HILL — Bruce Perkins says that the impetus for the haunted house events that he has held at his home off from Rte. 3-A just north of Hill Village for many years was actually his own wedding.
''My wife and I were married at a Halloween masquerade wedding in 1995. It was the idea of the Justice of the Peace, who said that she had officiated all all kinds of weddings, but never one at which everyone was in costume. So all of the guests wore costumes and the Justice of the Peace was the only person at the wedding without a costume.''
Perkins said that he and his wife, Barbara, decorated their home for other anniversaries in years that followed. ''It just kept getting bigger and bigger every year. People liked it so much that they asked us to open our home to the public and we did one year and invited the whole town.'' says Perkins.
He says that after that he was encouraged to start charging admission in order to raise funds for the Franklin Animal Shelter and other charities and started at $1, then raised it to $5. Then, with the idea that the event would be able to help even more people, the admission price was raised to $10.
He says that he and his wife, who died last October, have had a lot of help in putting the haunted house together over the years. ''There are a bunch of volunteers who have helped us and hey keep coming back year after year.''
Perkins said that Barbara worked at the Jenny Blake School and at the Hill Village Sore and was a strong supporter of events which bring the community together.
The haunted house opened last weekend and drew large crowds, with many people telling him that this year's version is the best ever.
Contributions this year go to the area Boys and Girls Club, the Franklin Animal Shelter and a Christmas fund. Those who bring non-perishable canned goods or pet food receive a dollar off the price of admission.
The haunted house is open to the public on weekends through November 1. Friday and Saturday hours are 7-11 p.m. and Sundays 7-9 p.m.
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A haunted house at the Bruce Perkins residence on Rte. 3-A in Hill raises funds for local charities. (Courtesy photo)
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