(Posted Oct. 19, 2022)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
More than double the frightful fun awaits those who visit “The Misfit Haunt,” Mount Sterling’s haunted house.
For the third straight year, Masonic Lodge 269, 54 N. London St., is hosting a Halloween-themed extravaganza. The star attraction is the transformed lodge, but plenty of other entertainment is planned, too, including children’s games, a costume contest, music, dancing, and food.
Haunted house hours are 6-11 p.m. Oct. 28-29 and 2-4 p.m. Oct. 30. Admission is free; donations are accepted. This year, the lodge welcomes sponsorship and on-site support from the Mount Sterling Chamber of Commerce and Carnage Haunt of Columbus.
According to Tom Corbin, a member of Lodge 269 and one of the event organizers, Mount Sterling’s haunted house is making a name for itself around the state, landing on multiple lists of haunted attractions. This year alone, the Mount Sterling listing has garnered 40,000 hits on one of those statewide sites. Corbin said one of the features that makes Mount Sterling’s offering stand out is the free admission.
“We do it to give back to the village and surrounding area,” he said, adding that the goal is to expand the haunted house into a Halloween festival spanning more days and including more activities.
Expansion has already started this year in the form of new spaces to explore in the haunted house. Participants will enter through the front of the lodge, navigate through a maze of hallways and rooms featuring a zombie-infested swamp, creepy dolls, a butcher shop, and more. Then, they will make their way outside to a cemetery, chainsaws, more zombies, and “all kinds of special stuff,” Corbin explained.
That’s where the fun ended the past two years. Not this year. After surviving the cemetery, participants will go back inside to a different part of the building with more scare-filled rooms.
“Also new this year are lasers, a lot of sound synthesizers, and at least three smoke areas that we didn’t have last year,” Corbin said.
With the expansion, the haunt requires more volunteer actors–36 at any given time as compared to 21 last year. Organizers welcome anyone who would like to help out, whether in acting roles, makeup, crowd control, or concessions.
Speaking of concessions, food options include kettle corn, hamburgers, hotdogs, chips, soda, wassail, and possibly bean soup. There is a charge for concessions.
The food, a deejay, children’s games, and cornhole will be located outside in front of the lodge. A bounce house is planned if the weather cooperates.
The Chamber of Commerce is hosting a costume contest for all ages on Oct. 30. The children’s category is set for 2:30 p.m. followed by the adult category at 3 p.m. Prizes will go to the winners.
The haunted house is open to all ages. Corbin noted that staff stationed at the start and finish of the haunt will tell the actors to go easy on any group that requests a tamer version of the experience. New this year, organizers will hand out glow sticks to children who do not want to be scared by actors as they walk through.
For more information or to volunteer, contact Tom Corbin at (614) 530-3132.