How we got started….
The Village of Downs Haunted House was established in 1992, by three local families that wanted to provide a safe and fun activity for their families and entertain their inner child. Once the annual event became a little much for the growing families they handed the torch off to the Downs Community Fire Protection District. The fire department used the proceeds from the Haunted House as an annual fundraiser to purchase safety equipment for their volunteer firemen.
In 2007, the fire department decided to give the Haunted House back to the village to continue the annual festivities and use the proceeds to enhance all the activities hosted by the Village of Downs Events Committee. Currently there are six members on the events committee and there are eleven community wide events each year.
The Downs Haunted House is co-managed by Jill Kasprzak and Cyndi Miller; both ladies started with the Haunted House in 2008 and took over managing the Haunt in 2009. The Haunted House has over fifty volunteers. Our volunteers consist of actors, makeup artists, prop builders, concessions, ticket sales, construction crew, drivers for the hayracks, security, and logistics.
In 2012, Jill and Cyndi decided to create a special event for the younger goblins in the community. This started a new tradition known as the Downs UnHaunted House. This annual event takes place on the last Sunday in October from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM. We encourage the kids to dress in costume; we remove all scares, turn on the lights and pass out candy in each room. We even have an Ice Princess in the center of the house as a special treat. The event has expanded outside the house as well and now includes a hay rack ride, games, crafts and cookies and hot cocoa.
From the beginning the Downs Haunted House has provided a “Fright Fest” of activities that include: the haunted house, a haunted hay rack ride, concessions, bonfires, apparel sales, and queue line entertainment. In 2015, we added to our queue line entertainment by including a fire blowing clown and stilt walker.