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September 21, 2023

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Smashing cars! Scary monsters! Fremont’s Haunted Hydro offers screams for customers

July isn’t just a time for the red, white and blue, but also a time of screams, screeches and boos, thanks in part to The Haunted Hydro, a haunted house in Fremont, Ohio.

The Hydro has spooked visitors for close to two decades and will kick off another season of frights this Thursday.

From 7:30 to 11:30 p.m., the Hydro is asking anyone with a Military ID to come and experience its scares. People who bring a military ID will receive free admission for themselves and a guest.

Along with the haunted house, the Hydro is also offering additional entertainment throughout the evening and the scaring season.

Bob Turner, owner of the Haunted Hydro, is especially adamant about one event, “Hit the Haunted Hooptie.”

“Hit the Hooptie is an event we’ve offered through the years where people pay to take their aggressions out on an old vehicle,” Turner said.

“The Hydro really pushes this activity because all of the proceeds go to the charity of choice for that year,” he said.

Throughout its 18 years of service, the Hydro has generated over $240,000 for charities in the area.

This year’s charity of choice is the Wood County Humane Society. The Humane Society will have a booth set up with information about the facility and photos of adoptable pets. They will also be running the “Hit the Hooptie” event this week along with the rest of the season.

Margaret Weinberger, Humane Society faculty advisor, couldn’t be more excited at the opportunity.

“I’m really glad we have the chance to go and teach people what we’re all about and raise money for the organization at the same time,” Weinberger said.

Other than the special events, the real attraction, the Hydro itself, isn’t all fun and screams. It takes a great deal of work for a season that only lasts 15 weeks.

Jim Bevens, building coordinator, spends countless weeknights perfecting the Hydro’s look.

A number of things are made instead of being bought. Bevens, along with numerous other staff members, has made skeletons look real, cages that allow monsters to walk freely, secret doors and compartments for hiding monsters, and even a disemboweler.

A disemboweler is an illusion created when a monster stands over top of “guts,” hiding his torso and feet, with a tattered, bloodstained shirt, while the “guts” drip blood. “This gives the illusion that someone has ripped the monster open and left them only with their head,” Bevens said.

“It’s actually really great that we can make a number of different things; making the disemboweler, alone, saved us thousands of dollars,” he said.

Over the years, the staff has also made countless other props including a giant spider made from a skeleton, a cemetery where its tombstones bore the nicknames of each prominent monster and monsters are encouraged to make their costumes as well.

Each evening the men, and women behind the masks come in an hour or two ahead of time to get ready for the evening. Only, they’re not really wearing masks at all.

“It’s better to use makeup instead of masks because it allows the monsters to see better, which ensures safety and keeps the monsters a little bit cooler,” Bevens said.

Monsters pick a different themed room each evening and center their makeup and costumes around it. The monsters then spend up to an hour and a half putting on makeup and prosthetic body pieces.

Some costumes are traditional, while others are completely unexpected.

One year, Bevens said, in the laundry-themed room, a monster wore a sweat suit he had sewn socks onto, then laid on the ground, looking like a pile of laundry. When people came by they got a scare as the pile of laundry began to move and moan.

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