Beware of scares
Three haunted attractions offered in Lawrence County
With the Halloween season upon us, Lawrence County has three haunted attractions for those who enjoy frights throughout the month of October.
Dr. DeKay’s House of Screams
Dr. DeKay’s House of Screams returns to the historic Ro-Na Cultural Arts Center for the third straight year.
Dr. DeKay, AKA Paul Smith, has been in the business of scaring people for more than 20 years, with him and his team attending the Midwestern Haunters Convention in Columbus each year to improve their craft.
House of Screams currently has nearly 40 volunteers involved, but is always looking for interested new people to take part. Any age can volunteer, but minors need a parent’s signature on a permission slip.
Themes for this year’s Dr. DeKay’s House of Screams vary from haunted dolls to clowns to medical personnel and more.
Leading up to October, Dr. DeKay’s official mascot, Clawed the WerePup, has quickly become a fan favorite with his recent outings at events such as the Rally on the River and the Huntington Chilifest. Along with photo opportunities with Clawed, visitors to Dr. DeKay’s House of Screams on opening night, Friday, Oct. 6 and closing night, Saturday, Oct. 28, will be able to have their photo taken with real life wolf dogs, also known as hybrids, courtesy of the Southern Ohio Wolf Sanctuary.
“Enter if you dare,” Dolly DeKay, a member of Dr. DeKay’s team, said. “The doctor has returned to make haunted house calls. He’s brought on a pack of friends with him, and you are invited for a howling good time.”
The Ro-Na opened its doors to the public in 1949 before it closed in 1973. Since 2009, it has undergone renovations taken on by the Friends of Ironton, with all proceeds from Dr. DeKay’s House of Screams going to Ro-Na renovations.
Dr. DeKay’s House of Screams is open from 7 p.m.-midnight every Friday and Saturday in October. Tickets are $10 per person, except for a special on Friday, Oct. 13, where tickets will be two for $13. All buyers of tickets will also be registered to win a flat screen television, which will be given away on Halloween.
For more information, visit www.DoctorDekays HouseofScreams.com, or visit Dr. DeKay’s House of Screams on Facebook.
Ironton Haunted Tunnel
The Ironton Lions Club has put on the Haunted Tunnel since 1996, marking this year the 21st year of the attraction.
“We’ve added some new scenes and have reworked some of the old scenes,” Lou Pyles, member of the club, said. “We’ve been over there working on it since June, and we hope the public and the community will enjoy it. We always try to keep them interested with new scenes every year.”
The tunnel offers many scary themes, with numerous volunteers continuing to make the attraction a success for more than two decades.
Pyles said this is the Ironton Lions Club’s only fundraiser, with all proceeds going back into the community in the form of scholarships, eyeglasses and helping to fund the county’s drug K-9s, just to name a few.
The Haunted Tunnel is located across from the Ironton Hills Plaza at the State Route 93 exit of U.S. 52, and is open from 7:30-11 p.m. each Friday and Saturday throughout October. The cost is $5 per person.
Horror in the Holler
For the sixth straight year, the Lawrence County Chapter of the Izaak Walton League is putting on Horror in the Holler, a haunted attraction at the Lawrence County Izaak Walton League Lake.
“We’ve got a haunted house, a clown tent, all kinds of props and things set up, a haunted cemetery and more. There’s just about everything,” David Reynolds, chapter director and Horror in the Holler organizer, said.
Horror in the Holler is open this Saturday and Saturday, Oct. 7, before being open every Friday and Saturday for the rest of October beginning Friday, Oct. 13.
The Izaak Walton Lake is located at 554 Township Road 140 East in Pedro, and admission is $5 per person.