Jeff and I were out on the bike the other day when we stopped in to see some friends who put on a free Haunted House last year. It was so successful that they’re doing it again this year, so if you find yourself in Pasco County, Florida on October 31, stop on in with a can of food or two (entrance is free, but they are asking for donations for the United Methodist Church’s food pantry).
Last year, Jeff was one of the haunters of the house. This year, we won’t be in town (we’ll be at Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s Rally to Restore Sanity in Washington DC, blogging about the event) so he’s going to have to wear his ghost drag at the nation’s capitol if he’s going to dress up on Halloween, one of his favorite holidays. Here’s hoping, with his bizarre luck, that he doesn’t get tackled by the Secret Service and forced to live in a tent for an extra week, freezing his cajones off, waiting for his court date.
Anyway, Roman and Paula Kowal came up with the great idea last year to put on a free haunted house on their vast property. There are plenty of twisting and turning paths, with an empty house that they aren’t living in (they live in a house adjacent to the haunted house land) and an incredible supply of haunted house stuff. I have no idea where they got it all from, but when we stopped by the other day, I was blown away by how ready they are for this year, with the help of friends like Ron and Ann, and Don and Christine and others I haven’t met yet.
Paula told me that she was amazed by how many people are calling to find out if they are doing it again this year and to volunteer because they want to be a part of it. In fact, one father is making his adolescent son volunteer to work off a punishment, but I rather think that the boy is not feeling a lot of pain doing something so fun, except for working in the blistering Florida heat preparing the place for their one-night-only show.
Did I mention the wildlife on Roman and Paula’s land? They have an emu farm, with plenty of peacocks roaming the property. A few years ago, Jeff was asked by a mutual friend, Bob, to help him take care of the emus while Roman and Paula were out of town. Bob had found one of the emus dead, and needed Jeff’s help to remove the body from their pen, but the living emus were having none of these two strange humans touching their dead pal. They rushed and attacked Bob and Jeff, who both ran like little girls out of the pen.
Bob then told Jeff that if he holds a shovel up over his head, the emus will think that he’s taller than them, and leave him alone. I don’t know if Jeff is less than intelligent, or if he’s just willing to try anything (I prefer to believe the latter), but in he went … for about two seconds, because Bob was wrong. Roman and Paula found an ex-emu in the pen when they returned from their trip.
P.S. The haunted house is at 17128 East Road, Hudson, FL 34667, a few miles south of County Line Road, just north of Hudson Ave. You can’t miss it. Watch for the sign.