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Hauntings Help Family

By: Elizabeth Donatelli
By: Elizabeth Donatelli

October 31, 2005

There are many haunted houses--but one is scaring for a good cause. The organizers worked for two weeks making virtually every part of the set. The hard work became a bit more personal this year for one organizers.

Kathy Shiflett, one of the organizers, always donates proceeds to charitable causes, but this year it's to her brother--the second one she will be losing to cancer.

"I don't feel like I did enough for him and his family. I guess I'm trying to console myself in thinking when he does pass, I've done everything I could to make his life better while he was here with us," said Shiflett of "The Dark Side of Terror" haunted house.

Shiflett, family, and friends have been haunting for other good causes for seven years. This is the first time they've made it to Charlottesville--but have already seen a big turnout, which means good fundraising.

"There's not a whole lot for teenagers to do in our area and this is a fun way for guys to bring [their] dates," said Shiflett.

Several rooms have themes from movies like "Chucky" and a scene from "Saw," while others are creepy from their own imagination.

"We will scare you. We're not going to say 'if.' We will scare you. We have a lot of experience under our belts with this, [and] we work on your fears," said Shiflett.

"It was very scary. [You had] people jumping out at you. [There were] chainsaws. My little boy was really scared of chainsaws attacking him," said Robbie Lawson who went into the haunted house with his family.

"We couldn't see anything and we had to feel around and it was totally dark and it was a maze," said Krysten Lawson who went in with her family.

A guide takes you through 13 rooms of horror, but leaves you mid-way to find your own way out.

The scenes could definitely let your imagination run away with you--but what is real is the fact that they raised several thousand dollars for Shiflett's family.

Proceeds will also go to Shriners Hospitals for children.


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