A phoenix from the ashes

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 25, 2011

Months after break-in, Haunted Tunnel almost ready for business

Brent Pyles used a hat-mounted flashlight to connect segments of electrical wiring Saturday morning while just one “room” away, Joe Jenkins, Joe Wiseman, Terry Howard and Tony Howard nailed into place sections of what will be a maze.

A little more than three months after thieves and vandals struck the Ironton Lions Club’s Haunted Tunnel, a group of determined workers are almost finished repairing the damage and making the annual Halloween experience that much better for the patrons who flock there on the weekends in October.

“They really tore it up,” Brent Pyles said. “And it’s taken time to trace it all out (the electric lines) and salvage what we can and replace what we can’t.”

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The vandals tore up entire sets and ripped out huge sections of electrical wiring they cut into 12-inch pieces and put in a trash can they obviously meant to come back to get. They also took a chainsaw that was used as a special effect. They broke bulbs and trashed what they didn’t try to take.

Lions Club member Lou Pyles estimated the club members and volunteers have put in more than 400 hours between early June and Saturday, trying to not only fix the tunnel but make it better.

Joy Howard spent Saturday turning one cubby hole into a “butcher’s shop” with a decidedly different kind of “meat.”

“Halloween is my favorite holiday,” she said.

There will also be a fortune teller, but Lions Club members are adamant about keeping some scares a secret.

Along with the others, Herb Brown and Nate Clark have also put in time turning the ravages of costly crime into trick-or-treat triumph.

The opening weekend for the tunnel is Oct. 7 and 8. The cost is $5, in spite of all the repairs and renovations.