It’s time for Halloween candy, costumes and, of course, haunted houses. The Cayce-West Columbia Jaycees operate the longest-running nonprofit haunted attraction in South Carolina, and they say this year’s Hall of Horrors could be the best yet.
The Hall of Horrors opens Friday night at 1135 Walter Price St. in Cayce and will be open on weekends throughout October. This year’s theme is Trapped Inn, and guests will take a tour through a haunted bed and breakfast.
The event is run by around 60 volunteers from the Jaycees with help from local high school students who transform into ghosts and ghouls. Jaycees Cayce-West Columbia Chapter President Mac Stiles estimates that more than 2,000 hours of work have gone into preparing the Hall of Horrors this year, and the fun and hard work support various charities.
“We have a good team with a lot of passion for charity and fundraising,” said Chapter Secretary Katie Lambrino.
All the proceeds from Hall of Horrors benefit local and statewide charities including Camp Hope, Relay for Life, the Wounded Warrior Project, Support Our Troops, Sistercare and Harvest Hope.
The Jaycees work to make the event different and unlike others nearby every year. Creative Director O’Shawn McClendon visits other haunted houses and even conventions devoted to the craft of scaring. Stiles said McClendon and others have talent suited for this kind of work.
“It takes a special person to be dubbed a haunter. A haunt life is not a normal life,” he said.
Stiles said the Hall of Horrors is intended for those 12 and older because of depictions of graphic violence.
“It’s basically like an R movie, but with no cursing or nudity,” he said.
New additions this year include the “I’m most afraid of…” wall, on which guests can write their greatest fears for all to see as they wait to enter the Hall.
“We try to interact with the crowd as much as possible,” Lambrino said. McClendon added that those interactions include some scary surprises.
The Hall is set up to accept credit and debit cards for the first time this year, and souvenirs will be available for those who escape the Trapped Inn. Opening night Friday will feature discount admission. More details and specials can be found at the Hall of Horrors website and Facebook page.