A month’s worth of effort by nearly 100 volunteers has built this year’s BOSS Haunted House, which opens its creaky doors to visitors from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Bldgs. 709 and 710 near the corner of Minnesota Avenue and Utah Street.
This year’s haunted house features a maze-like course with multiple rooms, each with a different theme, according to Spc. Calimar Torres, who is the president of BOSS — also known as Better Opportunities for Single Service Members.
“We have the Doll Room; we have the Jason Room; we have the Clown Room, the Hospital, the Zombie Room, the Cemetery Room — plus two more rooms we aren’t ready to announce yet,” Torres said.
“It’s really cool, because it’s a maze, and at night you can’t see anything until you’re right up on it,” Torres added. “In fact, I went through it at night for the first time the other night, and it gave me the illusion that I wasn’t on Fort Leonard Wood anymore — it was definitely doing its job.”
BOSS members and volunteers with the Basic Officer Leader Course began cleaning out the buildings in September before roughing out the maze-like course with heavy plastic sheeting and decorating the various rooms and hallways.
In addition to visitors, the haunted house will be populated by up to 60 volunteer “scarers” from the U.S. Marine Corps Detachment.
“The haunted house is what it is because of the characters who are doing it, and usually the Marines here on Fort Leonard Wood are the ones who help me out with it, because they’re so enthusiastic about it,” he said. “We’ve got 55 to 60 Marines who are coming in to (do) scaring.”
The haunted house is open to all ages. Torres noted that volunteers will take the age of visitors into account as they enter the haunted house.
“My scarers will be briefed to not engage until they know who the audience is. By that, I mean if we have a 5- or 6-year-old going through, we (instruct the scarers) to adjust appropriately. Don’t just go all out, because it might be too much,” he said.
On the other hand, a group of 16- to 17-year-old visitors are likely to have a more intense experience, Torres said.
“In that case, I’m going to give (scarers) the green light,” he said. “I want them to start hitting the walls, rattling the chains and give (visitors) the full effect.”
Outside the haunted house, BOSS volunteers will have concessions available for purchase, and scary movies will be shown on an inflatable screen for those who are waiting in line.
Future BOSS Haunted House dates include Oct. 18, 19, 25 and 26
Admission is $5 per person. Visitors can get in for $3 if they show up in costume.
Parking will be available to the side and rear of Bldg. 709.
“We’ll have road guards directing traffic,” he said. “There will be signage in front of post to direct visitors to the haunted house.”
For more information about the BOSS Haunted House, call 573.563.5967.
Area haunted attractions
The BOSS Haunted House is one of several scary attractions happening in the Fort Leonard Wood area. You can check out some or all of the following haunted houses in mid-Missouri:
— Rising Haunted Attraction, located at 25238 Raleigh Road in Waynesville, bills itself as “Central Missouri’s scariest haunt!” and features multiple characters, gore, scary scenes, strobe lights and more centered around the story of a haunted plantation. Rising is open from 8 p.m. to midnight every Friday and Saturday in October, as well as Halloween night. Admission is $13. Visit the Rising Haunted Attraction Facebook page for more information.
— Ozark Nightmares Haunted House and Corn Maze, 22599 East Highway 32 in Lebanon, has a “Primeval” theme this year, creating a Dark Ages castle filled with scary creatures and characters portrayed by more than 30 actors. The venue is open from 7 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays in October and Halloween night. Admission is $10, which includes both the haunted house and corn maze. Visitors can also enjoy live music from area bands, including Armchair Hero, Ozark Winds and the Soul Joke Band or play a variety of carnival games at the venue’s “Carnivorous Carnival.”
For more information, call 417.532.1002 or visit the @OzarkNightmares Facebook page.
— The Haunted Mine at the Missouri University of Science and Technology Experimental Mine, 12350 Private Drive 7002, off Bridge School Road in Rolla, is open from 6 to 11 p.m. Oct. 18, 19, 25, 26, 31 and Nov. 1. Mining engineering students have transformed the mine each Halloween since 1997. Admission is $15 for adults, $13 for children ages 10 and younger, Missouri S&T students and military service members with valid ID. Visitors can also receive a $1 discount for each canned good they bring, up to $3 per person. For more information, call 573.341.6406, or email Stephen Casey at caseysc @mst.edu.
— Carnival of Freaks, 18205 Whitlock Road near Licking, strives to takes its “scary clown” theme to a new level each year. This year, the venue has added a Haunted Trail, and now accepts both cash and credit cards. Carnival of Freaks is open from 8 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays now through Nov. 2.
Tickets are $13 per person. For more information, call 573.201.8991 or visit the @CarnivalofFreaks Facebook page.