Haunted Tunnel opens FridayPublished 12:08pm Thursday, October 3, 2013
Things are about to get scary in Ironton.
The Ironton Lions Club’s Haunted Tunnel opens Friday and will be open from 7 to 11 p.m. every Friday and Saturday throughout October.
“We have new ‘monsters’ in the tunnel this year,” Lou Pyles, former president and current Lions Club member, said. “We plan to give everyone who comes through a good scare.”
Located across from Ironton Hills Shopping Center near the U.S. 52 and State Route 93 intersection, the tunnel is the former State Route 75 highway tunnel the Lions Club converted into a one-of-a-kind haunted attraction in southern Ohio.
“We have changed the scenes in the tunnel this year,” Pyles said. “So when ‘victims’ come through the tunnel, it’s totally different than what they’re used to. We work really hard to make it different.”
The cost to go through the 200 feet long, 20 feet wide tunnel is $5 per person and all proceeds go back into the community through various civic projects and to support area organizations such as Ironton In Bloom, the Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade Committee, the City Mission and others.
“We love that people will pay to get scared,” Pyles said. “We also love that many people return to get scared again.”
The tunnel is the Lions Club’s only fundraiser, and keeping with the spirit of the Lions International, focuses on helping those who are vision impaired. The volunteer club aims to provide a service dog for someone who could not otherwise afford one.
The Lions have sponsored three service dogs in recent years, each at a cost of more than $8,000.
Money raised from the tunnel also goes towards Lions Club scholarships, Relay for Life, eyeglasses and corrective eye surgery.
“It takes a minimum of 15 minutes to go through the whole tunnel,” Pyles said. “It could take longer, but that all depends on the person’s fear factor.”
The tunnel was vandalized in 2011 and the Lions Club made a commitment after that to rebuild the tunnel’s interior bigger, better and scarier than ever.
“This wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the volunteers,” Pyles said. “It takes a lot of people to make this event unique and successful.”