Dawn Wakefield doesn’t like the unknown but she and her volunteers have plenty of surprises ready for anyone who enters the Legion of Doom.
Wakefield, her family and friends have long been horrifying the community around Halloween. They haunted the third floor of The Squire until it closed, taking donations for local charities But when The Squire closed, Wakefield and her volunteers moved out to Plympton-Wyoming and the Hillsboro House of Horrors last year. Wakefield says they had the most successful year ever, scaring up $2,000 for toys for Petrolia’s Christmas For Everyone Campaign. They returned to Hillsboro this fall to begin creating the haunted house, they found water had damaged the abandoned building and black mould was flourishing.
Then Wakefield got an invitation from the Petrolia Legion to set up shop in a spare room in their basement on Countryview Drive. Wakefield, who is the entertainment chair for the branch, jumped at the chance and began working with her volunteers to create the Legion of Doom.
“I’m kind of the project manager,” says Wakefield “the idea person.” The ideas don’t come from experience. She doesn’t watch horror movies or go to haunted houses herself. “I don’t watch any of those, I’m terrified of them…I don’t like the unknown,” she says laughing, knowing it seems strange. “All of my ideas come from a TV commercial I might have seen.”
Wakefield says she’s surprised how well it turned out. It is smaller than the haunted house, only five rooms this time, but there will be plenty of surprises as people enter the darkness.
“We say it is parental discretion but I’d say no one under 10 should go through,” she says adding most people who come, know they will be scared.
And that takes a toll on the volunteers leading people through the haunted area. “I’ve been punched, I’ve been thrown against the wall, I never come out of there without bruises,” she laughs. “When they are scared, they just want to get out!”
For those who like to dress up, but don’t want to be scared out of their wits, Wakefield says there will be a Halloween Dance Friday at the Legion with the band Toaders Tunes and prizes for the best costumes.