Haunted Mill returns
Opens Saturday, Oct. 20, in Iola
By Holly Neumann
The Iola-Scandinavia junior class will present the Haunted Mill at 300 N. Main St. in Iola.
“This fundraiser replaces kids having to go out and ask people to buy anything,” said Jill Willems, who helps organize the event. “Instead, guests come willingly for some frightful fun.”
The Iola Mill is turned into a spooky experience as I-S students decorate, design and work out a “skit” or “action sequence.”
“The Haunted Mill has been well-loved,” said Willems. “People are looking for safe but spooky, spine tingling fun this time of year. On our busiest nights, we have around 300 guests going through.”
Haunted Mill schedule
• Saturday, Oct. 20 – 6:30-11:30 p.m., full fright all night.
• Thursday, Oct. 25 – 6:30-7:30 p.m., slightly milder version but still scary; 7:30-9:30 p.m., full fright.
• Saturday, Oct. 27 – 6:30-11:30 p.m., full fright all night.
• Wednesday, Oct. 31 – 6:30-7:30 p.m., slightly milder version; 7:30-9:30, full fright.
“Thursday, the 25th and Halloween night, we are offering the first hour as a toned down experience so some of our younger guests or those just wanting a little milder version can come through without the intensity of full fright,” Willems said. “It is still dark and still scary but you can just look and watch and not have fearful things startling you.”
Willems said Tom Fucik, owner of the Iola Mill, donates the space for the juniors to use.
“A Haunted Mill was actually his creative vision, and he offered it to the junior class as a fundraiser,” Willems said. “He enjoys seeing the families working together. The mill employees get involved, too. Some of them even help as a tour guide. Katelyn Hoffman has been a big help all these years as well. Tom and I rely on her generous help all the way through from set-up to mill take-down. She is an awesome person to work with and the kids enjoy her, too.”
Ticket prices are $5 for 12 and under and $8 for those 13 years of age and up. Guests who bring in a food pantry item will receive $1 off of admission.
The proceeds will benefit the I-S Junior Prom and other class of 2020 activities.
“It is a great class-bonding experience,” said Willems. “I always tell the kids that I hope they’re still reminiscing about Haunted Mill memories at their 25th reunion.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: The article that appeared in the print edition incorrectly listed the starting day as Friday, rather than Saturday.