Scary school

Published 11:59 pm Monday, October 5, 2009

The screams can be heard all over Dozier as unsuspecting crowds make their way through Miller’s House of Horrors.

And if screams are money, then the people of Dozier should be shrieking all the way to the bank as the city hosts its first ever “haunted school house” inside the old Dozier School.

Terry Mears, the town’s police chief and organizational mastermind behind the mayhem, said the project has been one he’s wanted to do for years. And after building owner Nate Wright recently donated the building back to the city, Mears decided now was the time.

More than 400 people attended opening weekend, and all money raised will go towards establishing the schoolhouse as a municipal complex, Mears said.

“Everyone had always said this was the perfect place to do a haunted house,” Mears said. “And looking around, I can tell they were right.”

Enter Clint Miller, a “puppet master,” if you will, of haunted houses. Miller and his “House of Horror” productions will host the event for the next three years.

“What has transpired inside this building is well, just scary,” Mears said.

Gone are the bare hardwood floors, and bloody handprints and splatters cover the whitewashed walls. Two guides lead groups of up to eight through 15 rooms filled with scenes from horror epics like “Saw,” “Friday the 13th,” “Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”

There is even a cinderblock well from “The Ring,” appendages hanging from chains, pin-covered heads from “Hellraiser” and clowns that need no description.

“The props and scenes in the rooms are scary, but what will throw you over the edge is the phenomenal job our actors do in scaring you to death,” Mears said.

Tours are approximately 30 minutes long. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Concessions, children’s games and a hayride are also available.

Doors will open this week at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; and each Thursday, Friday and Saturday beginning Oct. 15 through the end of the month.