Scaring kids is their business

Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer

Goblins, ghosts and ghouls will be roaming the hallways of buildings in Portales as part of the Halloween events planned for this weekend.

The Portales Recreation Center workers will host their annual Spooktacular Haunted House from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday. The cost is a $2 donation which will be used to purchase equipment for the recreation center.

Parents will have two choices for their children to experience the scares of the tours. The Barney Haunted House is for young children or anyone who doesn’t want to get too scared. The Nightmares tour is for older children and adults.

Eastern New Mexico University band members will also have a haunted house from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Friday. The haunted house is themed, “Haunted Alcatraz”, and will have scenes from a haunted prison, complete with a decorated electric chair, execution chamber and other prison features.

“It’ll be different (than other haunted houses),” Vicky Fernandez, an ENMU band member and an organizer of the event, said. “It’s a different kind of spooky. It’s freaky. We advise children under the age of 12 to come with an adult.”
The cost is $5 per person and $3 if people want to go through the tour a second time at the Music Building on the ENMU campus.

The time-frames of 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the recreation center and 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Friday allows for parents to take their children to both haunted houses.

Portales Recreation Center Director Johnny Ledbetter said those who go to the Spooktacular haunted house tour will go through tunnels and from room to room in the 2,700 square-foot recreation center.

“We had one guy help us with it for the first time last year and he had never scared anyone before,” Ledbetter said. “He loved it and enjoyed scaring people, it’s a lot of fun. There are a lot of surprises in the tour. People don’t know what’s real and what’s not.”

This year will be the fourth year of the Spooktacular event. Ledbetter said last year was the most successful haunted house tour. Ledbetter said almost 800 people went through the tour.

Robert Hagan helped out with the tour last year and will help out again this year. Hagan, his two sons, Robert Adam and Chris along with Hagan’s daughter, Tera, will be frightening people during the tour.

“I really like being part of the tour and seeing the expressions on people’s faces when they get scared,” Hagan said.

Scaring people during the tours is something Jason Anaya enjoys doing as part of the Halloween haunted house at the Music Building. Anaya, an ENMU band member and senior, has helped scare those who attend for the past three years and will do it again this year.

“I’ve had a blast,” Anaya said about scaring people. “It’s a lot of fun for everybody.”

Anaya said last year, there were people who went through the tour three and four times. According to Anaya, the haunted house tour is the biggest fund-raiser of the year for the band members and the money collected goes to purchasing equipment for the band.

There are other Halloween events going on in Clovis: The North Plains Mall representatives will be hosting a trick or treat from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday. North Plains Mall Merchants will be passing out candy to all children under the age of 12. All children must be accompanied by an adult. No mask on anyone over the age of 12 and no play weapons will be allowed in the North Plains Mall.