Halloween came early this year at Richmond’s Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center. The House of Terror, a haunted house and Halloween festival sponsored by the city’s recreation department, was in full swing even before the sun began to set on Saturday afternoon. Friday was the opening night for the two-day event.
Exactly how terrifying is this House of Terror?
“We even had parents running out of here last night,” said Kymberlyn Carson-Thrower, recreation and program coordinator for the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center on Harbor Way South.
The House of Terror featured a long maze of dark hallways lined with purple cobwebs, punctuated by dimly lit rooms themed with frightening titles such as “the spider room,” and the “Freddy Krueger room.” In the background, creepy Wizard-of-Oz music played over a tinny loudspeaker, awaiting the accompaniment of the terrified screams from those who dared to enter.
Along with the haunted house, the Halloween event also featured a carnival of games, booths, and treats for kids interested in a “not so scary version” of the House of Terror.
“We do it for the kids,” Thrower said. “Especially here on the Southside, where there really isn’t much else for them to do.”
Thrower is one of 22 city employees who worked at the House Of Terror this weekend. She says that the recreation department has hosted the haunted houses for over 15 years. Friday, she says about 250 people—both Richmond residents and non-Richmond residents—came through to join the festivities. Saturday, she expected to see about the same number of visitors.
By Anna McCarthy