The November issue of The Alachua Observer has a three page article by Celeste Rubanick which gives a thorough run-down on the recent and very successful Haunted House which was conceived and brilliantly executed by Terry and Andy Phelan of Fort White and Chris Scott of Gainesville.
Proceeds from the endeavor went to four charities: the High Springs Historical Society, the Irish Waterdogs, Plenty of Pit Bulls, and Our Santa Fe River, Inc. Of the three pictures of actors in the article, two are of OSFR volunteers, both sporting the exceptional make-up artistry of President Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, who also did the spectacular paint job on the ’62 Caddy Haunt Car.
The elaborately outfitted Haunt consisted of many rooms, each scarier than the one before and contained, among other unspeakable things, Dracula’s body, Dracula’s bride, butchers, vampires, human lab experiments, ghouls, a demonic organ player, a zombie girl attempting to escape from a refrigerator, evil, possessed children in a nursery, a living victim sealed in an oven, disgusting creatures locked in cages, some of which got loose and were seen roaming the halls.
At the exit a chain saw maniac was a very real and final threat who reportedly claimed many victims at the very moment they mistakenly thought they had finally and miraculously escaped from the dangers of the Haunt.
Estimates of the numbers attending fluctuate between 500 and 1000. The exact number remains just one of the many secrets and mysteries retained by the Haunt. What is known, however, is that at least 70 dedicated volunteers showed up at various times to make the elaborate show a reality, orchestrated and directed by Terry Phelan.
OSFR is thankful to Celeste Rubanick and Barbara Llewellyn of the Alachua Observer for permission to reproduce the photos from the article.