Video: A haunting we will go at Lakeville Haunted House

Frank Mulligan

The din of roaring chainsaws, intermingled with panicked screams, the sounds of running feet and strains from the theme to John Carpenter’s “Halloween” can mean but one thing on October weekends at the former Ted Williams Camp.

The Lakeville Haunted House is once again scaring up money for sundry good community causes.

The fright fest turns 18 this year, in time to vote in the November presidential election.

The Haunted House, tucked into the rear of the camp property, and sprawling over an acre of creepy pathways and twists and turns where a gaggle of ghouls, werewolves, Michael Myers-lookalikes, Leatherfaces, pirates, et al. await – some of the stuffed variety others ready to pounce out and paw unwary travelers, has raised more than $250,000 for the community. (The Haunted “House” is actually a series of 12-14 scary outdoor tableaux, eerie blinking lights and music, having gone al fresco several years ago.)

The money has gone toward scholarships, various non-profit community ventures, and to improving the community recreational hub that is the former Ted Williams camp.

It debuted on Friday Oct. 10 this year, and reviews seemed good, with one panic attack racked up, according to volunteers, from among the 500 who dared to make the trek.

Saturday night’s attendance was even stronger, given the great weather and lack of competition from the hot Apponequet Lakers football team, which played at home Friday night.

Debbie Tarr-Johnson, who’s been a volunteer mainstay from the beginning, credited the effort of the kids and kids-at-heart who keep coming back year after year to turn a bucolic pathway into a palpable nightmare.

“The kids start coming down here over the summer,” she said.

“The husbands are unsung heroes,” she added, “and all the money goes back to the community.”

As always, the Haunted House evolves from year to year, with devilish, additional touches. “You’re always going to have witches, ghouls and goblins, that kind of stuff. But we also change things. It’s fun and it’s great this year.”

Middleboro’s Doug Johnston has been helping to set up the Haunted House since he was a child and for the past three years has helped out as a participant. This year as a werewolf.

He said the “tour guide” usually leaves his charges about midway through the haunted paths to fend for themselves.

It’s more scary that way.

What was once a lure to volunteers from strictly the Lakeville-Middleboro-Freetown area has also grown and now draws volunteers - as well as those adventurous souls who want make the trip - from throughout the region, he said.

There are four opportunities left for fright afficionados, Friday and Saturday nights, Oct. 17, 18 and Oct. 24, 25, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., rain or moonshine. Directions are available on the Haunted House’s Web site at