By Kelly Young
Start with a naturally scary location, throw in a few dismembered body parts, ghosts, cannibals, witches, zombies and chainsaw-melding maniacs, and you’ve got a potentially first-rate haunted house. That formula has worked for the Rusk State Hospital the past two years, and with a few additions made to the event, organizers hope this year’s fright-fest will be the biggest and scariest yet.
Next weekend the dank, water-strained basement of the RSH Administration Building will be transformed once again into a maze of terror. The haunted house will be open Thursday, Oct. 25, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 8 p.m. to midnight.
This year’s spook-fest will be so scary that no one under seven years old will be allowed in.
“Last year we did less-scary versions of the tour for groups that had little kids in them, but this year we got together and decided that it would probably be safer to just prohibit it for kids six and under,” said Training Specialist Trish Barlow. “I think it’s safer this way. I have two five-year-olds, and there’s no way I would let them in. A lot of the things that they would see here, they wouldn’t be allowed to see at the movies.”
Each tour of horror lasts about 10 minutes and takes customers through dark rooms splattered with blood and filled with all the traditional Halloween characters.
The cost of the event will be $2 for adults and $1 for children age 6 to 12. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
“I know we had over 800 people come out that first year, and I think that last year was around the same number,” Barlow said.
All money raised by the event will benefit the RSH employee council, and the entire staff of “scarers” is made up of state employees, their spouses and their children.
Mike Dorsey, who originally had the idea of converting a wing of the state hospital into a haunted house, said last year that although no specific tales of ghosts haunting the halls exist, the building has a history of producing eerie, paranormal sensations. According to him, an employee was once walking through the basement when he experienced the strong smell of death and decay. An hour later, when the employee was walking back through the room, the smell was gone.
For more information about the haunted house, contact 903-683-7603.
By Kelly Young
- Local News
Country artist Jake Penrod to perform
The life and music of Country’s first superstar comes to life with Jake Penrod in Hank Williams Remembered at 3pm on Saturday, March 8 in the Nacogdoches County Civic Center.
Area women honored by mentoring program for roles in community
A group of adolescent girls honoring local women Thursday at an inaugural recognition program experienced Girl Power in it’s purest form, as honorees discussed how to create a successful future.
“Find something you love and go at it with passion, and don’t let anybody tell you you can’t do it. Ever,” said Janis Gowin.
Chase leads to aggravated robbery arrest
Sgt. Daniel Franklin of the Jacksonville Police Department commended officers Friday on their fast work of capturing an aggravated robbery suspect.
Bullard meningitis vaccines important for young adults
A meningitis vaccine clinic will be held March 20 at Bullard High School for local juniors and seniors needing the shot as part of college entrance requirements.
Commissioners set for Monday meeting
Cherokee County Commissioners will hold a public hearing 10 a.m. Monday on setting the speed limit to 30 miles per hour on County Road 1102, convene in regular session to consider approval of a related motion.
Shirts commemorating 30th annual Tomato Fest on sale now
The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce Tomato Fest celebrating 30 years of fun so save the date - Saturday, June 14th in downtown Jacksonville.
Jacksonville City Council set to meet
The Jacksonville City Council will meet for its regular session at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 11, at the Norman Center.
Council members will hold a closed executive session at 5 p.m. to discuss economic development negotiations.
Cherokee County arrests: Feb. 25-March 10
The Daily Progress will publish a list of arrests from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office on a weekly basis.
Chamber Chatter: Member spotlight, upcoming events
The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce welcomes the Jacksonville Soccer Association as its newest member.
BREAKING NEWS: Officers chase man with gun who attempted to rob woman
A man who reportedly pulled a gun on a woman in an alleyway in the 600 block of Austin Street on Friday morning was arrested shortly afterwards, according to officials.
- More Local News Headlines
- Country artist Jake Penrod to perform