Seriously scary

SHOCKING SIGHTS await those who dare enter this year’s haunted house on Alameda Road. A possessed Casey Holzman glides through the graveyard of the haunted house before frightening a News photographer.

Photo by Adam Lapierre.
SHOCKING SIGHTS await those who dare enter this year’s haunted house on Alameda Road. A possessed Casey Holzman glides through the graveyard of the haunted house before frightening a News photographer.

Paul Henke, lieutenant of Hood River Fire, has helmed the production of the haunted house for the past several years, but for 2013, he’s outdone himself.

At 1145 Alameda Road, the site of this year’s haunted house, zombies lurk behind an otherwise pleasant scene of laundry hanging out on the line. A young, bloodstained girl seemingly appears out of the ether and crabwalks towards her victim — you — with a bloodcurdling scream.

Inside, the house, body parts, lots of them. The irate butcher in the kitchen is probably to blame. Aliens, baby doll heads, two pleasant young murdered girls watching television, and a room that will send those who have a fear of clowns on a one-way trip to the loony bin.


Fanny Domijan (left) gives Ellie Smith some “medicine” before flipping the switch on the electric chair.


A FEAR OF CLOWNS will likely cripple anyone entering this room of the haunted house, replete with fog, dangling stuffed animals, angry clowns, and discordant carnival music

The house is full of some of Henke’s classic, favorite tableaux, as well as some new ones. For this fall’s production, Henke has partnered with Tracy Klas, a multi-faceted freelance art director who has worked on everything from album cover art to fashion shows who has tapped into her dark side to create a delightfully disturbing atmosphere at 1145 Alameda. She’s responsible for many of the disgusting decorations and petrifying props that have been placed very deliberately around the property to instill maximum fear in her and Paul’s guests.

Some of the props you may even recognize. Ricky Lepenski, a friend of Klas’ and a Portland prop and stage creator who has worked on Grimm, Twilight, and other shows and films, donated leftover props from Grimm to be used again for the haunted house. Those who are faithful viewers of Grimm may recognize some of the names on the gravestones in the front yard.

Both Henke and Klas have volunteered their time and money to make this year’s event bigger than ever, with the hopes of raising at least $10,000 to benefit children with muscular dystrophy. All money raised from the $5 admission charge to the haunted house will be donated to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Hood River and West Side firefighters have also donated their time to construct the house. The actors, many of whom are local students, as well as the Gorge Roller Girls, are performing for free. Local businesses too are helping out with props and advertising to make sure the haunted house is a success.

Unlike past events, this year’s haunted house features a shuttle that will take guests from nearby Westside Elementary, which has ample parking, to the haunted house.

Henke advised the house is suitable for ages 10 and guests should be prepared to spend 30-45 minutes at the event, including time on the shuttle. (Please do not drive to the house.) The event runs Oct. 25, 26, 29, 30, and 31 from dusk (around 6:30 p.m.) until 11.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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