Back in 1999 I was playing hide and seek in my grandma’s basement.
Little did I know 18 years later I would have turned that hide and seek experience into Eric’s Haunted Crib. Playing hide and seek with my friend Chris White we had a few Halloween lights and decorations in the basement that added to the fright of hide and seek.
After the experience and fun I had playing hide and seek, I decided to create a small haunted house in my grandma’s basement at Halloween. My uncle’s purchased a few more items and we made some decorations out of cardboard.
With each passing years the amount of items I had grew and the layout of the Haunted Crib started to look like a real haunted house. The first few years I only invited a few close family members and we had a small party upstairs with food. As the displays grew, so did the crowds.
Chris and another friend Rodney Brown helped a lot the first few years. The displays weren’t fancy and to divide the basement up we used blankets and towels. Now we use tarps and black plastic to help create a scary scene.
To say we have come a long way is an understatement.
As more years passed, one of my closest friends Eric Lough and his brother Tyler began helping me. My Uncle Mike has always been a big help serving as the tour guide and creating signs. I can’t leave out my Uncle Nick who has made donations and is known as the silent investor. My parents have helped a lot too from picking up pizzas to preparing snacks.
Eric’s Haunted Crib has really grown into a true family and friend event to bring everyone together at Halloween.
Through the years my grandma enjoyed the company in her house, but as the crowds grew larger, I am not so sure how she felt. When she passed in 2009, I decided I had to keep the event going. She always told me a certain year would be the last, but 17 years later the last has yet to come.
Each year is different and I enjoy the months of September and October as my friends and I put countless hours into creating a spooking setting for guests to walk through. Eric’s Haunted Crib has grabbed some national attention when it was featured on the front of Yahoo News in 2010.
Collecting Halloween decorations has become a passion for me. Each year I add new items as I run around to every store in town looking for items that will fit in with my theme each year.
The theme each year has varied. Last year we had a carnival theme haunted house where guests took part in different games. Other themes have featured an operating room, jail and Halloween band.
For me Eric’s Haunted Crib is like Christmas. It is a special event each year that I really look forward to and pour my heart into. I want my family and friends to have a good time and get a chance to check out some really cool displays. I will admit I enjoy making them jump when a monster jumps out when guests least expect it.
This year we have added something new. Eric’s Haunted Crib will be two nights this year instead of the traditional one. Something we have never done before and I still don’t know how it will turn out. I hope it allows for more people to attend who cannot make the traditional one night.
People always ask me when am I going to put an end to the Haunted Crib. The answer for now is not anytime soon. I enjoy building something scary too much to put a stop to it. Plus what would I do with all my decorations if I didn’t have the event each year. My goal is to buy a house with a large basement in the future so I can keep the tradition alive and going for at least another 17 years.
I appreciate everyone that comes each year and if you haven’t seen it, you really should check it out.Also in the news: