The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

October 22, 2012

Buckeye Boo returns to scare area residents for another year

Star Beacon


 A word of advice for those who are facing medical tests: Have them done before visiting the Buckeye Boo.

The clinic at the Boo is modeled after the Hollywood horror movie, “Zombie Invasion.” The test results are in, and they are scary.

Then again, this is Halloween, and this is Buckeye Boo land — the former North Kingsville Elementary School transformed into a fright house steeped in gore and nostalgia.

The Boo, a fundraiser for the district’s band boosters, was raised from the dead last year after more than a decade of moldering in the grave. Chip Laugen, who remembers working the Boo way back when it was in a deserted house near the Kingsville truck stop, and his wife, Linda, are coordinating the massive undertaking for the second year.

“Last year was a learning experience,” Chip Laugen said. He said that a lot had changed with building and fire codes from the late 1970s, and those changes forced the Boo’s producers to pay more attention to safety while keeping the volume of visitors within the capacity ratings. That has meant a reduction in the number of visitors who can go through the Boo, and, accordingly, the net profit.

Nevertheless, last year’s effort earned the booster group about $20,000, a nice return on the initial $500 investment. What does not show up in the numbers, however, are the thousands of hours that volunteers give to the effort, plus the donations of materials and props from businesses and Halloween fans.

“Most everything here is stuff we brought from home. A lot of the props are made by people (in the community) and they let us borrow them,” said Rob Newbold, who shares many of his Halloween goodies with the Boo.

It will be open Oct. 25, 26, 27 and 28;  until 10 p.m. on school nights, until midnight Friday and Saturday.

Nearly 1,500 visitors took the tour last weekend. Plan on it taking 20 minutes to walk through the rooms and perhaps even longer to stand in line.

Visitors at the front of the line can test their knowledge of horror movie trivia and view a DVD that shares the results of paranormal investigations at the school.