TROUTMAN – A Lake Norman real estate and property management firm is venturing into new territory – haunted houses.
Cornelius-based Park Avenue Properties has invested between $15,000 and $18,000 to create a haunted house that will raise money for three Lake Norman animal shelters and rescues.
“We wanted an annual philanthropic event – something different and out of the box that we thought would be a lot of fun,” said John Bradford, owner of Park Avenue Properties.
Volunteers have spent the past few weeks converting a 15,000-square-foot warehouse at the Iredell County Fairgrounds in Troutman into what they’re calling “The Haunting.”
“We thought finding an indoor venue would make it that much more unique,” Bradford said. He picked the fairgrounds over several other locations throughout the Charlotte region, because it was a venue they could return to year after year without the threat of someone taking it from them.
Much of the expense went toward securing the venue, insurance and fire marshal’s requirements.
Some of Bradford’s staff attended a national real estate conference last year in Orlando, Fla., and they wound up taking a field trip to Universal Studios theme park to get ideas for their event.
Just how scary will The Haunting be?
“I can tell you, it will not be for the faint of heart,” Bradford warns. “We don’t have Paramount’s budget, but we tried to put unique special effects in it.”
For example, footage from a flat-panel TV will be reflected off plexiglass to create the illusion of ghosts eating at a dining room table. Also, a talking sculpture will introduce visitors to the rules of the guided tour, and pumpkins will serenade them halfway through.
“We wanted interesting special effects, not just people popping out of corners,” said Mark Moehring, a volunteer who also owns Cornelius-based architectural firm Archidemic.
Bradford hopes people will not only attend for a good time but also to help raise money for the Cornelius Animal Shelter Alliance, Humane Society of Iredell County and Forever Home Canine Rescue.
Park Avenue Properties chose those nonprofits because most people on staff have pets, Bradford said.
Want to go?
The Haunting takes place Oct. 16 to 31 (except Mondays or Tuesdays) at the Iredell County Fairgrounds, 630 N. Main St. Troutman. Tickets are $7, though military, law enforcement, local realtors and children younger than 12 pay only $5 with photo identification. Donations are accepted.
Dates and times are as follows:
• Oct. 16, 7 p.m. to midnight
• Oct. 17, 7 to 11 p.m.
• Oct. 20, 7 to 11 p.m.
• Oct. 21, 7 to 11 p.m.
• Oct. 22, 7 p.m. to midnight
• Oct. 23, 7 p.m. to midnight
• Oct. 24, 7 to 11 p.m.
• Oct. 27, 7 to 11 p.m.
• Oct. 28, 7 to 11 p.m.
• Oct. 29, 7 p.m. to midnight
• Oct. 30, 7 p.m. to midnight
• Oct. 31, 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.