The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

October 26, 2013

Conneaut’s ‘Haunt’ is back to scare you

By MARK TODD - mtodd@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

CONNEAUT — One of the region’s top fright-fests, “The Haunt on Williams Street,” is serving up scares along Conneaut’s lakefront.

The award-winning display at 585 Williams St., has been a local Halloween tradition for 23 years, said Randy Skalos, originator and chief ghoul. “I would say it’s the premiere exhibition in the area,” he said.

Much of the lawn and the entire garage is filled with eerie and creepy figures and special effects, including three animated figures new for 2013. In a nod to the popularity of TV’s “The Walking Dead,” two animatronic zombies cavort on the property, Skalos said.

But Skalos is most proud of a new witch that cackles and speaks as she stirs her cauldron.

“She has some good, creepy speeches,” he said. “And the cauldron changes colors. It’s a really impressive sight at night.”

Back by popular demand is the spooky tableau, fitted with a variety of surprises, that fills the garage. Skalos has also rearranged other figures to give the exhibit a fresh look.

“We’ve changed around some scenes,” Skalos said.

Skalos isn’t sure what will be added for 2014. “I had no idea it would go on this long,” he said, laughing.

“Haunt” is open 7-10 p.m. daily, weather permitting, through Halloween (Oct. 31). Plenty of people have already tested their nerves, Skalos said.

“We opened last weekend, and the crowds have been pretty good,” he said.

Donations are accepted and benefit the Conneaut Food Pantry. For more information, visit hauntonwilliams.com.