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Andover Haunted House Ready to Terrify Again

The 24th year of the Andover Haunted House is set to begin tomorrow, October 1st. Set builders, make-up artists, actors, and other volunteers have been working tirelessly since last November to get ready again for this month-long charity event. Each ghost and ghoul has spent countless hours working to perfect their look and the space that they haunt to maximize screams and terror. Their ability to terrify has been confirmed by many following last weekend's friends and family preview.

The haunt will take place every Friday and Saturday night from 7-11pm at the building formerly known as The Brick and The Sanitarium on West Greenwood Street. This house was built in 1876 as a home for Dr. William Crandall, but the original home burned before the family could take up residence. One could speculate that this was an omen for the supernatural events to come. The building that now stands was built to replace that original structure. Following Dr. Crandall's death the home was owned as a private residence until the early 1900's when it became a sanitarium and later a nursing home and maternity home. This is the primary era from which the resident specters come.

In more recent memory the building was best known as apartments that were popular with college students in the 1970's and young adults. Most of the folks in town old enough to recall that era (you're old now, sorry) have a story or two about The Brick before it became abandoned, all wholesome we're sure. The building became abandoned and sat vacant for many years with rumors of its ghostly residents spreading.

Ghost and haunting experts have confirmed* supernatural presences at the Sanitarium and many volunteers and patrons have reported sightings throughout the years. One cast member stated that the downstairs kitchen has been home to many of these sightings; however, a spirit has also been reported peering out of upstairs windows on occasion.

The majority of the ghosts and ghouls terrorizing haunted house patrons these days are volunteers. The Andover haunt began as a way to raise funds for the 4th of July fireworks in town; however, their fundraising far exceeded the need, and they began donating to other local organizations like Allegany County Cancer Services, ALS Research, Allegany County SPCA, and Guiding Eyes for the Blind Southern Tier Chapter as well as scholarships.

Volunteers are excited to welcome this year's guests for another round of scaring. The house changes each year with new themes and costumes. The recommended age for guests is 13 years and older, and as one volunteer stated "This house isn't made for kids, and it's no fun for anyone when a parent decides to force a kid through when they're not ready." While the volunteers joke about literally scaring the excrement out of some adult guests they don't find making children cry to be a laughing matter: Make it an adult night out, meet up with some friends, and leave the kiddos at home.

As an "adult" I can confirm that the house is, in fact, very scary. I've attended for many years and have seen the house go from a condemned house at the end of Elm Street, to the Kent's Farm haunted hay ride, and to it's present residence The Sanitarium. Each year has new twists and turns to terrify. This year was the first that had me banging on walls and running up stairs to escape. All around it was a scary good time and all for a good cause.

The Terrifying MC - Seth Grant

If you're not the sort who likes jump scares or ghastly costumes, but still want to enjoy a fun night out there are concessions, a DJ, a fire pit, and of course an Escape Room. The escape room is Halloween themed but focuses on cooperative problem solving and figuring out the clues before the time is up. Each group has 20 minutes to find clues to escape Camp Witches Curse. Not everyone will succeed, but it will be fun to try.

Tickets to tour the haunted house can be purchased in advance for $18 each or $60 for a group of 4 online or can be purchased at the door for $20 each. Fast passes are available to cut down your wait time. Escape room tickets are only available at the door and are $15 per person or $55 for a group of 4.

We would also like to remind folks this year that there are facilities at the haunted house, and you shouldn't pee in the Allen's front yard (or anyone else's for that matter). It's not cool, and no one likes it. Also, you'll probably get caught on camera, and how embarrassing would that be?

Preview video by Nick Davis of Genesee Valley Media - Is Scary.

*as much as something like that can be proven

© AndoverExclusive 2021

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