The Haunted Shack Started Several Years Ago As a Community Driven Haunted House. It was just a Small Three Hour Production Held in a Small 600 Square Foot Basement of the Local Fire Hall in Gary New Duluth. With Local Citizens Digging Through Their attics and Garages for Christmas Lights and Other Props that they used To Make The Haunted House. Someone Else Would Bring a Small Boom Box with a Halloween Spooky Tape and Play it in the Background. A web of ropes and plastic suspended from the Fire House Ceilings Made the Haunted Maze. Actors dressed Up in Costumes and Jumped out on Cue to scare the kids and adults That Ventured Through small town haunted house. With Spaghetti for Brains, a Man dressed as a Gorilla, The Local Teacher as Dracula and the Head in the Table Gag it was a Great Show for a Small Town.
This Production Carried On For Several Years. One Day They Asked A Local Citizen If He Would Be Willing To Put The Production On. This Man Accepted The Challenge and Put His Thoughts Together With Some Of His Closest Friends. They Started Setting Up Three Days Prior To The Event. Working Long Hours throughout the Night to Set up Their web of ropes and Maze of Plastic Walls. Then Worked on Detailing Their Scenes for the Three Hour Production to Come. The Day Came and Passed and This Man Was Asked To Do It Again The Following Year. He Accepted Under a Few Conditions. 1.) A Much Larger Building, 2.) More Running Days and 3.) A Donation Fee to Be Given to the Local Special Olympics with a Can Good Donation for the local food shelf. The Conditions Were Accepted and the Local Man (Dubbed As the Halloween Freak Gathered His Closest Friends and the Local Troop 13 Boy Scouts and Ventured Into Their New 1800 Square Foot Building.
The Following Year, Flyers Were Distributed and Word Of Mouth Roamed Quickly That The Local SKATING SHACK Was To Be Turned into a “HAUNTED SHACK” Thus The Name Has Begun. THE HAUNTED SHACK… Having Two Weeks To Put Up Their Plastic Walls And Scenes, They Turned The Skating Shack Into A True Haunted Shack. Neighbors Pooled Their skills and Props Together to Make This a Successful Fund Raising Drive. With Full Community and city support The Haunted Shack Was A Success… On opening night they had a sneak peek for the press, media, and even city officials (The Mayor, City Council and even a State Senator) attending the Opening Night.
Each Year The Haunted Shack Has Grown with More Volunteers, More Sound Equipment Was Added and The Evolution of Portable 2×4 Walls. In 1998 The Haunted Shack Had A Little Snag. The Local Community Education Needed The Building During The Dates of The Haunted Shack and Thus Looking Like The End of The 3 Years of Fun. But A Local Parks & Rec Personnel Offered Half of His Community Center To the Now 50 Halloween Freaks to Continue Their Fundraising Activities. The New Building Offers 2500 Square Foot Of Space. The Advertising went out in Local Papers, T.V., Radio and Flyers of The Change. This Year Was The Biggest Success of The Annual Haunted Shack Event. Over The Years the Haunted Shack Has Escalated into a Full Blown Month Long Production with Live Actors, Computer Animation and Many Volunteers. The Planning For This Haunted House Constantly Goes On Year Round. With Designing New Scenes To Sponsorship Support It Takes an Entire Crew & Committee Constantly Working To Make Each Year Better Than The Past. With Computerized Lighting, 12 Separate Sound Tracks, and Play back screams of yourself On an Awesome 24 channel Sound System You Are Sure to feel the now famous Heart Beat like It Was Your Own. With Live Actors Lurking The Halls, It Is Hard To Determine If It Is Real Or If It Is Animated, But You Will Have To Determine if You Are Going To Survive and Make It Through The Maze of Terror……..
In 2004 the Haunted Shack had hooked up with the Duluth Zoo staff and now assist them with their annul Boo @ the Zoo day. The Haunted Shack Volunteers set up a portable version of the HAUNTED SHACK and displays it at their event now dubbing this HAUNTED SHACK as the “BOO @ THE ZOO – THE NOT SO SCARY HAUNTED SHACK” Also, in 2004 the City of Duluth had changed its policy and there was a miscommunication on the Haunted Shack. This year the Haunted Shack had suffered a devastating and crippling blow for the Special Olympics and the local food shelf. The Haunted Shack had to fold up its operation and could not do the fund raiser this year. After many hours of negotiation with the City officials and the help from a local Bank an agreement had been worked out and the HAUNTED SHACK WAS BACK IN 2005…LET YOUR NIGHTMARES CONTINUE!!!!!
Since 2005 the Haunted Shack has been growing in sponsorship and recognition for being the Scariest Haunted House in Minnesota. They have brought in Live Radio Remotes, Vendors to sell food, State Senators, Mayors, City Officials, Car Dealerships to show off their latest automobiles. and in 2006 “Mrs. MN 2004 & Mrs. National 2006” was present to meet the daring spectators and sign autographs.
In 2007 the Haunted Shack had to renegotiate its Memo of Understanding with the City of Duluth. After 6 months of back and forth, in the seventh hour of the negotiations, (almost at the point of canceling the event) we came to an agreement and the Shack is back (again). This year is sure to be one of the better productions that the Haunted Shack has ever produced. By the way “WE DON’T SUPPLY ANY DIAPERS”.
In 2009 started off as another tough year for the Haunted Shack. My brother (John “Coke” Jr)……….., which was a drive for me to do a haunted house had passed away. His expertise in the pneumatic and computer world designed some awesome displays throughout the Haunted Shack’s past. His passing left a hole in our family’s hearts and the well-known prop design for the Haunted Shack. The 2009 Haunted Shack Was Dedicated to my brother John “Coke”. In 2009 the Haunted Shack Planning committee wanted to make a big change. The front facade needed a new Face Lift. After many months of planning it all came together the first 2 weeks of set-up. With carpenters working every night “looking like Extreme Home Make-Over” the Front Facade came together. “It reminds me of an Old Rickety broke down eerie Old House it is going to be a great big new addition. With a fabulous new light show planned and new additional haunting freaks from the Garage of Ghouls it is sure to be the best show we have ever put on.
In 2010 the Haunted Shack was working very hard with the Morgan Park Hockey Association, Morgan Park Community Center, The Morgan Park Senior Center and the City of Duluth to achieve added space. With many months of negotiations between all parties The Haunted Shack was able to attain an additional 50% more space. With the added space the Haunted Shack is able to give its followers a lot larger venue and even a bigger scare. With adding a Fall Program to the Parks and Rec Department the Community is able to open its community center up to the community to help put on the Annual Haunted Shack. Now in its 17th Season with a larger venue and the new Tunnel of Terror you will have to wind your way through the maze of hallways and determine, on a larger scale, if it is real or animated. With a bigger and better lights and sound show it only adds to the experience that everyone has come to expect. Remember the great charities that this all supports. The local Special Olympics, Local Food Shell and the Northland Coat Drive. In the Past 2 years the HAUNTED SHACK ALONE has DONATED OVER 1700 COATS to the NORTHLAND COAT DRIVE.
In 2011 was another tough year for the Haunted Shack. My oldest brother (Tony)………., which drove me to do a haunted house and did one himself in the Twin Cities for years, had passed away which left a hole in our family’s hearts and the well-known sound design for the Haunted Shack. With figuring out how to continue this tradition and inheriting some of his sound equipment we pulled the sound off again. The 2011 Haunted Shack was dedicated to my brother Tony.
Also this year my Uncle (Joe)……….had passed away. His passion for the Buffalo House and the real Buffalo that use to roam the grounds will never be able to be replaced. Buffalo Valley had lost an icon and a huge hole to fill. This year will also be dedicated to my Uncle Joe. In 2011 The Haunted Shack also made a huge jump into the World of Haunting Special Effects. With the purchase of the new LOW VOLTAGE COMPUTERIZED LIGHTS and High Tech Lazars. We are able to take our lighting into the next generation. Not only the lighting can be controlled but with the addition of some pretty cool special effects pneumatics it is going to be an awesome show. A special Thanks to Double D Trucking that helped to Sponsor this Lighting. In 2010 the Haunted Shack Alone raised 921 Coats for the Northland Coat Drive and over 2000 lbs. of can goods for the Local Food Shelf… I personally thank each and every one of you who made 2010 a record breaking year for us. Check out the web site for great offers and details or join our Facebook page.
2012 started with another passing of a great person and family friend (Zack Gibby)……… His dedication to the Haunted Shack and joking antics will be greatly missed and we will dedicate the 2012 season in Honor of our Friend Zack. The 2012 season is going to be the biggest and best year yet. With much debate and negotiations the HAUNTED SHACK will be moving locations. This year will be bigger and better with an added attraction. Not only will we be having the Haunted Shack but we will be adding a Haunted Hayride for your added enjoyment. The Haunted Shack will be Re-Locating to the Buffalo House inside the Junction and the Hayride will encompass the campground area. After negotiating with the owners of the Buffalo House they welcomed us with open arms and much excitement. Buffalo valley, for the month of October, will be converted to “TERROR IN BUFFALO VALLEY”. Also, this year we have been busy building our new prop for the haunt. It will be an elevator ride that takes you down to the depths of hell. We call the new prop the “HELLEVATOR.” This will be a ride that shakes, rattles, up and down and the feel of free falling with all the special effects of lighting, sound and movement to give you a fear of your life. Come check the Haunted Shack and Hayride out at the Buffalo House, 2590 Guss Road Duluth, MN 55810. For more info on the Buffalo House Check out their web site at . Minnesota’s Scariest Haunt. See you in October 2012.
2014 started off as a frightening year. The harsh winter played a devastating blow to the Buffalo House. The Buffalo Junction (where the Haunted Shack set up its maze roof collapsed do to the snow load. With much debate the Buffalo House Management decided to tear down the original Junction and re-build. That left the Haunted Shack in wonders if this could be the end of a 20 year legacy. Then I received a text and it was from one of the owners of the Buffalo House. “Pat its Scotty stop on up tonight.” So I did and the building was well into construction at this point. He needed to ask me on how high I needed the ceiling to be and what size door is needed to get the “HELLIVATOR” in with. I then looked at him and said: “So I take it we are invited back again?” “YES OF COURSE – You do a great thing for great causes and we want to be a part of that A huge relief was lifted off my shoulders. I don’t know if I could take looking for another facility to do the Haunted Shack and if I didn’t continue it would be a huge disappointment by thousands. This being our 21st up our show. This year will be the largest and most elaborate display that we have done in our 21 year history. We’ve added some great new scenes, special effects as well as enhanced the Haunted Hayride experience to season with a larger facility gave us an opportunity to step make it even more terrifying. “Darryllsville”, which is the Haunted Hayride, has amazing new structures and scenes throughout. With its new graveyard called “ROSEMARY’S CEMETARY” which incorporates floating ghost, a mausoleum and a flying 2 headed bride. In addition, ‘The Tunnel of Terror’ and ‘Hellevator’ are back by popular demand along with many of the events favorites. See ya in the realm.
2015 was our most successful season but had some pitfalls we had to deal with. The 1st was a very good friend and helper for the Haunted Shack (Kyle Smalley)……….. had passed away earlier this year which left a hole in portions of the planning of the Haunt. We dedicated the 2015 season to Kyle and had our shirts designed with his signature Henry “J” pulling the hay wagon on it. On our last evening we dedicated a portion of the proceeds to the Boys and Girls Club of West Duluth that started a scholarship in Kyles Name which we will continue to donate to in the years to come. 2nd was left unknown if the legacy was going to continue. Buffalo House Management was trying to figure out how to utilize the new Junction Space for Weddings and Parties and possible put us in an outdoor tent set-up. At this point the Haunted Shack crew started looking for a different location that would be larger and permanent. A facility that we could leave most of the scenes set up year round to eliminate the long nights of setup. The Buffalo House Management wanted to keep the operation at their venue and was weighing all the options available. The show still went on this year and was the most successful of all the years of the Shack. The spectators kept coming and waited in long lines to see the Best Haunt in the Tri-State Area. With adding over approximately 1600 square feet to the Haunted Shacks portion making its biggest ever and adding even more scare to the haunt than ever before.
2016 started with still in the hunt for a new location but after speaking with the Buffalo House Management WE WERE BACK at BUFFALO VALLEY. “THE SHACK IS BACK” A huge relief for the planning committee for this venue is the perfect location for this event. With a Hay ride, Haunted House, Bar and restaurant all on the same property. Makes it a perfectly filled evening of thrills and chills and then great drinks and awesome food. The season was set and we started the planning stages. in September of 2016 another friend had passed away (Howie Ramaley)………. Howie was a Haunter that loved to decorate and build scenes at Timberline Campground for their annual Halloween in August that we do every year. The 2016 season is dedicated to Howie and I am going to build his Signature “Skeletons carrying a casket” scene to have on display in the 1st scene of the Haunted Shack this season. Also adding another 400 square feet to the Haunt this season was another huge jump. Along with an upgraded sound and security system that is bigger and better than ever before. The heart beat can not only be heard but felt throughout the haunt. The addition of a new Spyder and Snake scene will put you to your ultimate fear test. Around each and every turn there will be another fear to encounter and you will have to ask yourself “Is it real or animated?”
2017 was a very rough season for the Haunted Shack. With 3 snow storms and 5 nights of cold wet rain numbers were down from previous years. We still pushed through and made it another successful year on the books. We added the Twin Ports Pyro Group that was an awesome hit. With their flame throwing and twirling skills it added to the Hayride show. With all that said. – The Haunted Shack is now in search of a Pole building to erect on property to continue this awesome show and cause. The Buffalo House Management has decided to utilize the building we are currently in for weddings and parties as the building was designed and built for. I thank the Management and staff for their accommodating and donating their facility for the past 6 years, but now the new adventure and journey begins. We have been offered another location but there is currently no building. If you know of someone that has an old pole building they want removed we would be interested. Size we are looking for is 80×40 or larger. Smaller building will be also highly considered. All for now see you in October 2018 one way or another…….
2018 – Wee the Shack will continue, It was a very busy year with a lot of work ahead. In May of this year we purchased 3 buildings in Buffalo, MN. A small crew of 8 went down to Buffalo on a Saturday morning to start disassembling the buildings. By Sunday Evening we had all three building, down and loaded on trailers heading north to our new location Carlton MN. Over the next 4 months we blazed a trail thru the woods cutting down trees and brush and building a road to house the new Haunted Hay Ride route. Building scenes and decorating. Breaking ground for the new building, Hauling in lots of fill and compacting as we went. With great support of donations of equipment from Ru-Ridge Farms, L&D Trucking, Hinnenkamp Stripping, Roper Farms & Trucking, T.G. Carrol & Son Trucking and a huge shout out to Del Zotto Products, Inc. of Wrenshall for donating the footings and equipment, and those I may have forgotten a huge THANK YOU…. After a very small crew on erecting the 3 buildings and stitching them together as one the inside work began. Wiring the building for electrical, security cameras, air for pneumatic prop, emergency lighting and more working right to the day we opened. And NEW THIS YEAR WE ADDED A HAUNTED TRAIL THROUGH THE CORN MAZE. With great loss my father passed away one month before we opened our doors. He will be a great loss in the Haunted Shack. He kept asking me throughout the summer, as he fell ill in the spring, how things were going and coaching me on electrical issues and such from his hospital bed. Looking forward in seeing the finished product, which never happened besides the photo updates I would show him in the hospital. We will dedicate the 2018 season to my Father – John “Koke” Stojevich. I thank everyone that pitched in to make this year happen. It was down to a week away and it was almost all called off but with a huge push from my son Logan, in the end we opened our doors for the most successful year yet. See you next season for even bigger and better. 2019 – This year started off as the year to really build on but I was diagnosed, early in the year, with kidney failure and was informed that I needed I kidney. In Early spring I fell into congestive heart failure and was brought in for emergency surgery where they put a port in to start dialysis. After a month on dialysis started feeling much better and construction began on new and improved ideas. We revamped 4 of the scenes in the haunted shack, purchased 3 haunted that went out of business in Minnesota and added to our most impressive inventory of props and gore. Adding 2 more scenes along the Haunted Hayride, doubling the size of the graveyard, and adding many more pros to the existing scenes along the trail. Along with adding scenes in the Haunted Corn Trail and building and impressive scene and tunnel in the corn. We also hard wired power lines for the Haunted Hayride so we could add more impressive lighting and wired power along the haunted trail to add lighting effects thru the trail. People asked me throughout the year if I was going to do the Haunt this year due to my health and I said well why not…. With some help I can still do it. The kids (Special Olympics) that we do this all for, if they can swim a mile, rune 2 miles, play basketball and lift 300# I can put this event on and raise money so they have the opportunity to do what they enjoy. Like I said 32 years ago when I got involved in the Special Olympics – “Till the day I die — Till the day I die…” Now with our doors open for the season and rave reviews of the changed “WERE BACK BABY – AND WERE ONLY GOING TO GROW”. The 2019 season is dedicated to a very sweet lady that loved the Haunted Shack, she use to wash and mend our costumes and her daughter Juli-“Beth” is a key person on our staff. We will be dedicating this season to Juli’s mother Nora L. Parrish —- Scare YA Later – Chief Ghoul…
Remember we DO NOT supply clean underwear.
Scare Ya Later…. ….Chief Ghoul
What is my drive you may ask? And Why do I keep doing it?
“I get this asked all the time and I believe it is a passion I have to help local charities, teaching people how to build and construct things and educate those that want to learn. It is also fun for me to watch on our security cameras the thrills, chills and scares that people get when going thru the haunt. It has turned into my family and close friends working together for a cause. To give back to those in need. The love, the passion, the dedication and the drive I have all comes down to one true reason. On December 1st, 1985 my brother Robert “Bobby ………. Had passed away in a car accident on Thanksgiving weekend. He was born on Halloween and I dedicate in my heart every year the Haunted Shack in Memory of him. May all the people that help make the Haunted Shack what it has become that have passed on are doing a Haunt somewhere in the Heavens above for all to enjoy on the other side. May they come back to the Haunted Shack every season and add that little personal touch of realism to the haunt that everyone has come to enjoy. Rest in Peace and Godspeed my family and friends.”
Pat “Chief Ghoul”