Two longtime annual Halloween traditions in Ahwatukee are ready to scare the heck out of people this weekend.
Between Mountain Pointe Theatre Company’s haunted house, titled “Blood Moon” this year, and the Ahwatukee Swim & Tennis Center’s 18th annual Haunted Hay Ride and Haunted House, adults and teens in the community won’t have to drive too far to get their scare on.
Students use a good part of Mountain Pointe High’s building to build in a variety of horrifying scenes 6-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 25 and 26. Admission is $7 for students and $10 for adults.
When people are taken up to the catwalk, they learn the story of Eldridge, the ghost that purportedly haunts the auditorium. Said to be the spirit of a construction worker who died when Mountain Pointe High was being built, the ghost has become such an urban legend that seat E-13 is taped off during any production.
When she was a reporter for the Arizona Republic, Ahwatukee resident Cathy Creno looked into the Eldridge legend and wrote, “As long as anyone can remember, Eldridge has reportedly been haunting the theater with mysterious footsteps, flickering lights and other unexplained occurrences.”
Nevertheless, Creno added, there is no record of any construction death at the school.
Meanwhile, the Swim and Tennis Center, on Warner Road just west of 48th Street, will hold its hayride and haunting scenes Saturday through Sunday, Oct. 25-27 from 6-9 p.m. Admission is $9 for adults and $6 for children 8 and under.
Between 6-7:30 p.m., parents who want to introduce younger children to a less hair-raising Halloween experience can bring their kids to a less scary presentation. Ghosts won’t be jumping out of the dark during this kids-friendly period.
Along with the hayride and haunted house, there will be free games with prizes for kids, free bouncy house, Halloween merchandise, bake sale and other concession items.
The free games for kids include: Candy Corn Ring Toss, Feed the Monster, Pop a Pumpkin, and Witches Brew.
Volunteers from the Kiwanis Club of Ahwatukee will help with the bake sale and other high school volunteers will assist with the games.
“It is truly a fun night out for our community,” said center director Susan Hyden.
Hyden said the haunted house is adding two new features, “Butcher Shop” and “Abandoned Swamp House.” She said there are four other areas that “are certainly impressive.”
“ I am the main haunted house set-up person and when I go through it on event nights, it even makes me scream,” Hyden added.
Hyden said she’s proud of the 60 to 80 high school volunteers who turn out to help.
Along with some adults, the volunteers “put on the costume, smear on the make-up and get ready to put on a good scare. They do a great job and we all have a lot of fun in the process.”
Some also do more mundane things like handle concessions and ticket sales.
“We still could use some volunteers to help with the clean-up process on Monday, Oct. 28, from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Interested helpers can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“There is a lot of work that goes into this event and it is one of the major community events we host each year,” Hyden added. Our volunteers are gearing up to put on a good scare for the community so please don’t miss it!
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Information: ahwatukeecommunitycenter.com , Facebook or 480-893-3431.