Clowns, zombies, aliens, loose killers, and the Bates Motel are all coming to Ahwatukee Foothills tonight for the 10th Annual Haunted House and Hayride at the Ahwatukee Community Swim and Tennis Center.

For $7 guests will take a hayride through Area 51 and a graveyard full of zombies. They'll be dropped off at a scary asylum and just past that, enter the Garden of Evil. After the Garden of Evil comes the Ahwa-spooky trail that leads to a fun house. Past the fun house is a dungeon, a swamp and, finally, the Bates Motel. All will be spread out across 3 acres of the baseball field and surrounding park.

"I just have always enjoyed Halloween," said Susan Hyden, who has put the whole event together. "When we started, at the time, it was a fun thing for my kids to do with their friends, and volunteer. It was pretty small that first year. Several years after that we got quite a few donations from a Halloween store that continued to give us things at the end of their season. They gave us anything and we would take it. We've just kept getting bigger and bigger."

Not only have the props improved over the years, but Hyden says she has many volunteers that return year after year as well.

"From the first time it started students from the high schools really enjoy this type of volunteering," Hyden said. "It's fun, but it does teach them responsibility and they have rules to follow. It was beneficial to us, but also to them because they were able to get community service hours for the different organizations they're involved in at school. It's a win-win and I never have an issue with not enough volunteers."

The event is a fundraiser for the facility. They're hoping to purchase an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) for the facility, which can cost around $2,500.

On top of the cost to go through the haunted house there will also be a bake sale at the end, and pumpkins for sale.

The event goes through Oct. 30, from 6 to 10 p.m., and 9 p.m. on Sunday, at 4700 E. Warner Road.

Younger kids are invited to go through the haunted house from 6 to 7:30 p.m. After 7:30 it will get a little scarier.

"I just think it's a fun experience," Hyden said. "I'm proud of it because I know of all the work that goes into it, but I've also heard from people going through that they can't believe we did all that. It's quite a production. It's a good event to get out and enjoy the Halloween experience. People are very impressed. It's all worth it in the end."

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com

 

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