Fire Departments Hope to Scare Up Money

Fire Departments Hope to Scare Up Money
By: CJ Cassidy

PORTAGEVILLE, Mo. - If the cold weather isn't enough to give you chills, you might want to check out a spooktacular haunted house in Portageville.
Portageville volunteer fire crews designed the Haunted Inn.
Turns out it's a fundraiser, something firefighters in many smaller towns are resorting to, to buy all the equipment they need.
They hope these haunted houses help scare up some big bucks.
From crazy clowns, to witches chopping up body parts, to a shower of blood, even an autopsy room with an electric chair, hang on to your hats inside this haunted inn because "you're gonna get scared."
"You don't want to bring a five year old out here, and expect to make it all the way through.  It's not going to happen," said Portageville Volunteer Firefighter Jason Ward.
He took us on a tour of the Inn.  He hopes the hours of work crews put into making the building look gruesome, pays off as a fundraiser.
"We're looking at purchasing another fire truck that helps citizens with their fire insurance and response time putting fires out quicker," Ward said.
And how's this for a scary sight, a truck that's been in operation for almost 30 years.  Firefighters want to replace it, but even a grant from the Department of Homeland Security leaves them looking for more than $50,000.
Last year's haunted house helped the department buy another truck, so hopes are high.  You'll want to stop over at the Haunted Inn.
"In every nook and cranny there's somebody somewhere.  You're going to get your money's worth," Ward said.
If that doesn't grab your attention, how about a ghost to get you going?
The crew here snapped some pictures inside.  One shows off a spooky figure floating next to a train, but it doesn't show up in the next one.
"Different people working here at night have heard doors slam shut.  There's one story floating around about someone hollering hello, hello, but when they call out no one answers back," Ward said.
The Haunted Inn opens Friday, October 26 at 7 p.m. and will be open through Halloween.
The volunteer fire department in Ullin also has a Haunted Depot planned to raise money to buy weather sirens.