Haunted house scares for good cause
By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer
HELENA – Haunted houses are a Halloween staple. Two years ago, Jenny and Chad Lovelady decided to add something to their haunted house: A good cause.
The Loveladys have converted their Helena home into a house of horrors for the past four years. Each year, people told the couple they should charge for the experience.
“Last year, we decided just to do a donation thing,” Jenny Lovelady said. “My husband’s father passed away from cancer, so he said, ‘Let’s donate to the American Cancer Society.’”
Last year, haunted house attendees donated $500, and this year, the Loveladys received $597 to donate “every penny” to the American Cancer Society, Jenny Lovelady said.
“All the people who help us, the ‘scarers,’ all have been affected in one way or another by cancer. Either a relative or they themselves have had it,” Lovelady said.
The couple is looking to expand the haunted house in a new location next year, as the event has nearly outgrown their home on St. Patrick’s Place.
“It’s getting so big that we’re going to have to move it,” Lovelady said.
Lovelady estimated about 200 kids and “a lot” of adults wandered through the house.
“We had a line for probably a good three-and-a-half hours.”
The house was open Oct. 26-27 from 7-9 p.m., and Halloween night from 7-10 p.m. With no donation amount listed, Lovelady said attendees donated from $1 to $50 apiece.
The haunted house offered two poster boards to let visitors sign if they or a loved one survived cancer or in memory of someone who passed away.
“Both of those posters were full this year,” Lovelady said. “Somebody wrote on the poster ‘Hallelujah, hallelu’ because she was a survivor. It just chokes me up thinking about it.”