(Posted Oct. 13, 2020)
Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Oh, the weather outside is delightful, but inside the mood is frightful. Let us go, let us go, let us go!
Masonic Lodge 269 is singing a new tune this Halloween season as they present their first-ever Haunted House. Free and open to all ages, the event is taking place Oct. 23-25 at the Masonic Hall, 68 N. London St., Mount Sterling. Hours are 6-10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday. A costume contest for all ages is slated for 5 to 6 p.m. Sunday.
“The whole idea is to give back to the community,” said Tom Corbin, a lodge member. “We hope to make it an annual event.”
The lodge has gathered up a total of 27 actors to give visitors a scare as they make their way through the haunted house. Some of the actors have performed in productions at the Little Theatre Off Broadway in Grove City, some are students who have performed in high school plays, some are lodge members.
The live and static displays run the gamut. In some cases, live actors come to life within seemingly static displays.
“We have a crazed doctor with power tools. We have a butcher shop. Grandma and Grandpa Farmer greet you at the door. We’ll have a casket half in the ground, half out in the graveyard with someone in it. And for the clown lovers, we have a really good clown,” Corbin said. “We have a little bit of everything.”
A deejay will play a combination of fun and spooky music for visitors’ enjoyment while they wait their turn outside. He also will travel inside with a microphone to catch visitors’ reactions and pipe those reactions to the outside.
Corbin said the haunted house is scary but not exceedingly scary, making it accessible to just about any age group. In case someone becomes overwhelmed, organizers are able to communicate with one another and bring the lights up quickly.
Corbin estimates the time to go through the haunted house to be four to six minutes. Visitors can go through as many times as they like; they just need to get back in line each time. Everything takes place on the first floor of the building.
Members of Eastern Star Chapter 74 will be out front serving up campfire-style food, from hotdogs to beverages. As visitors exit the haunted house, they will receive candy.
Organizers are following Gov. Mike DeWine’s COVID-19 safety guidelines. They are admitting no more than 10 people at a time. They also will have sanitation stations on site.
The lodge is located across the street from Chase Bank. The street in front of the lodge will be closed during the haunted house hours, as will the alleys alongside and behind the lodge. Parking is available at the bank and behind the lodge.
Everything is free. Donations will be accepted.