When Rose-Ellen Eastman moved to the Washington area about eight years ago, haunted houses were nowhere in sight. So with the help of fellow volunteers at the Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Department, Eastman created a Halloween haunted house reminiscent of the ones in New York where she grew up.
"We were trying to find a fundraising idea" for the fire department, the Falls Church resident said.
This is the second year for the haunted house at the Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Department. Last year, around 800 children, family members, and local residents attended the festivities. The volunteers raised $3,220 from ticket sales. All the money went towards the mortgage payments and maintenance costs for the facility.
This year, in addition to fundraising for the facility, proceeds will help pay for the purchase of a new fire engine in spring 2003.
Eastman couldn't say what new surprises await visitors for the upcoming haunted house, but promised that there would be ghosts and witches aplenty.
"I love Halloween," Eastman said.
About 20 volunteers will man the haunted house weekend. Fairfax resident and volunteer Steven Bonkoski helped last year, and enjoyed his contributions to the festivities. Besides helping construct and set up the haunted house, Bonkoski scared visitors by breathing on their necks, and putting on a mask and jumping in front of them.
"It was awesome. It was just fun to see people's reactions. I didn't have a voice at the end of three days," Bonkoski said.
Eastman and the other volunteers say they hope more people can stop by this year.
"It is worthwhile, and it is something we can't do without financial support from the community," said volunteer president Peter Farkas.
The Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Department Haunted House will occur on the following days: Oct. 25, 8-11 p.m.; Oct. 26, 6-11:30 p.m.; Oct. 27, 6-9 p.m.; and Oct. 28, 8-10 p.m. Admission for the regular program is $7 for adults and children. For the Lights On program, which is geared towards young children, admission is $2. The Lights On program is on Oct. 27 only, from 2-5 p.m. For more information, go to www.dlvfrd.org or call 703-560-9413.
The Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Department is located at 2148 Gallows Road, Dunn Loring.