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Lynchburg haunted house celebrates 40 years of monsters and ministry

Liberty University's "Scaremare" is celebrating a milestone by doubling the size of its popular Halloween attraction

October 19, 2012|Tim Saunders | Reporter/Lynchburg Bureau Chief

LYNCHBURG, Va. — There's a spot next to the Lynchburg Expressway where monsters lurk in the woods.

It's a place where clowns chase you with a chainaw.  If you dare to venture inside an old house on the property, prepare to hang out with zombies and corpses.

It's Halloween, and that means it's Scaremare time.

The annual event is put on by Liberty University.  This year is the 40th Anniversary.

"Kids know our history," said Scaremare director, Steve Vandegriff.  "They know that they're going to have a good time and we're going to do our best to scare them."

There is something in the haunted house for just about every phobia you can think of.  If you're claustrophobic, Scaremare will push that fear right out of you in a place called "The Squeeze Room."

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"If they have a fear of heights, inclines, tunnels, dogs, or clowns, don't come," said Vandegriff.

Thousands do come every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night for the last three weekends of October.

This year the attraction has doubled in size.  It takes 40 minutes for audiences to walk through two buildings and large field.

The experience doesn't exist just to give people nightmares.

"Some people come here for a good scare, and they end up making a decision that changes their life forever," said volunteer, Yesmien Hickson.

At the end of the attraction, volunteers offer a message inside a row of tents.

"We challenge students to think," said Vandegriff.  "What happens after we die?"

The goal: introduce people to Christianity.  Organizers call this "saving," and say it happens to more than 2-thousand people every year.

"They get to the preaching tent and something changes in their heart," Hickson said.

It's a form of outreach that's become a Lynchburg tradition.

Scaremare is right off the Lynchburg Expressway at the Carroll Avenue exit.

The fun starts at dusk, but get there early to avoid long lines.  Tickets are $8.00 per-person.  Click here to learn more.

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