Frightening event held in Keystone will start Oct. 13

By Jeff Smith

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The Haunting of Keystone is going to be eight scary nights. This year’s haunting has been in the works for weeks.

Over 20 meetings have already been held to plan out the Haunting. Work will still continue up to a  couple of days from the first night of the event.

“It’s all new, changed out,” said Sandi McLain with the Keystone Historical Society.

Each location also has its own theme and a new location was added this year. The locations are Rushmore Cave, the haunted forest, Big Thunder Gold Mine and the Keystone schoolhouse.

The schoolhouse will have the theme of phobias, Big Thunder Gold Mine will have the theme of torture, panic will be the theme of the forest and cavernous will be the theme of the Rushmore Cave.

Not just one person decides the themes but McLain said it’s decided by the administrative team of the haunting.

Holy Terror Days Association is the main sponsor but there are also quite a few other sponsors for the event.

McLain said the event is not for profit but to help area people that are in need.

“All of the money stays in the Keystone area,” McLain said.

Last year the money from the event helped cover the cost of the roof on the Keystone Museum.

$42,000 was raised from the Haunting last year. The money has also gone to events for deceased family members of those in the community, to help people in the winter that can’t pay their utilities or for children’s Christmas gifts.

This year the goal is $62,000.

“With adding another activity, we’re hoping to do it,” McLain said.

Ten percent of the money automatically goes to the Keystone Historical Society.

This year they are hoping to purchase Christmas lights for the town with the money.

McLain said the plan is to put away funds and come up with different phases for the purchase of Christmas lights for the town because of the cost associated. The first area they would purchase lights for is the downtown area.

Up to 80 volunteers are needed for the Haunting. There is about half of that amount right now.

On Sept 28, McLain said there was a list of 20-25 volunteers that were wanting to help.

McLain said people help a lot with the event.

“People in the community who are already doing things drop everything and help us,” McLain said.

She thinks people have fun doing it and it’s for a worthy cause. McLain said it helps to have people other than those that normally help out.

Keystone is doing all types of Halloween festivities on Oct. 14. Children are invited to trick-or-treat at businesses in Keystone and there will also be the annual Halloween carnival. Robin Scott, organizer of the event, said there will be 10-14 games for children to play.

The carnival will take place from 2-4 p.m. in the Keystone Community Center gym.

Scott said it was a little early this year to coordinate with the other events the chamber of commerce is doing.

McLain said all three of the weekends bring people from out-of-state.

“People come from Wyoming, Nebraska, Minnesota and North Dakota specifically for the event,” McLain said.

According to McLain, Keystone saw a 10-15 percent increase in sales tax in October last year.

Tickets for the Keystone Haunting events are available online at hauntingofkeystone.com. People can also sign up to volunteer on the site too.

Oct. 13- 14, Oct. 20-22, and Oct. 27-29 are the dates for the Haunting of Keystone. On Fridays and Saturdays it runs 7-11 p.m. and on Sundays it will run 7-9 p.m. Individual tickets are $7 or people can purchase a wristband for $21 that will get them into all of the attractions.

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