ROMNEY — The Romney Project committee is working hard to create a ‘terrifically terrifying’ experience for those who dare enter the Hampshire House of Horrors on four special days during Halloween week. 

This is the first haunted house experience for the Hampshire County Arts Council, and while the creation of the House of Horrors itself is still underway, it is shaping up to be a fun, fear-filled event for anyone brave enough to check it out.

The proceeds from the haunted house will benefit the Romney Project Murals, a project designed to enhance community and get people involved, according to Dale Brady, Hampshire County Arts Council President.

Joanne Snead, one of the prominent members of the Arts Council board of directors, understood that in order to continue with the Romney Project Murals, they needed to come up with a plan to raise money for the cause.

“We knew that we needed a fundraiser in order to raise money for the project going forward,” Snead said. “Both of the artists involved with the event have previous experiences with creating haunted houses, and so it was their creative genius that inspired us to try it out.”  

Accomplished artist John D’Amico, who was the talent behind the mural on the side of the building that was formerly B-Belle’s Boutique, is one of the artists involved with creating the eerie experience at the Hampshire House of Horrors. Another notable name behind this event is artist J.A. Cook, who Brady describes as, “an incredible, energetic person creating wonderfully scary things out of trash and other recyclable items.”

The theme of the inaugural House of Horrors is inspired by Steven King’s “IT Chapter Two,” a movie thriller smashing box offices throughout the country this Halloween season.

The scenes in the haunted house are constructed using simple materials like foam boxes, pool noodles and wire.  Wall sconces are crafted from paper plates using lots of masking tape, and concrete pillars are made from cardboard boxes, but it’s really the unique, artistically applied paint that brings the scenes to life.

D’Amico and Cook have been working to design scenes that will lead visitors of the House of Horrors to a graveyard with a crypt and larger-than-life Moth Man.

Inside the house, visitors will be able to experience the thrills and chills of the Haunted Attic, an Insane Butcher, a Mad Doctor and more scary sights to make visitors’ skin crawl.

And then, just when it may seem safe, Pennywise will appear with a few red balloons.

Because the haunted house is still in its planning stage, volunteers are needed for all phases of the event, including construction and set-up, participation in the action and decommission of the event itself. Groups, clubs and school organizations are welcome to volunteer their time.

The doors of the haunted house will be open on Oct. 25 and Oct. 30 from 7 to 10 p.m., and on Oct. 26 and Oct. 31 from 7 to 11 p.m.

The location of this event will be determined this week.

Anyone interested in volunteering should contact via email:

J.A. Cook at

John D’Amico at

Joanne Snead at

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