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Neighborhood house frightens for free


If you’re in the mood for a little more “trick” than “treat” this weekend, Tina Staver of Newton may have just what you’re looking for.

Since 2009, Staver and Chad Barton have been hosting a free, neighborhood haunted house in their home on Newton’s northeast side; this year they plan to put on the best show yet.

From skeletons to tombstones, Staver and Barton have their home completely decked out for the macabre holiday.

“We absolutely love Halloween,” Staver said.

While the idea began as something for Barton’s son, nieces and their neighborhood friends to do on Halloween, it quickly grew, drawing upwards of 50 visitors last year.

“We tell the neighborhood kids, and they tell their friends,” Staver said. “It’s mostly word of mouth, but we make sure to post it on Facebook too.”

While Staver and Barton designed the haunted house for kids, be warned — it doesn’t skimp on scare factor.

“The second year a 16 year-old girl took two steps in and then turned around and ran out the door,” Barton laughed. “We intend to make it pretty scary.”

In the end, however, the event is a spooky good time for those who may not otherwise be able to attend expensive Halloween festivities.

“It’s free and fun for the kids,” Staver said. “Everyone likes to dress up and pretend to be someone else.”

Staver and Barton’s haunted house is located at 926 N. Sixth Ave. E. and will be open to guests from 7 to 10 p.m. both tonight and Saturday night. All are invited to wear costumes, as there will be prizes for the best-dressed. The attraction is free, although patrons are welcome to make donations toward annual upkeep and decoration.

Nicole Wiegand can be contacted at (641) 792-3121 ext. 422 or via email at

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