• 79°

Witches, clowns and coffins, Oh my!

Fairgrounds site of haunted house

ROME TOWNSHIP — Between witches, clowns and optical illusions, the haunted house at the fairgrounds in Lawrence County should be able to put a little fright into the visitors this Halloween season.

The haunted house is located at the fairgrounds in the Payne building, and will be from 7 until 11 p.m. this Friday and Saturday and next Friday and Saturday, Oct. 22, 23, 29 and 30. Admission is $3, with much of the proceeds going to make improvements to the fairgrounds. Concessions will also be for sale.

J.D. Cremeans and his brother-in-law Danny Ostby along with fairground director Kenny Mannon, have been heavily involved in getting this together.

“There will be nine rooms,” said Mannon. “Witch rooms, clown rooms, baby rooms, cemetery, optical illusions room – it’s going to be interesting,”

Mannon said he didn’t realize so many people were afraid of clowns.

“I would have never thought of it,” he said. He credits Cremeans and Ostby, who hosted the haunted house at Cremeans’ residence in Waterloo for the past 15 years, with the creativity.

“We decided to give it a whirl and see if it works,” Mannon said. “He wants to make it bigger and bigger, so now he has more room and it will be a plus for (the fairgrounds).”

Mannon promises that it will be scary.

“My wife walked through it as we’re putting it together and she said it’s her last trip,” Mannon laughed.

“We’re going to try to utilize the fairgrounds,” he said. “It’s bad for the fairgrounds to sit here 11 months out of the year. It needs to be used and improvements need to be made.”

An improvement to the fairgrounds already in the works is a new rabbit and chicken building under construction. In the future, he is hoping to pursue a new grandstand.

Anywhere from 15 to 18 people will work together to put on the haunted house, with frightening attractions like a bride holding her own talking head, coffins and much more.

Cremeans originally started the haunted house at his home for his nephews and their friends, but it has grown over the years. He is happy with the new location.

“It’s bigger, closer to the town,” Cremeans said. “Out in the sticks around Waterloo, we didn’t get very many people.”

Mannon has words of wisdom for those who are considering visiting the Haunted House.

“Try it,” he said. “You only live once.”