The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Community

October 23, 2009

One spooky sanitarium

Former Elwood nursing home turned haunted house goes to the movies

By Emily Lawson

For The Herald Bulletin


ELWOOD — Freddy Kreuger and other scary villains have checked into the Elwood Sanitarium, a former nursing home turned into a haunted house.

The former Dickey nursing home has been for sale for more than six years. The building, rumored to be haunted (at least by Sanitarium organizers), has been undergoing major transformation since late July.

Around then, Community Long Term Care decided to provide horror film fanatics with a big treat: a spooky sanitarium.

The haunted house boasts various rooms dedicated to different horror films. Among them, “Friday the 13th,” “Halloween,” and “Nightmare on Elm Street.”

“The theme is popular horror movies. There have been a lot of them that have come out throughout the last ten years,” said Diana Smith, organizer and employee of Community Long Term Care, which is associated with Community Hospital.

“Some of the rooms are pretty intense. The haunted house itself has a PG-13 rating, so we don’t recommend little ones to attend,” said Smith.

Tanner Hutcheson, who plays Leather Face from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, said it’s not all about the movies. “We’ve got a 7-foot-tall werewolf in there. ... so that’s kind of creepy.”

Putting it all together hasn’t been an easy task.

“There are countless hours involved when you’re doing something like this, especially when it’s the first year,” Smith said, “The building is fairly large, so we’ve put a lot of time and energy into it and really focused on the safety aspect. Since it used to be a nursing home, things like the smoke detectors and the sprinklers were already in place, so that was pretty helpful.”

Kade Hoover, who plays a character from “Friday the 13th in one of the rooms, says support of the haunted house has been incredible. “Every [Community] Long Term Care facility is participating. Some have actual rooms, some are helping out with concessions... Everyone is involved.”

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