Boo Crew Haunted House behind the scenes

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BUCKHART, Ill. (WAND) - During October, haunted houses are huge attractions, but they would not be possible without all of the scare actors.

The Boo Crew Haunted House has been around for around 17 years, and every year they try to change up the scares. Shelly Connor, the Boo Crew media relations says, "There's a lot of sweat equity that goes into the haunted house. We have hundreds of volunteers and there's a core group of probably 10 to 15 that work on the haunted house year round to make it a great experience for all our victims as we like to say."

Each scare actor that helps the Boo Crew does more than just say "boo" and roar at people. The actors call Tammy Pritchett the 'Haunt mom' because of everything she does for the actors. Pritchett says there is a lot the actors go through before they start scaring. She says, "We do actor training all summer long, and we work on characters and designs based on what we're going to do for the room that year."

The Boo Crew has been voted one of the top ten haunted houses in Illinois multiple times, and much of that is because of the scare actors who are all volunteers. They enjoy coming around because of the family atmosphere and because everything they do is for a good cause. Connor says, "We are the primary fundraiser for the Rochester Lions Club, so our proceeds do go to local charities throughout the year, and we're also completely volunteer run as well."

Connor says since they are a charity group, they keep spending to a minimum and only make a few purchases like makeup for the actors, which they spend around $1,200 a year. The Boo Crew also makes many of their props and hydraulics. Connor says people find items at garage sales or on the side of the road and turn it into a creepy creation. She says there are people that work year round to make props move and make noises. Anywhere from 800 to 1,200 visitors see the amazing creations on any given night.

The Boo Crew will be open on November 4th for its last haunt of the season. However, they recommend buying a ticket ahead of time because they typically sell out.

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