Monster Bash's History and Past Haunts List
As of December 2022, with 10 Haunts so far, the Monster Bash Haunted Houses have donated $135,000 to the Music, Theater and Art programs at Fillmore Central Schools in Minnesota, which serve the communities of Fountain, Harmony and Preston in Fillmore County.
The Monster Bash Haunted Houses began with an idea back in early 2012: Have students - with assistance from their families and other community members - plan, build and then run a Haunted House to "earn" money to offset the costs of the Fillmore Central Band & Choir trips. From those beginnings (see our About Us page for additional details), the Haunted Houses have resulted in growth from very nearly Day 1. Starting with the early days of quick builds (3 days!) in the Harmony Community Center and no real "theme" to: creating different themes every year; becoming a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and having our own "Monster Bash Building"; having the City of Harmony have a "Haunted Harmony" weekend; setting new attendance records each year (helping us to support the Arts, more and more!) and having our Haunts named the best in Minnesota by the minnesotahauntedhouses.org website!
The Monster Bash Haunted Houses continue to be "Different Every Year", have students "earn" dollars for their music trips and also supports the music, theater and arts programs at Fillmore Central Schools. It's been an amazing experience! And it couldn't have happened without the talents of our wonderful students, their families, our volunteers and - of course - people like you: the guests that we treat so "rottenly" by scaring them every year! Both the "newbies" visiting us the first time and all those who keep coming back year after year for the fun and the scare!
See below for a reverse chronological summary of the Haunted Houses that have been Different Every Year since 2012! Note that in 2022, we had a lot of fun with a B-movie horror theme called Slim Chance! which was our 10th Monster Bash Haunted House, and maybe our best one yet! If you were one of the nearly 3000 visitors we had to that Haunted House last year, THANK YOU for helping us support music, theater and the arts at Fillmore Central Schools! Whether you visited us or missed us in 2022, come see us this year! We'll be Completely Different once again with a new theme, a new floor plan and scares from new directions! We hope to see you in October 2023!
Our list of haunts so far begins below!
2023 - New Life Cemetery
An old cemetery outside of town. As far as anyone remembers or knows, it's been there - next to the old woods and with its maze of hedges, tombstones and old mausoleums - for as long as the town has been. Maybe even longer.
It's sat quietly like cemeteries tend to do. But recently, something strange is happening amongst the graves. Movement. Noises. Disturbances. Unnatural things. Some say evil things.
You are drawn to the place. Curiosity getting the best of you, or because something unseen wants you there? Either way, are you prepared for the terrors that await your arrival at New Life Cemetery?
See the schedule for 2023's Haunt! We can't wait to scare...er...see you!
2022 - Slim Chance!
"Slim Chance!" was not only our 10th Haunted House, it also incorporated a subtle homage to some of our best "scare floor" rooms of years past, with a twist or two added to them! It also had us trying out the idea of creating a character that would pursue our guests through the haunt!
The Slim Chance! story was then done in the spirit of some of the old classic horror flicks (think Alfred Hitchcock) with a little of the 80's "slasher" flair from movies like Halloween included, which is why this year's logo is done in the style of some of those old movie posters from that bygone era!
The result was that our guests (you) were essentially a part of a movie where - right after the Director yells "Action!" - you meet young Slim just as he transforms - due to perceived cheating by a friend - from a mostly ordinary video-game loving teenager to a twisted, clown-fanatic killer who declares that you are "Cheaters Too!" From that encounter, you are "transported" 20 years into the future where Slim - having never been caught - still wishes to make you cheaters pay, ultimately tracking you down in a favorite watering hole! The chase then begins as you unwittingly stumble into the twisted world that Slim has created to terrify you to an ultimate doom! Strange, creepy and scary, Slim's "funhouse" has Slim subjecting you to all the twisted circus-like horrors he can think of! You survive all that only to now find yourself in an old warehouse, where you discover where Slim has been living all these years, waiting just for you! The police eventually catch Slim, but - of course - he breaks free and pursues you anew! You escape, but with the terrifying knowledge Slim is still out there looking for you!
We were excited and honored once again as Slim Chance! became our 5th Haunted House to earn the Best Haunt in Minnesota award from the minnesotahauntedhouses.com website. Everything we do and accomplish is because of our fantastic students and volunteers! It's also because of guests like you! And because of our volunteers and guests, Slim Chance! set new attendance and earnings records once again to support the Arts! Our 7th consecutive Haunt to do so! Thank you!
54 students were a part of the Haunt this year!
2021 - Specter Gulch
Coming back after the COVID year was exciting for us! The theme that had to wait for a year was Specter Gulch: an old west mining town which encountered something ancient and evil in the silver mine causing the crops to die, water to go bad, and all the residents to perish leaving only their ghosts behind. You entered the town near the stables, and the blacksmith and his daughter "greeted" you with warnings of the dangers ahead. A doctor gone crazy sad, some surly bar maids who accosted you from the upper level of the seedy "Snake-Bit Saloon", the Sheriff, a school marm, crazed banker, and a strange stagecoach depot worker were among a slew of townsfolk that seemed to get meaner and meaner along the way. Your fear ramped up until reaching the entrance to the mine, which offered the only exit from the town. What was found in that mine is best left unsaid!
We introduced some new elements to our haunt which we had never tried before this season and many visitors indicated they worked! Since moving to our current site we had only ever run 9 nights. This year, because of a unique calendar situation that took place, we increased our run to 3 full weekends (12 nights). We were excited to once again receive the "Best Haunted Attraction" award (our fourth Haunt in a row to do so!) from the Minnesota Haunted Houses website, and once again set new attendance and earnings records in support of Music, Theater and the Arts!
74 students were a part of the Haunt this year!
2020 - "The Year Without a Haunt"
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the circumstances created because of the uncertainty and the efforts to stay healthy in 2020, the Haunted house was not held for this year. The theme that was going to be used in 2020 (Specter Gulch) was used in 2021 instead (see above!).
The Monster Bash Board, after a lot of consideration, made the decision to cancel the Haunted House this year with the health and safety of our volunteer students, families and guests in mind. We held a raffle, sold special edition apparel and sold Huey's Pizzas to cover some of our ongoing expenses. We were also helped by some local grants that really saved us so we could "keep the lights on" in a year where we didn't have a Haunt.
We looked forward to haunting everyone again in 2021 to continue our support of music, theater and the arts!
2019 - Night Terrors
Night Terrors was a trip into a "dream study" that goes horribly wrong and leaves you trapped in nightmare after nightmare! From a plane going down (and no parachutes! Jump!), to sewer snakes, clowns that aren't interested in making you laugh, creepy crawlies with more than a few spiders thrown in, a nuclear meltdown and even a monster under a poor child's bed (and you left him there! How could you?!). At one point you even thought that the ordeal was over and were about to wake up....but it wasn't! The nightmares continued! The doctors couldn't help! Maybe you'll never wake up!
We set new attendance records once again this season! And for the third year in a row, our Haunt was awarded as the top Haunted Attraction in Minnesota by the MinnesotaHauntedHouses.com website. Amazing!
59 students were a part of the Haunt this year!
2018 - Road Trip
You've left your friends' home and - after getting lost - crash your car on a desolate country road with the sounds of squishy swamp creatures all around. Despite your better instincts, you of course seek help from a nearby shack only to run into a very sketchy family who want you for dinner. Literally. Will you survive?
With constant twists and turns - and those nasty family members seemingly everywhere in caves and fields and old ramshackle buildings ultimately leading you right where they wanted you: their butchering shed with "Babyface" waiting for you! - this was a Haunt that had our guests expressing how much they enjoyed the fright and the fun!
This season once again received the "Best Haunted Attraction in Minnesota" award from MinnesotaHauntedHouses.com! Our second consecutive year receiving this award! Our fantastic student, family and community volunteers once again doing another amazing job!
51 students were a part of the Haunt this year!
2017 - Sinister Stronghold
A foreboding castle with a King that has gone crazy mad and taken everyone in his stronghold with him! The "Sinister Strongold" was our first Haunt in our very own building and as an official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization! The new building provided us with a big increase in available floor space for our Haunts, and we definitely used it for the largest Haunt we had built to date!
Once again, our student volunteers created scary but fun aspects as this Haunt's "Death's Garden" and the Jester that "greeted" the castle's "guests" were just two examples of the memorable areas and actors this year. Guests dealt with the castle occupants (Including the "Silent Knights", gross graveyard inhabitants, the inmates awaiting their fates in the dungeons and an awful lab with awful experiments) before they made the mistake of being found by that twisted King, mad with rage that you were in his castle! It was called "Death's Garden" and the plants grew well there for a reason!
The great efforts by everyone involved in our first haunt at the "Monster Bash Building" were rewarded as this season's Haunt received the "Best Haunted Attraction in Minnesota" award from MinnesotaHauntedHouses.com!
63 students were a part of the Haunt this year!
2016 - Hotel of Horrors
One of the unique features with this season was that guests started and ended in the same room (the "Hotel Lobby"). This made for some tricky logistics but what fun it was to figure out!
After getting "checked in", the hotel guests adventured through a haunted hotel out on a dark desert highway, looking for - what they thought - was room 7734. But they were reading the room number upside down! This certainly wasn't much of a Heaven Valley! It didn't help that every room seemed to have something awful on the other side of its door, that the Hotel Restaurant sounded busy but where was everyone? And that Menu...oh my!, and what was being grinded in the kitchen? There was a skeleton band, and - of course - a clown convention just had to be taking place! Ultimately, you returned to the lobby and found out what your true destination was here in Heaven Valley!
This Haunt was the largest build size-wise - and the last one done - at the Harmony Community Center. It was so big, that the gym no longer contained all of it, and the final room was in a hallway of what had been the old Harmony Elementary! This Haunt also set new attendance records for us and was ultimately awarded as a top 4 Haunted Attraction in Minnesota by MinnesotaHauntedHouses.com, our first of what has been many awards from that website!
53 students were a part of the Haunt this year!
2015 - Haunted High
The name speaks for itself! The school bell rang, and you were late for class! The worst thing you could do at this "school"! You had no choice, and had to make your way to the office of the worst Principal ever through the creepiest High School ever! Along the way you had to escape from a very unhelpful nurse, encountered a very disturbing Science Classroom, noticed the eyes of unseen creatures following you in a hallway, got lost in the a library where there was no goal for learning and even wound up in the boiler room where - before getting out! - you wish you'd never learned how this school got its heat!
With our students and parents once again providing great decorations and the acting, the haunt this year was even bigger than previous years, in both the "footprint" of the Haunt (which was starting to put a squeeze on the gym space in the Harmony Community Center!) and the number of people that came through for the fun. This was the first year where our Theater department really started to get involved with makeup and helping with the performance aspects for the actors. From here out, more and more very talented students from our Theater have been part of the annual Haunts.
62 students were a part of the Haunt this year!
2014 - CarnEVIL of Fear
This was our first truly "themed" Haunted House. We saw an increase in attendance as the word spread that Monster Bash Haunted Houses were Different Every Year! Students, families and some great local volunteers made CarnEVIL of Fear another success, and more great themes and Haunted Houses would follow, with more and more people enjoying the fright and fun!
The idea for a theme - and for the theme itself - came from a particular room in our second Haunted House (see that description below!), and ever since, Monster Bash has embraced having a new theme - as well as a story for our guests to experience - for all of the Haunts that have followed.
This haunt also had our first "Big Entryway" - a 12-foot tall Clown head, and you entered the haunt through his mouth (and throat!). From there, it was a collection of weird carnival encounters (including a terrible "kissing booth"!), not to mention that the clowns and carnival workers were far more interested in making you scream than hearing any laughter! We also had more than a few guests that couldn't bring themselves to enter that clown's mouth to enter!
59 students were a part of the Haunt this year!
2013 - The Sequel
The success of the first year fueled the effort to do it again - but to do things differently! Even though we hadn't yet embraced the "theme" idea, we didn't want the same rooms and scares that were done the first year, so a completely different Haunted House experience was built - once again - in three short days. We discovered, though, that there were many who thought this haunt would be the same as it was a year ago and as a result, we didn't have as high of attendance as we did from the first year. Because of that, we made sure to promote that our Haunted Houses were always Different Every Year for the years that followed! As the word spread that our Haunts were always different - and our reputation grew - so did the number of people that have enjoyed our Haunts over the years!
Even so, we had a number of creepy fun ideas for the rooms! Among them was a very strange funeral with a very odd group of attendees, an ending that wasn't really an ending (an idea we have incorporated - in very different ways - in some of the later Haunts), and a one room that featured a clown. A very creepy clown. A very disturbed clown! Our first-ever clown! That effort by one of our volunteer adults (ultimately a founding Board Member!) helped fuel the idea of having a true theme for the next Haunted House! It also sparked our efforts to include creepy clowns in our Haunts every now and then...and perhaps more often than not! By the way, the image of that "legendary" first clown was used in the logo for year 3!
44 students were a part of the Haunt this year!
2012 - The Monster Bash Haunted House
Our first year, we didn't theme out the haunted house. We just put together a series of scares which our volunteer students, families and locals had fun building. A lot of people enjoyed the experience of having some fun and getting more than a few scares out of the efforts of all those volunteers, especially because we initially had the Haunted House available every day of the week!
The non-themed event had all sorts of strange rooms and encounters. From a living room that looked normal, but wasn't, to a mad scientist and a Frankenstein-like monster (ours might have been taller than the Karloff original!), a torture chamber and the rather spooky-weird "baked potato room", there was a little something for everyone. Strangely (in hindsight), we didn't have a clown this first year. Those would come later, however!
For this and the first 5 years, we held the haunt at the Harmony Community Center in the Gym. We had to work fast, and built the haunt in just 3 days with all the volunteers. We then tore down after the last guest left on Halloween so the Community Center could have the use of their gym again! After tear-down during those first years, all our props, walls and costumes had to be transported to remote storage areas for the off-season, thanks to helpful local organizations and churches.
You may have noticed that the pumpkin that was used for the logo of our first-ever Haunted House effort looks familiar? That's because we liked the pumpkin so much, it has since been "adopted" and become the main logo for the organization!
86 students were a part of the Haunt this year!