Free haunted house is back delighting visitors in Algiers
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A free haunted house has been spooking the Algiers neighborhood since months after Hurricane Katrina, and its creators are marking its return this year for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Bernie Baxter’s Traveling Sideshow isn’t your typical haunted house.
“Everybody inside the haunt is part of a family. They’re part of our family, our extended friends,” said Crystal Ramey, one of the creators of the haunted house. “Next year, we’re going to grow that even more.”
Located at 44 Vivian Ct. in Algiers, the attraction claims to be the oldest Halloween attraction in the city, and its longest-running free haunt.
“We have a yard display, which is meant for the kids,” co-creator Jonathan Bailey said. “It’s meant to be kind of spooky. On Halloween night, we do trick-or-treating.”
Bailey said he wanted to start the haunted house in the months following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when there weren’t many forms of entertainment available for New Orleans residents.
From a porch in Algiers Point, the attraction grew into a mini-spectacle in the middle of an Algiers neighborhood.
“There were kids in the neighborhood, and it had been a really traumatic experience for everyone,” Bailey said. “I just wanted something positive to come out of 2005, even if it was as simple as getting scared on Halloween on the front porch.”
Bailey and Ramey said they start planning for the haunted house each winter, with Bailey building a model of what the house will look like online before the two start construction.
“We see a lot of great screams, a lot of running -- which is against the rules, don’t do that,” Bailey said laughing. “But it happens.”
Bailey said if you want to beat the crowds, come check out the haunted house on Friday or Saturday.
The house is open from 7-10 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Monday (Halloween).
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