1979: Mystery Mansion used the tried-and-true device of a spooky old house, complete with a picture frame around a “portrait” that responded to passers-by and sent many scampering away screaming.
Co-Chairs: Mary Bolles, Betsy Murphy
1978: A Circus Macabre, whichused the Big Top as its inspiration, marked the first time that the Guild offered a lights-on tour of the Haunted House for younger and more sensitive visitors. It was also the first time for “Breakfast with Witches” and a program in Lilly Theater showing how make-up and a costume transforms someone’s mom into a Haunted House witch.
Co-Chairs: Sue Ann Kalleres, Jane Pollak
1977: A Bewitched Storyland featured only the bad characters from fairy tales; it was also the first time the Guild hosted an opening day ceremony for the Haunted House and the first time it held a costume contest.
Co-Chairs: Sharon Cockrell, Sue Ellen Walker
1976: Ghostly Tales of the Sea, which included sea serpents, pirates, a shipwreck, and Davey Jones’s locker, marked the first increase in ticket prices (to 75 cents) and the first time that proceeds exceeded $50,000.
Co-Chairs: Nancy Anderson, Karen Shaw
1975: Skeletons in Our Closets was based on a prehistoric theme with proceeds dedicated to helping pay for a new prehistory exhibit to be installed in the new museum building then under construction. Not only was this the Haunted House’s first year in the Harrison Building, it was the first year the Guild had space to store props and costumes from year to year and the first time it had the space to create barriers to protect displays from the crowds moving through the house.
Co-Chairs: Barbara Curtis, Phyllis Geeslin
1974: Sir Lancelot’s Haunted Castle, based on the Camelot stories, included a medieval marketplace, an ancient apothecary, and Merlin the Magician, along with a companion coloring and puzzle booklet. This was the last year the Haunted House was in the Dreyer Building; within days of the event’s closure that year the building was demolished as part of the construction of a new museum building. The Guild retained $10,000 of that year’s profits to cover startup costs in its new home—the museum-owned Harrison Building—the following year.
Co-Chairs: Diana Davis, Rosie Semler
1973: Haunted House of the Old West took its theme from an on-going fascination with the myths and history of the American West.
Co-Chairs: Lynn Boatman, Jane Wheeler
1972: Old Bad Witches’ Haunted House featured an “I Want to Haunt” contest, with the winners being transported to the Haunted House in a 1949 Cadillac limousine dubbed the Witch Wagon. This was also the year of the first opening night party for families.
Co-Chairs: Kitty Bartlett, Jamia Case
1971: The HH Presents Museum Monsters was a fitting theme for the Haunted House that provided the funds needed to purchase Rex, the museum’s T. rex sculpture (and mascot) for many years.
Co-Chairs: Anne James, Gloria Riggs
1970: Haunted House of Ages Past was based on haunted Halloweens of the past, including a room devoted to Washington Irving’s Headless Horseman. The event had the good (or bad, depending on your perspective) luck of having a trio of 13s during its run—one Friday the 13th, 13 days of being open, and 13 rooms in the Haunted House itself. This was the first year that the Guild’s associate members provided dinner for everyone staffing the Haunted House.
Co-Chairs: Ann Bond, Katie McKinney