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‘Nightmare’ in Worth is dreamy to fright fans

Bob Russo his 'friend' are happy host haunted house Worth Park District.  |  Steve Metsch~Sun-Times Media

Bob Russo and his "friend" are happy to host the haunted house at the Worth Park District. | Steve Metsch~Sun-Times Media

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There’s no basketball played for the entire month of October in the gym at the Worth Park District’s Terrace Center, but few complaints are heard.

The gym is off limits because the fifth annual “Nightmare at the Terrace” haunted house occupies the court and an after-school room during October, offering countless thrills and chills to those able to muster the courage.

The haunted house is the brainchild of Bob Russo, superintendent of recreation at the park district, with considerable help from maintenance supervisor Ed Newton, staff and volunteers.

“We take about three weeks to build it, so we start in September. It’s a lot of work,” Russo said recently while putting the final touches on a room that is home to a creepy clown.

“We keep similar scenes, bring in some new things, and use a new layout every year,” Russo said.

He gets dimensions of the intended space “and then I map it out,” he said.

Newton is in charge of building the walls for the haunted house, which takes visitors through a meandering maze filled with plenty of scary sights and sounds.

“He does set designs,” Russo, 32, said.

One of the new additions is a mineshaft.

Why does Russo go to all the trouble every year?

“It’s fun for the most part. I like how people go through terrified and then tell me how awesome it was,” Russo said.

He thinks one reason people come back every year is they get some good scares for a relatively bargain price.

“We only charge $8 per person. That’s a lot less than many haunted houses. People go to other ones and say they like our haunted house better,” Russo said.

He appreciates the many high school student who volunteer their time and services to help make the haunted house a success. They provide live — or is that “dead”? — entertainment throughout.

“Nightmare at the Terrace” will be open from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday at the Terrace Centre, 11500 S. Beloit Ave. It will be the third and final weekend of scares. Those who want to volunteer should contact Kara Jelderks at (708) 448-7080.



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