We all love a good scare as part of our Halloween fun and it's always better when that fun is for a good cause. The Haunted Barn in Concord brings a thrilling Halloween experience to visitors, all while raising money for the Sturge-Weber Foundation, which helps children and adults with port-wine birthmarks and Sturge-Weber syndrome.
According to the Sturge-Weber Foundation, "Sturge-Weber Syndrome (encephelotrigeminal angiomatosis) is a congenital, non-familial disorder of unknown incidence and cause. It is characterized by a congenital facial birthmark and neurological abnormalities. Other symptoms associated with Sturge-Weber can include eye and internal organ irregularities. Each case of Sturge-Weber Syndrome is unique and exhibits the characterizing findings to varying degrees."
Donna and Tracy Scroggins, whose daughter has a port-wine birthmark, got involved in raising awareness of this condition and created the Haunted Barn to combine holiday fun with community awareness. "Our daughter was born with the birthmark and spent 4 ½ years getting treated at Childrens Hospital," said Donna Scroggins. "Some of the children there had the syndrome associated with it, though she doesn't. They have neurological problems and their faces are deformed and stuff like that. So my husband and I were talking and we decided we wanted to do something each year to help raise money for that. My daughter always liked Halloween as a child. She always said she could dress up and be anything she wanted to be without anyone seeing what was really underneath."
When they first started, the Scroggins' just solicited donations for the foundation, but as time went on, they thought it would be more appealing to the public to provide something fun in return for their support. "My husband said he always liked haunted houses," said Scroggins, "so why don't we try something like that?" And so in 2007 they began their Haunted Barn project. What began as a basic structure with plastic walls has evolved into a complex structure that is a maze of ghosts, ghouls, and the dreaded scary clowns.
The Haunted Barn provides a fun mix of animatronics and actors that are certain to make even the most stoic visitor jump a few times. It is located in Concord on Hwy 35 across from the gas station. They will be open this Friday and Saturday (Oct. 25 & 26) from 7-11pm and all next week through November 2 from 7-11.
For more information on the Haunted Barn, call 501-887-6543. If you would like to learn more about Sturge-Weber syndrome, visit www.sturge-weber.org.