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Halloween frights for nursing home residents

JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) — United Methodist Homes in Johnson City turned a space normally used for events like bingo and video games into a haunted house. It’s the 12th straight year they organized the event to allow everyone to experience Halloween frights.

This year’s themed rooms include crazy eyes, a graveyard and lots of skeletons.

“We do this to give residents an opportunity to do something fun for Halloween with their families, and invite the community in to see what we do as well as other facilities in the area,” Activity Director Faye Clark said.

Clark, along with other employees, began planning the event back in September. They then spent Monday blacking out the auditorium to set up the attraction.

“Today is a really special day for us,” Activity Leader Kaitlin McFadden said. “We get to scare everybody. We get to scare people that always say that they wouldn’t be scared before. You wouldn’t think that they have fun with this, but they really do.”

McFadden spent the day dressed as a doll, sneaking up behind people in a mask. Her nursery-themed room was one of the scariest for visitors.

“They scared me,” resident Andy Tomal said. “That was three times! It was very effective and I liked it. I enjoyed it and I think the people will.”

“I got wet pants,” Tomal continued. “They did a wonderful job here. They really did.”

A Zombie Prom room was designed and staffed by Johnson City High School students. They have helped escort people through the attraction in the past and jumped at the opportunity to have their own display.

“It’s high school-related, and zombies are a big hit right now,” Student Adviser Jana Lenkiewicz said. “We thought it would be fun to decorate. I’m older, so we did streamers and balloons when I was in high school.”

The haunted house is free for the public to enjoy. It’s open until 8 p.m. Tuesday and again from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday.

Brendan Tierney

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