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Screamers Haunted House gives a scare for a good cause
by Monica Burge
October 23, 2012 03:52 PM | 2142 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Brenda Maquez waits for haunted house goers at the mock dinner table scene.
Brenda Maquez waits for haunted house goers at the mock dinner table scene.
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Each year, just as the leaves begin to turn and the chill of autumn fills the air, a transformation takes place in Cartersville.

Halloween brings with it the excitement of trick-or-treating, but also the terror of things that go bump in the night.

While the kids enjoy their candies and goodies, teens and adults can opt for a different kind of Halloween tradition that is sure to be hair-raising.

According to the Haunted House Association, the haunted attraction industry generates between $300 and $500 million a year.

The Haunted House Association said that research shows that people enjoy being scared while in a safe environment such as attending a movie, on a thrill ride or at a haunted house, and they are willing to pay for the experience.

The industry helps make Halloween the second largest commercial holiday.

Each year Screamers Haunted House, located off Martin Luther King Drive in Cartersville, puts forth a calculated effort to scare the wits out of those who dare to walk the labyrinth of rooms it custom designs for maximum terror said organizer Debbie Ham.

Ham said she hopes to rake in as much money as possible for Screamers, not for profit, but for charity.

Since Ham began organizing the haunted house she has always donated proceeds to local charities.

So, in an interesting twist, the more people Screamers terrorize, the more money can be raised.

For weeks before opening night, Ham and her team of cohorts, who include her son Scott and a few of his friends, build a haunted house experience unlike any other that can be found in Northwest Georgia.

“Seems like every day as we prepare for opening we’ve added something different,” Ham said.

Any phobia is exploited and all scare tactics are fair game for Screamers.

But it’s all for a good cause Ham said.

Advocates for Children is one of the nonprofits who have benefitted from Screamers and Volunteer Coordinator Marian Barber said community partners like Ham help Advocates continue its work.

“Fundraising is vital to the strength and continuation of each of Advocates’ programs, and it takes a lot of work to raise the $1.6 million required to operate our programs every year,” Barber said. “When friends like Debbie Ham coordinate events to raise money for our organization, it’s a great assistance to our staff. We are tremendously grateful for their incredible efforts to raise both money and awareness for our organization.”

Barber said since 2009, Screamers has donated more than $6,200.

“Without the generous support we receive from this community, we simply would not be able to reach our fundraising goals each year,” Barber said. “These contributions have an impact on so many children we serve, from those who reside at Flowering Branch Children’s Shelter to those who participate in our Rainbows grief support groups.”

Screamers will remain open this Friday and Saturday from 8 p.m. until “the last victim” and Ham said those who enter should come prepared for a thrill.

Admission is $10 and a walk through could take at least 25 minutes, so comfortable shoes are recommended.

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