Ironton Lions have Haunted Tunnel ready

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 14, 2004

Every October spooks and scares are their business - and business should be good.

With all the monsters corralled and horrors in hand, the Ironton Lions club is ready to spread its good-natured terror at the annual Haunted Tunnel starting Friday and continuing every weekend until Halloween.

Located in the former State Route 75 highway tunnel at the intersection of U.S. 52 and State Route 93 across from the Ironton Hills Shopping Center, the Haunted Tunnel opens at 7 p.m. this Friday and Saturday. It will continue Oct. 15, 16, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30. Admission is $5 per person.

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Lions member and event organizer Bill Ellis called the event that has been a Halloween staple since 1991, "the best scare in the Tri-State." Ellis emphasized that it will be good entertainment for nearly all ages and go to a good cause.

"Aside from the fact that we put all the money we get back into the community, you are out in the open air on a cool October evening ready to go through a haunted tunnel full of fright merchants," he said with a chuckle. "It just makes for an outstanding time."

Each year more than 5,000 people looking for a thrill make the journey through the tunnel. An operating room, the vortex, a fog-filled graveyard and countless monsters, will terrorize visitors from the moment they step foot inside.

Think you have already been there, done that? Think again.

"Because of a different workforce, it will be a lot different than last year," Ellis said. "We will have new placements, new decorations and some of the stuff that are tried and true scary things."

A handful of Lions members and a few volunteers have been working on the event since July, Ellis said. Fortunately, help is on the way. More than 130 students from Ohio University Southern will volunteer their time to spread the scares.

"The only thing we have promised them was free food, fun and friendship," said Lion Frank McCown. "If they come, they will have a good time."

Volunteers will be selling beverages and popcorn.

All proceeds go to a variety of projects the Lions support such as the Ironton City Welfare Mission, the eyeglass program and assistance to visually impaired Ohio University Southern students and much more.