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October 26, 2009

Scarin’ up some fun!

Firefighters to heat up Halloween activities

There’s scary-then there’s SCARY.

For the fourth straight year the Athens Professional Firefighter’s Association will open the creaky doors to its annual haunted house at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Chris Womble says it will be the most frightening yet, partly due to its spooky location at the old Henderson County Hospital in Athens.

“It’s so dark in here, when we shut the holes in the windows, its really creepy,” Womble said.

What you can’t see is matched by what you can see ­– a collection of bats, skeletons and things that will make your heart go bump in the night.

“There’s been a buzz about it every since we got permission to use the old hospital,” Womble said. “This is going to be something really special.

The hospital was once the site of the Athens Jaycees Haunted House, but had been out of use for years because of asbestos at the site.

Two years ago, Henderson County removed the asbestos and sold the building. The new owners granted the Firefighters Association permission to recreate some of the terror of Halloween’s gone by.

“Another highlight will be the chainsaw room,” Womble said. “People always like that.”

Womble promises some scary scenes in between the haunted rooms, just to add to the ambiance.

Volunteers have been working extra hard this year to get the house ready for its debut. Heavy rains have dripped through leaks in the 60 year-old building, causing Womble and crew to patch the holes as they prepare the fright rooms.

“I’ve never seen it rain like this at Halloween,” Womble said, “But no matter what, we’re going to get it ready.”

Admission is $7 per person, except on Halloween night, when $5 will get you in the door.

Womble thanks Hayden Elder for helping keep the ticket prices low as sponsor of the event.

The old hospital is located on Bryson Drive.

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