ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — It’s that time of year again! Ashtabula’s haunted house is back and bigger than ever. The “Buckeye Boo,” a popular haunted attraction sponsored by the Edgewood Warrior Marching Band has returned.
Several decades ago, the Edgewood Warrior Band Boosters started a unique fund-raiser to pay for band expenses. They decorated the interior of a building as a haunted house and had people of the community walk through the spooky setup. The Boo quickly became the band’s most prosperous and popular fund-raiser. Ten years ago when band director, Connie Sommers, took over direction, the Boo closed its doors.
“We just couldn’t get the volunteer manpower we needed to keep the Boo running smoothly and safely,” said Sommers.
But now, the Boo is back and scarier than ever. Students and parent volunteers worked around the clock for weeks on end to set up North Kingsville Elementary School for the masses of people who flock to the Boo each year.
Jon Shamp, the assistant director of the Warrior band, said, “Setting up for the Boo is extremely difficult. We are extremely fortunate to have a large number of very hard- working, dedicated volunteers who selflessly give countless hours of their time to ensure that this is a successful fund-raiser. We are deeply in debt to all of them.”
The payoff of this monumental effort shows. Because of funds raised from the Buckeye Boo last year, all 140 band students paid $100 less for their band camp fee, as well as receiving new uniforms. The Boo, while a very popular fund-raiser, isn’t all about money, though. Volunteers who have no connection to the band also donate their time, money and effort to the Boo. Workers such as Robert and Tiffany Newbold enjoy doing something fun to help the band.
“It’s a bonding experience,” said Shamp. “It brings the whole community together.”
The Boo made a return last year after a several year hiatus, and it was very popular among the community. Last year’s layout featured seven rooms, plus additional haunted closets, hallways and spooky corners where ghouls and ghosts could hide and scare. This year, however, the Boo spans three floors and has added a few more rooms, plus a haunted corn maze. While last year had no set theme, this year people can relive some of their favorite scary movies in rooms inspired by Halloween favorites such as “Chuckie,” “Friday the 13th” and “Children of the Corn.”
Come out and support the Edgewood Marching Band in Ashtabula County’s favorite haunted attraction! Admission to Buckeye Boo is $5 for the first time through, then $3 for each additional walk through in the same night. The Boo is open 7 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays, 7 to 10 p.m. Sundays at North Kingsville Elementary School on Route 20 through Oct. 28. This year, the Boo is not recommended for children under 10 years of age. For more information, go to www.buckeyeboo.info.