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Concord Family Transforms Home into Haunted House

It took two months and $5,000 to build — but the house on Kay Avenue is officially open to victims this weekend. Take a tour of the horrors from dusk to 10:30 p.m. Oct. 19 to 20 and Oct. 26 to 31.

Chris Lofton says Kay Avenue had around 700 kids trick-or-treating there last year, when a few years ago, "you couldn't even give away a small bag of candy" because the street was so dead at Halloween.

Now it's beyond dead — Kay Avenue is positively zombiefied. A spiky black fence lines the front yard of number 2801, with skulls skewered by the eye socket to its posts. Graves spew rotting bones onto the grass, while shadows flicker in the orange glow of the torch flames. 

This is the seventh year that the family has transformed their home into a hellish maze. 

Ghastly noises eminate from the outside, pounding and squealing as visitors await their turn to enter the long, dark tunnel ahead. Inside, they face a series of corridors and rooms, each presenting a different horrifying scene and terrors lurking in the darkness.

The whole family are in character, with the kids in on the act too. On preview evening, one young boy was dressed in a clown mask with a thin, swirling tongue leaping from its mouth. "Can I have the machete?" the clown asked Lofton just before showtime.

They've never made back the cash they invest in building the haunted house each year, Lofton says, but it's not about the money. "We just want to make sure the kids have a good time," he said.

This year, the running total was around $5,000 for all the construction work and props, which includes 90 walls to build a "House of Horror" that extends from the front, back 100 feet behind the building and around the other side. The set-up requires an extra generator, plus hours of time from a host of talented volunteers from builders and electricians to actors.

The cost of entrance to the "maze of hell," as Loften calls it, started on a donation-only basis and has gradually increased each year as the maze has become more and more intricate and required extra resources. Proceeds from Kay's House of Horror 2012 are going to three local charities: the Child Abuse Prevention Council and STAND! For Families Free of Violence.

Adults are $10 and children are $5. A family of four can get in for $25. The maze is accepting victims on the following Wednesday.

It can be stressful, says Lofton, especially since the couple have a 20-month old daughter and the house takes just as long to build as it does to break down afterwards. But "it's worth it," he adds. "We have that much fun."

Have you ever visited the Kay Avenue Haunted House? What do you think of the idea? Share your experience and thoughts in the comments below. 

chelsea royal hann October 19, 2012 at 02:22 PM
those look so awesome its scary but i think you need more pics. on it well keep sending it to everybody you guys are awesome!!!!!
Emily Henry (Editor) October 19, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Thanks Chelsea! I didn't want to share too many pictures because I didn't want to spoil the surprise! (Plus, it was very, very dark...)
Rose Manau October 19, 2012 at 06:58 PM
It is Awesome!
Tonya October 21, 2012 at 04:11 AM
Such a treat! Very worth the $10 admission! We loved the "dot room" and wanted some popcorn...All your workers looked amazing. Thank you for all the effort.
Leslie October 22, 2012 at 03:10 AM
It is so evident all the work and funds that went into putting this house together. It is really well done and my 2 kids, 7 and 10 and my husband and I thought it was the best we have ever been through. Thank for bringing Halloween to us.
Marnie Sheehan Carter October 31, 2012 at 06:43 AM
@Carter4Concord City Council and family went to Kay's House of Horror tonight and had the experience of wishing it was over - but wanting more at the same time! Best part is that proceeds benefit @SUPPORTSTAND! Thank you for scaring all of us

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