1989: Scare Trek was based on the museum’s ongoing interest in space topics, including the opening of its SpaceQuest® Planetarium planned for later that year, and featured Eddie, a mechanical monster.
Co-Chairs: Debi Loehrer, Nila Steck
1988: 25 Scare Boo! Marking the 25th anniversary of the Haunted House, this was the last Haunted House held in the Harrison Building, which was torn down later that year as part of a museum expansion project then underway. That fact apparently attracted a lot of interest since record crowds led to proceeds that topped $200,000 for the first time.
Co-Chairs: Patti Brown, Joy Leppert
1987: Come Fly “Witch” Us featured a pair of hillbilly witches, Wanda Lou and Guilda Sue, whose around-the-world broom flights became the basis for rooms based on the sights they saw. One volunteer haunter was accosted by a visitor who knocked him down. The haunter was a real-life police officer and the visitor was led out of the Haunted House in handcuffs!
Co-Chairs: Maddie Linder, Janice Montross
1986: Knightmares took a medieval turn, with knights and maidens, along with armor and Egor, scattered throughout the Haunted House. This was the year the Guild debuted the “Haunted House Shuffle,” a song and dance number performed by ghoulish characters—it became a fixture for many years to come. This was also the first year that Marsh Supermarkets signed on as the event’s lead sponsor. Ticket prices went up to $1.50 (advance) and $2 (at the door), which didn’t deter the crowds—the Guild turned over a record profit of $126,000 to the museum.
Co-Chairs: Dorothea Genetos, Cathy Huntley
1985: Monsters and More brought adventurer Indianapolis Jones face-to-face with the likes of the Headless Horseman and the Marsh Monster. Well-known media and business personalities took part in a special day when they assumed roles of some of the Haunted House’s scary characters.
Co-Chairs: Marilyn Edge, Penny Stone
1984: The Fright Is Right featured such attractions as Market Scare Arena (based on the city’s former event center Market Square Arena) and the Newly Dead Game (based on the popular television show The Newlywed Game).
Co-Chairs: Kaye Diener, Bonnie Rettig
1983: Wide World of Space depicted a haunted house in space and was based on the fact that NASA served as a co-sponsor of the Haunted House that year as part of the space agency’s 25th anniversary celebration. Astronauts Wally Schirra and Jerry Ross visited to the Haunted House, helping attract record attendance and resulting in a Guild donation of $114,000 to the museum.
Co-Chairs: Susie Maxwell, Nancy Pugh
1982: Crossbones of America played off the fact that Indianapolis had long called itself “The Crossroads of America” by having all the rooms based on local landmarks and lore. This was the year the Guild introduced its “Witches Are People, Too” program for preschoolers, designed to show them the people behind the Haunted House characters.
Co-Chairs: Kathy Durkott, Sandy Wetzel
1981: Frightening Strikes brought visitors and Haunted House displays in closer proximity, making the public more a part of the action rather than merely observers. The Guild also opened a gift shop, The Bootique, for the first time.
Co-Chairs: Nancy Allen, Sharon Moore
1980: Village of Villains focused on the bad guys from scary tales, including Dracula whose Bride proved to be the hardest character to find volunteers for, primarily because they had to lie down in a real coffin in the Village’s funeral parlor. Ticket prices were raised to $1 and the museum began opening on Mondays (when it was normally closed) during the weeks the Haunted House was in operation.
Co-Chairs: Michelle Crume, Susie Hazelett