUTH — A new haunted attraction will be open this October and may seem different than your typical haunted house.
Roger Whitt, who has been doing haunted houses since 1990, decided he wanted to open a haunted attraction unlike anything around the area.
“Around four years ago, I bought 18 acres up on Peach Orchard,” said Whitt. “I have built animatronics for years and when I went to sell a custom made one for $5,000, the man refused to pay more than $2,5oo and asked me if I refused to sell it for $2,500 then who else would buy it, so I said forget it and built my own haunted attraction.”
Whitt said he is aiming for around 60 animatronics and 40 people working the haunted attraction.
“Nothing has been store bought. I actually have built every one of the animatronics,” said Whitt.
Each year will be based on a story and this year, the theme is based on the story of Henry Whitt, also known as “Pappy,” who owned the peach farm in the 1920s but also secretly sold moonshine. As law enforcement started becoming suspicious, Pappy began saying the hills were haunted and although that scared them away for a while, it became more taunting when a local sheriff went missing.
Once a new sheriff was elected, Pappy began burying his dead family members and saying the property was sacred and could not be searched. As more and more people went missing, law enforcement searched the property to find Pappy had disappeared as well and nothing was ever found of Pappy or the missing people.
“We will follow the same storyline for four years, but each year the attraction will add things in the open spaces you will see,” said Whitt. “The attraction is built to grow and after four years, we will follow a new storyline.”
The attraction will be located at 2120 Nauvoo Pond Creek in West Portsmouth, OH. Tickets will cost $10 each and the attraction will be open every Friday and Saturday in October from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Trails will lead into a series of buildings that will make up the haunted attraction and will have 3 feet wide pathways making the trail more accessible.
Whitt said there will be no touching, cussing, or grabbing coming from the members of the haunted attraction and the majority of the scenes will be partially lit up, so no rooms will be pitch black.
“I would like to see people come out and bring their families,” said Whitt. “Most of these haunted houses nowadays, you can’t bring your kids because they cuss and grab and I’m not that kind of style.”
Whitt said he knew he wanted to build the attraction in West Portsmouth.
“The West Side used to have the haunted ballfield that I worked at and that was a great thing when I was growing up. I just think it’s great to bring something back to West Portsmouth,” said Whitt.
Reach Darian Gillette at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1931, or by email at [email protected]
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