(Posted Sept. 14, 2022)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Mount Sterling’s Haunted House will be bigger and better than ever this year. With that comes the need for more volunteers.
“Last year, on average, it took 21 people at any given time to run the haunted house. So, you can imagine, we’re three times as big now. It’s going to take more,” said Tom Corbin, past master of Mount Sterling Masonic Lodge 269, host of the haunted house.
Organizers invite anyone interested in volunteering to attend a meeting at 1 p.m. Sept. 25 at the lodge, 54 N. London St., or to call Corbin at (614) 530-3132. Volunteers are needed to serve as actors, work concessions, and do other tasks, such as help younger patrons walk through the house.
This year’s Haunted House dates and times are Oct. 28-29 from 4-10 p.m. and Oct.. 30 from 2-4 p.m. Admission is free; donations are accepted. The spooky spectacular features activities both inside and outside the lodge. Children’s games, food, and a deejay are part of the fun outside on the street. Creepy characters and scary scenes are what’s happening inside.
“We have a completely different floor plan than before,” said Corbin, noting this is the third year for the event. “People will go through the main lodge, exit out the back to go through the corn maze, then go back into another part of the building and finish out front.”
Among the new additions to the fright fest are a zombie-infested swamp and a room full of lasers.
In conjunction with the haunted house, the Mount Sterling Chamber of Commerce is holding a costume contest on Oct. 30 at the lodge. The children’s category is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. followed by the adults at 3 p.m. The Chamber also is sponsoring the children’s games throughout the weekend.
Because some of the activities take place on the street in front of the lodge, Corbin requested that village council approve closing the road for the event. At their Sept. 12 meeting, council voted 5-1 to close London Street from Houston and Church streets to Main Street from 5 p.m. Oct. 27 (the day before the event) to 6 p.m. Oct. 30.
Council member Joyce Phillips cast the “no” vote on the road closure. During discussion prior to the vote, she said several residents complained last year about the lack of detour signage guiding motorists, especially semi-truck drivers, around the closure. She also expressed concern about accessibility for Sunday morning services at a church in the area.
Council member Becky Martin said the village is responsible for posting appropriate signage. She acknowledged that detour signage was needed. She noted that the Madison County Sheriff’s Office has personnel on site during the event.
“Every year, we do better and better with it,” Martin said.
Corbin said the lodge will be sure to accommodate the church crowd on Sunday as they did last year, adding that the haunted house hours don’t start until 2 p.m. that day.