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Haunted house to support Main Street Batesville

by Kayla Baugh | October 12, 2017 at 12:00 a.m.
Volunteers Suzanne Magouryk, left, and David Thompson show off their masks at the Darkness Haunted House in Batesville. The haunted house to benefit Main Street Batesville will be open from 7-10 p.m. Oct. 13-14, 20-21, 27-28 and 30-31.

Chain saws, clowns and creaky walkways — your biggest fear is probably lurking here!

The Darkness Haunted House, which has scares around every corner, will take place at 570 Stadium Drive in Batesville beginning Oct. 13.

The haunted house will be open from 7-10 p.m. Oct. 13-14, 20-21, 27-28 and 30-31.

Leslie Gitz, Main Street Batesville board member, said the haunted house is a fundraiser for Main Street Batesville.

Admission is $5 per person, she said, and thrill-seekers of all ages are welcome.

Group rates will also be available this year.

Gitz said fright-filled rooms and ghoulish characters will be found along the way, creating a chilling experience for men, women and children who are bold enough to enter.

“We were able to use the same location as last year, so many new twists and turns have been added,” she said.

This is Main Street Batesville’s third year to present the haunted house, she said, and volunteers put in a lot of work each year to make the project a success.

“The haunted house is great because it’s conveniently located for anyone in or around Batesville. It was fun to see people of all ages turn out and enjoy it last year — people from Batesville and many from out of town as well. We even had a school bus full of students returning from a football game pull up last year. That was really fun,” she said.

Gitz said the evolution of Main Street Batesville has been significant since she became a board member five years ago. The organization has focused on developing a streetscape project, supporting new businesses and revitalizing historic structures, among other things.

“I’m not into horror movies or anything scary, really. I’m a total chicken, so I completely identify with the people who show up to the haunted house with a larger group and are terrified to go in. It’s fun to watch them conquer their fears and have a good time. Maybe I’ll do the same this year,” Gitz said.

Board member David Thompson said he has been working on haunted houses for 30 years.

“We’ll have the usual animatronics: use some air, some peek-a-boo controllers, the clowns, the chain saws, the crickety bridges — your classic scare factors,” he said.

Thompson said volunteers have built a new hallway in the haunted house, changed up a few of the rooms and added some unique scares to keep the house guests screaming.

The house is also handicap-accessible, he added.

Residents of Independence County have always been more than happy to lend a hand to Main Street Batesville’s projects, he said.

“We’ve been so lucky to have a quality main street and a lot of support. We’ve been very blessed,” he said.

Main Street Batesville is always busy with a variety of projects, he said, all focused on improving the community and creating a lively downtown area.

“One thing a lot of people might not realize is if your main street is vibrant, your town is vibrant. The people of this community love Main Street. I grew up on Main Street, so I consider it important,” he said.

Gitz said Main Street Batesville’s trick-or-treat event will take place from 5-7 p.m. Oct. 31 on Main Street.

The free event is a safe option for children to dress up and collect candy from individuals, businesses, churches and civic groups in town, Gitz said.

No arrangements are necessary to set up a booth or “trunk-or-treat” display, she said, and the street will be blocked off for people to pick a space and set up.

“Families love Main Street Batesville’s trick-or-treat event. It’s a fun Batesville tradition,” Gitz said. “It’s a safe place for families to enjoy the holiday, and kids love to bounce from merchant to merchant to fill their treat bags.”

As for the haunted house, Thompson said it will be a lot of fun for all who are brave enough to creep inside.

“Be sure to watch out for the dark corners, dementors and ghosts; the snakes and the mystic beings; the mad, crazy doctors who might be lurking in the corners,” he said.

Staff writer Kayla Baugh can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or


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