Shaking his hand and trying to restore the feeling and circulation, Ray Stevens said he was thrilled with a Sunday haunted house tour he had just taken with his wife and two young boys.
Stevens' youngest child, Maclane, 5, apparently has something of a grip and refused to let go during Sunday's tour of "Haunted House Down Under" at the Washington County Fairgrounds.
The event will reopen this Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. More than 500 area residents turned out for the opening weekend of the haunted house, a first try for the fair board. Admission is $5 and children 5 and under are free. All proceeds go toward maintenance and improvements of the fairgrounds.
BRAD BAUER The Marietta Times
A line starts to form Sunday evening at the Washington County Fairgrounds for a haunted house, sponsored by the fair board. More than 500 people attended the event, which will open again this weekend.
"It was well worth the $5. Just for the expressions and reactions from the kids," said Stevens, 43, of Fleming.
Stevens may have earned some of the bruising on his hands after he spent much of Sunday "priming" the boys up for the haunted tour by watching scary movies and making playful comments while waiting in line for their tour to begin.
"Did hear if they ever found those two kids who got lost in here last night?" he asked.
If you go
Haunted House Down Under
When: 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Where: Washington County Fairgrounds, beneath the roller rink (wheelchair accessible).
Cost: Tickets are $5 and children 5 and under are free. There will also be concessions available.
The comment prompted another child to back out of taking a tour.
"I felt bad, but think he was kind of on the edge anyway," Stevens said. "When the lights went out a few minutes later he was really done."
Fair board member Lynn Meeks said more than two dozen volunteers and a months' work went into making the event a success.
"We started talking about this last year and it really started to take shape here in the past few months," Meeks said. "It's really for kids over 5, but if we get a group with some younger kids we will go out ahead of them and tell (the actors) to tone it down some. We don't want to scar some youngster for life."
Meeks said most of the feedback has been really positive.
"We've had folks get through it, get right back in line and pay to go again," he said.
The tour takes about 10 minutes and goes through several scenes. All of the actors are fair board members or volunteers.
Meeks said a surprising number of people have asked if clowns are featured in the tour.
"I guess there must really be a lot of people afraid of clowns," he said. "No. There are no clowns this year, but maybe next year."
At the end of the tour, Maclane Stevens did his best to show he wasn't scared by the haunted tour. He said he would definitely go again, but turned down an offer to go back through -this time alone.
"No way," he said.