Jay Masters dresses up as Dracula for the Monster Bash Haunted House, a fundraiser for Fillmore Central’s music department. This year’s haunted house is scheduled for October, but plans are already in the works and materials are being sought for some of the sets.  Jay Masters dresses up as Dracula for the Monster Bash Haunted House, a fundraiser for Fillmore Central’s music department. This year’s haunted house is scheduled for October, but plans are already in the works and materials are being sought for some of the sets.BLUFF COUNTRY NEWSPAPERS FILE PHOTO
Jay Masters dresses up as Dracula for the Monster Bash Haunted House, a fundraiser for Fillmore Central’s music department. This year’s haunted house is scheduled for October, but plans are already in the works and materials are being sought for some of the sets. Jay Masters dresses up as Dracula for the Monster Bash Haunted House, a fundraiser for Fillmore Central’s music department. This year’s haunted house is scheduled for October, but plans are already in the works and materials are being sought for some of the sets.BLUFF COUNTRY NEWSPAPERS FILE PHOTO
All manner of ghastly ghouls will be invading Harmony this October unless proper sacrifices are made!

The Harmony Community Center will again play host to the Monster Bash Haunted House, which is in its second year as a fundraiser for the Fillmore Central High School's music department. Nicknamed "the sequel" this year, the haunted house became an instant smash last year due to its detail and pure Halloween-esque atmosphere.

"Many people didn't realize how elaborate it was going to be," shared event organizer Jay Masters, who had been the main driving force behind starting the Monster Bash last year.

A self-described Halloween enthusiast, Masters took all of his skill in designing scary scenes and thought of a way to help the local music students. The event raised around $11,000 last year over its 13-night stay. Masters said their goal this year is to raise $15,000.

Money raised this year will go into the accounts of band and choral students who will be making the trip to Walt Disney World in June of 2014. The trip will cost each student approximately $1,000 and some families will have more than one student in band or choir. Students and parents who contribute hours in building and/or working at the haunted house will earn credits. Those credits will then translate into dollars once the money is raised. Masters said one student last year earned half of their trip because of how much time they put into the event.

In order to keep overhead costs down, Masters has been securing donations of materials needed for the haunted house. "The more we get donated, the more kids get for their trip," he said. Last year, Master relied on monetary donations from local businesses. While they would still accept help, Master said he would rather have people see what materials they have on hand they would be willing to donate.

The materials list is compiled after Masters and the parents meet together to go through the haunted house floor plans. For this year's house, the group met at the end of the school year, but Masters said he had put together his ideas all the way back in January. "I've been thinking of some things for next year," he shared. "I want to make this into an annual thing."

This year's plans are top-secret, but Masters did say the house will be much larger with more rooms and hallways. "Nothing is held over from last year, so people who like it keep coming back," he shared expressing plans to always have new things in future houses.

At the parent meeting, Master gets volunteers to build specific parts of the haunted house. Then Masters gets volunteers to man the house each night. Last year, people were a little reluctant to put in the time and effort, but when they did they loved it.

"Once they got involved they said, 'I can't wait to do it next year!'" said Masters about the support he has seen this year. "It's neat to see that it has been very well received by the community."

Many businesses and parents stepped forward immediately when the call for help went out. However, there is still work to be done and needs to be met.

Materials still needed include: (8) 4x8 sheets of plywood 3/8"; (6) 46-foot lengths of green outdoor carpet; 40' of 1x12 pine boards; (3) hinges; (7) sono tubes 1' diameter by 8' length; (1) sono tube 2' diameter by 8' length; (1) screen 4'x12'; (7) CD players with repeat feature; (10) 10' 2x4; (30) 8' 2x4; (10) bags of spider web; (20) boxes aluminum foil; (8) casters; multiple extension cords; (6) splitters; multiple light fixtures; colored light bulbs; black light bulbs; (2) 2' black lights; (4) 4' black lights; (3) small motors (2) strobe lights; PVC; lumber; (12) stone look paint.

In only its second year, word of the Monster Bash is spreading. "We had two groups come down who said they had gone to ValleyScare and had liked our haunted house better," Masters recalled. "It's not just dark rooms, there is a theme and very detailed."

A new marketing approach will have discount nights for certain towns in the hopes to increase attendance. A person from that town can show their driver's license to prove their residence and get in for less. Masters is thinking even bigger than that with possibly organizing a community wide Haunted Harmony weekend.

There is no shortage of ideas. Masters welcomes the challenge. "The pressure is on. You have to keep it good every year," he concluded.

Those who are interested in contributing items from the list can contact Masters at (507) 886-2822. Masters said he can pick up donated items. "We would be extremely grateful for anything groups or individuals can donate."