County hosts a weekend of frights

Published 11:52 am Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Over the weekend, zombies came out of the Chelsea forest and volunteer firefighters in Montevallo turned into scary clowns, ghosts and a vast array of other terrifying creatures.

Now, I’m not one to truly enjoy being scared. I don’t line up to see the latest horror movie or get excited about entering a haunted house. Last weekend, though, I thought the emergence of frightening creatures was enough to get anyone into the Halloween spirit, even this self-proclaimed scaredy cat.

Friday night, the men and women of Dry Valley Fire Department and West Shelby Fire and Rescue put on a fright fest at West Shelby Station No. 1. To be honest, I was getting the chills even walking through the haunted house — with the lights on!

One of the creatures uses a grinder to create sparks in an otherwise pitch-black space.

“They’re firemen; they love sparks,” said Ashley Graham, wife of West Shelby’s assistant fire chief, laughing.

West Shelby Captain Nathan Robertson, who sported a ghoulish pumpkin man mask, said the haunted house gets better and better each week, as the departments held the haunted house and hayride every weekend of October.

The haunted house’s final night of fright will be tonight beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The second Halloween-themed event I attended last weekend had me doubled over in laughter rather than fear. Birmingham Young Professionals Kiwanis hosted a 5K Zombie Chase through the damp, cold woods of Hargis Retreat in Chelsea Saturday morning.

Each of the about 200 runners had a red ribbon taped to his or her back, which “zombies” throughout the race attempted to steal. If the runner made it to the end with the ribbon, he or she won a prize and bragging rights.

The runners had to crawl through a water-filled ditch under a road, which, of course, was manned by a hissing zombie. The runners then ran through the woods and into a field full of zombies yelling, “Flags! Flags!” as they chased the screaming, laughing runners.

The run raised money to sponsor a sixth grade class from a Birmingham inner city school for a Project American Life course.

After a weekend full of both the scary and the hilarious, I’m looking forward to seeing what Shelby County can bring on Halloween night. A happy, safe Halloween to all!

Christine Boatwright is a staff writer for the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at 669-3131 ext. 16 or by email at