Scary fun awaits haunted house visitors

Frightening fun is on tap during the Anoka Knights of Columbus’ annual haunted house.

Final preparations are under way for the 25th annual Anoka Knights of Columbus haunted house at the Anoka County Fairgrounds. File photo

Final preparations are under way for the 25th annual Anoka Knights of Columbus haunted house at the Anoka County Fairgrounds. File photo

Prepare to be scared by a variety of monsters and ghouls as you traverse through the halls, doorways and rooms in the building at the Anoka County Fairgrounds.

“It’s good all the way around,” said haunted house co-chairperson Ray Dalzell. “People come from all around the metro.”

For 25 years Anoka Knights of Columbus and numerous other volunteers have transformed the building into a place with surprises and screams around every corner. Prior to that the event was run by the Anoka Jaycees.

Dalzell said volunteers work the two weekends prior to the haunted house’s opening setting up. Lumber is transported from its storage place in Anoka. From there, volunteers build the stage to house the collection of spooks.

And while visitors may have come in prior years and many of the monster remain the same, Dalzell said the experience is always new. Details and layout change each year.

“You don’t know where the monsters are,” he said.

“It’s the fear of the unknown.”

To pull off an effort like this, a large number of volunteers are needed to build the house and to serve as monsters, ticket takers and in other capacities during the month of October.

“It’s a ton of work,” Dalzell said.

Serving as monsters and other scary things are volunteers from Coon Rapids High School. These students have donated their time to the haunted house for the past nine years. Prior to that, Anoka High School students volunteered for the haunted house.

In exchange for their volunteer service, the Anoka Knights of Columbus, based at St. Stephen’s Church, gives a donation to the school.

Giving back to the community is a large part of why the Knights of Columbus continues to put on the haunted house. Donations are collected during the haunted house’s run to benefit the Anoka County Brotherhood Council (ACBC) food shelf. In 2011, over 2,000 items were donated to ACBC.

“It helps so many people,” Dalzell said. “It’s good all the way around.

The haunted house is set to scare Oct. 18, 21, 25 and 28 from 7 to 9 p.m.; Oct. 19 and 20 from 7 to 10 p.m.; and Oct. 26 and 27 from 6 to 10 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for children 10 and younger. Ages seven and older are recommended to go through the haunted house.

Discounts are available as well. Those with an Anoka Halloween button will receive $1 off admission. A $2 discount is available for a food donation for ACBC. A maximum total discount of $3 is available per person.

Cash and check only are accepted. No credit or debit cards are accepted.

The Anoka County Fairgrounds are located at 3200 St. Francis Blvd. N.W., Anoka. For more information, call 763-757-1241 or visit www.anokahauntedhouse.org.

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