Haunted Witches Castle in Penobscot raising money for firefighter

Published: Oct. 29, 2020 at 6:21 PM EDT
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PENOBSCOT, Maine (WABI) - Five years ago, Carol Cody and her husband Bob Gross, along with Bob’s daughter April, turned their barn into a pirate ship for Halloween with the idea of inviting the public and taking donations to raise money for non-profits.

They do Halloween at 73 New Road in Penobscot the way other people might do Christmas, or New Year’s Eve. The barn is a Haunted Witches Castle this year instead of a pirate ship, but it’s still scary and still raising money for a great cause. They started getting the castle ready in August for what has become an annual October event.

A lot of adults who bring their kids, and some that just come as adults," Carol said. “And they really like it because they’re usually blown away at the amount of detail we do, and just how it looks really neat.”

There’s no charge to enter this terror-dome, but they are asking for donations to help support Penobscot firefighter Jim Flannery, who’s been diagnosed with ALS.

“He’s done a lot for the community, he’s done a lot for the town, and communities around the area in the fire service," said Bob, who is also the Assistant Fire Chief at the Penobscot Fire Department. “Giving as much to the community as he has, we felt he was a deserving person to raise money for.”

Normally the haunted castle would be haunted by real people, but because of COVID-19, they had to make some changes this year. So, they brought in a whole new cast of animatronic spooks.

“In the past, we’ve had live casts where there would be people inside, jumping out and things like that, and we knew that just wasn’t going to be an option this year," Carol said.

Not doing anything at all wasn’t an option either. Not for this family, on this holiday.

“I never would’ve thought myself, five years ago, building complete sets and things, because it’s outside my comfort zone," said Bob. “But I’ve been kind of getting more and more into it.”

“We want to be known as that house, the one where everyone’s gonna come, and they know something’s going on there," April added. "So, I feel we’ve gotten there. We’ve accomplished the goal.”

The Witches Castle will be open from 6 to 9 pm Friday and Saturday.

Only one group at a time will be allowed inside to maintain social distancing, and masks are recommended.

For more information, visit them on facebook.

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