Haunted Halloween house ready for visitors

While many celebrations and events have fallen victim to coronavirus restrictions this year, Halloween has not been cancelled.

That is the message the Firth family is spreading as they prepare to build their annual Haunted House sideshow in Murray Bridge.

Laura and Damien Firth, along with their four-year-old child Harley, are keen to welcome trick-or-treaters on Saturday, October 31.

"We've had 30-odd people bail us up, asking if we'll have the haunted house this year," Laura said.

This will be the 12th year the Firths have operated their spooky mansion.

"It started as we were having a Halloween party, and we had part of a haunted house set up to get into the party - then we had all these kids turn up," Laura said.

"My husband went down the street and bought some lollies, and the kids waited for him to come back."

Last year more than 800 people visited the spectacle.

Laura said since the party, she and her next door neighbours had joined forces to create a huge haunted house.

"We started with a little house, and it grew from there," she said.

"It's bigger every year, with more decorations, and we try to salvage every decoration we have."

The Firths look forward to putting together their sideshow every year.

"What we love most is we get to scare people. After the first couple of years, we'd be down the street and all we'd hear is people talking about the haunted house - all you hear is the excitement," Laura said.

We'd be down the street and all we'd hear is people talking about the haunted house.

Laura Firth, haunted house operator

"Our town is a great community, we love the community events here and it's great to be a part of it."

This year will be run differently to ensure everyone follows COVID-19 rules and are kept safe.

Four people who will be onsite have completed their COVID Marshal course, and everyone minding the course or handing out lollies will be wearing a mask and gloves.

There will be fencing, various signage marking 1.5 metres, hand sanitiser, and plenty of space for participants.

"There will be plenty of room - we've taken out parts of the haunted house that were too tight," Laura said.

"Everyone will go in as groups or as families; once you're through the first scare, another group will go. It will be a bit slower than past years, but you have to make sure everyone is safe."

"We really encourage everyone to stick by the guidelines."

The haunted house, on Peart Crescent in Murray Bridge, will be open from 5pm to about 9pm on October 31 only.

There are prizes for the best dressed children, adults and families, including medals donated by Bridge Trophies, plus the best decorated house in the town.

"I can't wait to see the costumes, especially when families dress up together," Laura said.

For more information about the haunted house, the competitions, and how to get involved, visit www.facebook.com/groups/1390395787865612

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