A Columbia haunted attraction is raising money through halloween horrors in order to give back to the community.
Hall of Horrors, which is open through the month of October, allows patrons to explore its halls, offering a fright around ever corner.
This haunt follows the eerie story of a struggling farm whose owners turn to witchcraft to help them stay afloat. When these owners inevitably pass on, the dark spirits that once helped them are free to roam the land. The spirits lurk, waiting for any who are willing to go to the now-abandoned farm.
Hall of Horrors has been around for 35 years. The attraction was made as part of a nonprofit, Cayce-West Columbia Jaycee, with the intention that all proceeds would go to charities in order to help the Columbia community.
For Conrad Sims, one of the many scare actors at Hall of Horrors, the place allows him to embrace himself and do what he wants, especially when it comes to scaring people, he said.
"If (people) like the living crap scared out of them, I guess this is a good a place as any," Sims said.
Sims said what really sets this haunted attraction apart from others is the actors and employees who work there, and he isn't alone in that belief.
Actors' Director Shelby Spencer works with all the actors, assigns their roles and gets them into character with hair and makeup.
“One thing I’ve noticed about our haunt is we tend to have a lot more soul than anything,” Spencer said. “While we’re a smaller-scale haunt, we have some of the best actors I’ve ever seen.”
The proceeds made at Hall of Horror are split among charities in South Carolina — most going to Camp Hope in Clemson, Spencer said.
"(It's) a summer camp for cognitive disabilities — people of all ages with cognitive disabilities like severe Alzheimer's or autism," Spencer said. "So we subsidize the cost of their going there and for the equipment."
Spencer is not just the actors' director of Hall of Horrors, but she is also the chapter president for the Cayce-West Columbia Junior Chamber Jaycees — the organization that runs the haunt.
The Cayce-West Columbia Jaycees is a nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to "imporving themselves (and) creating positive changes," according to its website.
While the haunt is run by the local chapter, leaders of Jaycees International come to help out.
Joseph Berry, the state chapter president for Jaycees, spends much of his time helping local chapters out with projects such as Hall of Horrors.
Berry makes sure that local chapters have all the help they need to be successful and that all of the chapters are able to give back to the community, he said.
"We travel and go and support, just be a lending hand (or) guiding light," Berry said.
Working with Jaycees West and helping at local chapters, such as Hall of Horrors, have given Berry a cause, he said. Berry also said it allows him to make mistakes and grow in a good environment where he is surrounded by amazing people.
“It’s given me a voice to be able to implement changes that I want to see in my community,” Berry said.
Hall of Horrors is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday until Oct. 31 at 1153 Walter Bryce Rd. Tickets are $15 a person. Those interested in the frights can find more information at hallofhorrors.org.