Haunted house saved by firefighters

The Haunted House that wouldn’t Die

In horror movies it’s the crazy slasher villain who gets shot, stabbed and even burned, but just keeps coming back – he’s unstoppable.
In the Granville variation of that tale, the haunted house no one expected to return does so when least expected and scares a few bucks up for a good cause.
In the fall of 2009 Granville High School student Nick Crouch put together a haunted house in his parents’ garage off Mettowee Street along with his cousin.
He opened weekend nights and ended up being able to give the proceeds to charity.
Crouch said then he did it because he enjoyed putting together a creepy little experience for those who dared venture forth while collecting funds for a good cause. Crouch said he had a good time providing people with a fun scare.
“I like scaring people. It’s just a lot of fun,” Crouch said.
The haunted house raised funds for Crouch’s favorite charity — the Haynes House of Hope in South Granville. “I gave to the Haynes House because I know Mrs. Everdyke,” Crouch said.
In late July, fire claimed the family’s garage and it looked like there was no way for the haunted house to rise from the dead.
But Crouch said he still wanted to do something so he brought the idea to fellow firefighters at the Penrhyn Engine & Hose Company. “I brought it up to the membership and they said yes and that they were going to help me do it,” Crouch said.
The Middle Granville fire company voted and allowed Crouch some space to get spooky – cue Dr. Frankenstein’s most famous movie line – “It’s Alive!”
“I think that it is really great that Nick is doing a haunted house for us again,” said Crystal Everdyke, Haynes House board president and high school band director. 
“(Nick) told me that some of his decorations were burned in the fire, but that the more expensive ones had not been stored in the garage,” she said. 
Everdyke said she had a chance to check out the haunted garage in 2009 and was impressed.
“I couldn’t believe how elaborate his setup was last year, and scary, too,” Everdyke said.
Although the fire consumed some of his props, Crouch said, he’s got plenty to continue his scary tradition and is looking forward to doing so in October with a little help from his friends.
Penrhyn Fire Chief Milt Dunbar said he was happy to help Crouch when he came forward and asked about moving his haunted house to the fire station.
Dunbar said the haunted house will be set up in what used to be the old fire station and is now used for the food booth during events like the department’s annual car rally.
“The young guys are helping him out and I’m happy to see all of these guys looking out for the rest of the community like this – I’m really proud of the guys,” Dunbar said.
Crouch started with the department in the “under 18” program and is now a full-fledged firefighter with the company after joining at age 16.
“I’ve been watching them put it together and it’s coming along really well,” Dunbar said.
The Haunted House will open Oct. 8 behind the Penrhyn Engine and Hose Company firehouse off county Route 24 near Chapman’s General Store.
The haunted house will be open weekends and run on select dates through Oct. 31, open from 7 p.m. to when the undead stop showing up at the door.
Entry costs are covered by a good-will donation, the proceeds of which will all go to help support the Haynes House of Hope.
The South Granville comfort care home provides a cost-free place for the terminally ill and their families to be together during the final days and weeks without the need to provide care.

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