Rafael Adrien hopes to use a scary situation to alleviate fears and help provide some comfort.
For the last decade, Adrien has welcomed the coming of October because he knows it means he can decorate for the coming holidays. Every year, he tries to make his home, at 1137 Lindsay Lane, better than the year before.
This year he went the extra mile.
He said it's his way of helping those affected by the recent hurricanes and the devastation that followed.
Watching the aftermath and wanting to help but not knowing how, Adrien did what he always does this time of year - he began decorating. For the past month, Adrien and volunteer helpers have constructed a haunted house on his front lawn. Using donated lumber, eight rolls of black plastic sheeting and a gaggle of ghoulish props, Adrien created a house of horrors to frighten and to help.
"I don't know what happened, I just went crazy this year. I decorate every year but this year I just went crazy," said Adrien.
The house will be open to the public, with the cost of admission being a donation of nonperishable food, toiletries or clean clothes that will be given to the American Red Cross.
"I didn't want to do it just for fun, it has to mean something, it has to be more than that," Adrien said.
More than 300 square feet of black plastic was used to make the house. In all it cost Adrien about $800 to construct and furnish. For the past month he has spent about five hours a night working on the house after getting off his regular job as a residential trash collector.
"It takes a while to get it ready, especially when you don't have a lot of help," he said.
Adrien's cause has begun to attract volunteers including eight students from Carson Middle School to act as tour guides and DJ Chava who is donating his services to provide eerie sound effects for the house.
When it's ready to go, the guided tours through it will include a creepy graveyard, a meeting with the devil and run-in with a real-life Frankenstein's monster.
"He is a friend of mine and asked me if I would do it and I said 'Yeah I'll scare the kids,'" said John Griffith, who will be playing the monster.
With the house coming together, Adrien's biggest concern now is the strong winds that have blown in and threaten to destroy his work.
"The wind is kind of tearing it up and that worries me, I didn't sleep last night because the wind was so strong," he said.
The haunted house will be open from 6-10 p.m. Friday through Monday.
n Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at email@example.com or 881-1217.