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Are you ready to get spooked?

Let the haunting begin.

Thursday, September 20, 2001

Let the haunting begin. The Lion’s Club has been planning its longstanding annual fright-fest fund-raiser all year, and now it’s right around the corner, organizers said.

Haunted Tunnel dates this year are the weekends of Oct. 12-13, Oct. 19-20, Oct. 26-27 and Oct. 30-31, said tunnel committee chair Debbie Rogers.

"It’s going to be a scary time," she said. "I’m looking forward to working with it."

The Haunted Tunnel – really the historic Route 93 tunnel into Ironton – already sports signs for the popular attraction that draws thousands.

As usual, there are a few changes inside the tunnel and its rooms, as the club will keep some traditional scares around and add other heart-pounding ideas, Rogers said.

Scenes in the Haunted Tunnel have been inspired by popular movies and television shows like "Friday the 13th" and "The Mummy."

"We’ve got mummies, and witches and aliens "

Some scary monsters fly about using pulleys and counterweights, some are hidden in scary nooks, still more are planned as surprises.

"We’re bringing back some old stuff we had several years ago that people liked," Rogers said. "And, there’s a 14-foot ghost. And, of course, we’ll always have the chainsaw guy."

Before or after receiving the fright of your life, you can grab a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, or even snack on pizza and popcorn, she said.

"We really just have a good time."

Proceeds from the Haunted Tunnel benefit the Lion’s Club charities, such as the eyeglasses for the needy project. The club also gives to the Ironton City Mission, city health department and a variety of community causes.

"Last year, we donated over $12,000 to various charities," Rogers said, crediting the feat to those who give of their time each year to make the Haunted Tunnel a success.

"Volunteers are what makes this work," she said. "And we have some great volunteers."