Haunted house goes 'underground'

Post Falls Lions annual fundraiser opens tonight

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JEROME A. POLLOS/Press Albert Thomas measures a piece of plastic covering Wednesday, Sept. 26 to apply to one of the areas of the Post Falls Lions haunted house.

POST FALLS - What do you get with a bunch of uncaged Post Falls Lions in October?

Freaks on Fourth Street.

The nonprofit club kicks off its largest fundraiser of the year tonight with its haunted house at Fourth and Post.

And, if you think you have the place figured out from going before, think again.

Those who dare to enter this year are headed "underground" to a dark and dirty place.

"We've changed the way you walk through it," said Lion Ken Cook, exercising his right to not divulge too much information. "We've brought the ceiling down in a couple different spots so you'll have to go through a sewer.

"We're going underground this year."

That's what you get when wild imaginations from a group of good-hearted guys come together.

"Just remember, we have warped minds," Cook said.

The Lions will get help from their Post Falls student volunteers who are raising funds for their programs and love to scare people.

The house has 17 rooms occupied by ugly characters who have taken up residency at the place, and some have been known to not show themselves too early.

"You'll find them when you go through - maybe," Cook said. "If not, they will find you."

Cook said you never know what to expect once you walk in the door.

"Enter at your own risk," he said. "And, no, we do not supply clean underwear."

The house will be open on Friday and Saturday nights from 6 p.m. to midnight throughout October. It will also be open from 6-10 p.m. Oct. 28-31.

This year's house is open earlier than in the past and without as many consecutive days leading up to Halloween.

"It's just something different we wanted to try to make more money," Cook said. "The kids (volunteers) also get burned out if they're working too many days in a row."

Cost is $7. If visitors bring two non-perishable food items for the Post Falls Food Bank, admission is $5. Concessions are available. Age 12 is a general guideline to go through the house, but Cook said some younger kids have done fine and some adults have had to exit early.

The event last year raised more than $23,000 for student programs and scholarships, hearing and eye care for those in need and other Lions projects. The fundraiser has been held for about 40 years, including 36 at its current location between City Hall and Idaho Veneer. The house was recognized by USA Today in the past as being among the best in the nation.

At its peak, around $30,000 was raised during a season.

"Part of it is the economy and part of it is other events going on," Cook said of the decline in revenue.

He said the Lions event is unique, however, because all of the proceeds raised by the volunteer organization go toward helping the community.

"Help us help the community," Cook said.

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