Scarecrow Hollow grows, now in 11th year

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By Peg Wunder

These two visitors take a turn in a coffin during Scarecrow Hollow’s 2011 season. The nonprofit is in its 11th year.

These two visitors take a turn in a coffin during Scarecrow Hollow’s 2011 season. The nonprofit is in its 11th year.

Kayla Boysen introduced Shawn Stickney when Rotary met on Monday, Aug. 25, at the Moose Club. Shawn gave a very interesting presentation of Scarecrow Hollow, which is open each year around the Halloween season.
Shawn is president of the Scarecrow Hollow club which has non-profit status and is now in its 11th year. It all started in 2004 with Dawn Konold, Mike Haas, Michael Oatman and Brian Sippert. In that first year, with the help of a number of local businesses, the former Kesling Funeral Home that had stood vacant for some time was purchased and Scarecrow Hollow was established. In 2008 the group re-organized and now there is work all year long preparing for the big Halloween event. The basement has been opened up making three floors demanding more props and costumes. The last three weekends the volunteers have been at the house and they estimate they will be working the next eight weekends to have it ready for the event. The haunted house event was held in several different sites before the acquisition of the funeral home. Long-time residents will remember that there was a haunted house at the Klein Youth Center, at what is now Runnings, and at the Merchant building which is now One World.
There are about 1,400 people per year who come to Scarecrow Hollow. Many out-of-towners come to enjoy being scared and people and whole families come from Wishek, Mandan and numerous small towns in the area to volunteer to help. Scarecrow Hollow participates in the Mandan parade, the Mobridge parade, the Gypsy Day parade and many of the parades in our local area. Stickney said the Hollow has lots of fans from Mandan.
Last year 70 volunteers worked making Scarecrow Hollow the event it has become. The A. H. Brown Library and the Mobridge Pool Committee sold tickets to the event. It is open to the public each night from 7 p.m. until midnight. The tour through the House starts with a short video, complete with a shaking couch in the living room. There are chain saws, drills and lights going on and off for special affects. The embalming room is still used. A tour is conducted through the entire three floors ending with each person climbing into a coffin and being pushed out of the building.
Money from this event goes to the library and to the swimming pool and toward maintenance of the building and expenses. If a participant brings in a non-perishable food item, they get a reduction in the ticket price. Stickney said that they try to save and recycle but that fake blood is an expensive item and they use a lot of it. Volunteers enjoy an evening with a meal and each receives a Scarecrow Hollow T-shirt. The Hollow will be open Oct. 24 and 25 and on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 and the charge is $10 per person. The lines are very long and it is possible to buy a VIP ticket for $20 and that person goes to the head of the line.
Herb McClellan announced that he was helping Harley Overseth collect the Monday Night Football money. McClellan said that all the books had been handed out and now the money needs to be turned in.
John Badgley gave each Rotarian present a Beef ‘n Fun Day beef stick announcing that the beef sticks will be handed out the day of Beef ‘n Fun. He asked that if there are any comments about the new format to either pass them on to him or to Peg Wunder.
Stan Mack was present to claim the 50/50 pot. Next week is Labor Day and Rotary will not meet. Monday, Sept. 8 the monthly business meeting will be held when Rotary meets at the Moose Club at noon.

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