By Tim Leeds
Ghosts and goblins will be scaring people in the Holiday Village Shopping Center this Halloween season to raise money for people in need.
The Jaycees haunted house opens in the old Anita's location in the shopping center Friday, with the proceeds going to the organization's charitable and service activities. The only entrance to the haunted house is the outside door on the north side of the shopping center.
Christy Owens, chair of the Jaycees committee for the haunted house, said members of the organization have been working since Oct. 1 to prepare it. The location has been divided into corridors and rooms with black tarps, and decorated in Halloween themes.
The spooky settings include a gruesome operating room, a graveyard, and a phobia room with assorted giant spiders and other pests, plus an electric chair and guillotine. Visitors will see fog, spooky lighting, bats, werewolves, mummies, scarecrows and cobwebs.
The creatures in the haunted house can be deceiving. The visitors will never know which are mannequins and which are live volunteers in costume, waiting to jump out at the "tourists."
This is the seventh year the Havre Jaycees have held the haunted house, which is one of its main fund-raisers. The Jaycees will use this year's proceeds for two charities to fund the Jaycees Christmas Shopping Spree and to donate to the Chase Hawks Memorial Association, which is headquartered in Billings.
In the shopping spree, the Havre Jaycees shop for warm winter clothing for about 50 needy children in the Havre area.
The Chase Hawks Association was formed in memory of a 6-year-old boy who was killed by a car in 1994. The nonprofit association provides help for families in need, including medical expenses and travel and lodging associated with medical needs, disability adaptation and other financial hardships.
Holiday Village donated the space to the Jaycees for the haunted house, Jaycee Chamene Griggs said, and the Jaycees are participating in the shopping center's Moonlight Madness promotion Saturday by holding a scare-free session. From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. the lights will be on and the masks will be off, giving a little less frightening tour. The cost for the scare-free tour is $1.50, or $1 with the donation of a nonperishable food item.
The regular hours for the tours are from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Halloween. The cost for the tour is $3 a person, or $2 with the donation of a canned food item.