An Indiana family Halloween tradition turns 50 this month. When it was launched in 1964, the Children's Museum of Indianapolis Haunted House was viewed as an unconventional way to raise money and connect with the community. Today, it is billed as the nation's oldest haunted house and serves the museum's biggest fundraiser. In a Studio(i) interview, Children's Museum Guild President Alli Stitle talks about the economic impact and the volunteer hours necessary to put on the iconic event. The year's haunted house theme is Time Warp: 50 Years of Fear and features a look back at five “dead-cades” of the attraction with 3-D effects.

Source: Inside INdiana Business

October 3, 2013

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Step into a time machine and literally disappear into Halloweens of years past at the nation’s oldest continually-operated haunted house – Time Warp: 50 Years of Fear, October 10-31, 2013

Haunted House visitors watch as family and friends appear to disappear into a terrifying 3-D Time Warp created by The Children’s Museum Guild (its largest fundraiser of the year). Upon entering, the spinning tunnel of terror whisks visitors back five “dead’cades to explore 50 years of pop culture through a creepy, three dimension lens. Your first stop is 1964’s Upside Down Room. You’ll be amazed at how your hair stays in place as you ‘walk’ upside down on the ceiling.

Step carefully on to the moon (circa 1968) as special effects make it appear as though you might fall into a deep crater or get splattered with lava.

“The addition of 3-D effects this year has taken our Haunted House to the next level. Visitors will see things literally popping off the walls and floating in mid-air. You might even see a hole in the floor … but is it really there?” asked Haunted House “Head Witch” Carol Clark.

Get your groove on in the retro Haunted Hangout, a 1970s inspired basement that features all of the iconic 70s memorabilia you remember including a console TV, shag carpet and memorable pop culture posters! As guests move through time they will experience the 1977 Star Wars movie’s Creepy Cantina. Join the band, grab a beverage and spend time with your favorite Star Wars characters.

Visitors move from the 1970s into the 80s and enter the Gruesome Game Room. Watch your step as Pac Man ghosts gobble at your feet until it is “Game Over!” Then you step inside a life-size, pinball machine zig zagging to escape a giant hand that reaches out of the walls, through lightning bolts and floating asteroids.

The 1980s continue with a trip through a mummified mausoleum on the way to the Zombie Zone, a tribute to the iconic 1983 Thriller video. Move into the 90s Wicked World Web and dodge a six foot scary spider that stalks a computer graveyard causing people to ‘look out’ or get caught in its corded web of creepiness on the way to Y-2 Kaos.

In the end, visitors will be invited to celebrate 50 Years of Fear in the ‘Cheers to 50 Years’ room as they tunnel back to reality.

“This year’s Haunted House pays tribute to the fact that our event stands the test of time. We have been able to dream, build and staff this iconic Haunted House for a half century; we know what kids want to see and we deliver a unique experience each year which is what makes our Haunted House so successful.” Said Haunted House “Head Witch” Vicki Burdick

The 2013 Haunted House will offer something for everyone in terms of the level of fear. In addition to IPL’s Lights-on Hours and Defender Direct’s Frightening Hours, there is a new experience for those seeking a higher level of horror. On Friday nights only, William’s Comfort Air’s Xtreme Scream! hours offer the ultimate mind/body, fright experience in a psychological thriller sort of way. The Children’s Museum Guild Haunted House is The Children’s Museum‘s largest annual fundraiser.

Join the Children’s Museum for the October 5th Black Hat Bash, an un-boo-lievable kickoff to The Children’s Museum Guild’s 2013 Haunted House. The spooky soiree takes place from 6-9:30 p.m. and is complete with Fa-boo-lous” Food Stations, Spellbinding Spirits and Beautifully Batty Beverages, Dancing to Tunes Played by a Devilish DJ, Crazy Costume Runway Show, DreamAuthentics “Dreadful” Arcade, and Lights-On and Frightening tours of the Haunted House. And, every attendee to the Black Hat Bash will receive a ticket to the Haunted House that is good through Oct. 31. Please purchase tickets in advance as it is likely to sellout quickly.

For tickets to all Haunted House events, visit the website at

Also in October, The Children’s Museum invites you to encounter a variety of live bats from around the world, at the Bat Encounter (Oct.17, 18, & 19 at various times). Observe their behaviors, and hear their high-pitched echolocation with a bat detector. This show included with the cost of museum admission features live rescued bats.

Witness monster movie magic up close in a separate exhibit within the museum called Hollywood Haunts. The Addams Family and Indy’s own Sammy Terry welcome you to see real props and costumes from some of Hollywood’s most popular sci-fi, horror, and adventure movies. This experience is also included with the cost of museum admission.

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is a nonprofit institution committed to creating extraordinary learning experiences across the arts, sciences, and humanities that have the power to transform the lives of children and families. For more information about The Children's Museum, visit, follow us on Twitter @TCMIndy, and YouTube.

Source: Children's Museum of Indianapolis

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