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Fright Night

By Jeff Burns

Oct 21, 2006

Near the end of every October, families begin to carve their Jack-O-Lantern--it’s plenty decoration for the little visitors who will arrive on Halloween eve.

To Kyrene Corridor residents Kevin and LeNetta Leger, however, there’s more fun to be had during this fleeting season of ghosts, goblins, witches and warlocks.

So, for the eighth year, the Legers’ back yard at 6402 W. Kent Drive will be converted into a haunted house that has become the talk of the neighborhood.

Last year, LeNetta says, more than 1,000 guests paid a visit.

In order to provide a way for children and parents to enjoy Halloween in a safe and fun environment, the Legers create a maze of Halloween scenes that are designed to amuse—and occasionally frighten—even the most stoic of spectators.

According to LeNetta, this year’s haunted house will feature such attractions as Egyptian mummies, a graveyard, a fortune teller and more.

The biggest surprise, a pleasant one at that, is not a monster lurking around a corner but the Legers’ decision to use the proceeds to benefit a local charity.

Although admission is free, donations will go to Improving Chandler Area Neighborhoods, which provides free out-of-school programs that help youth become more productive, self-confident, and responsible citizens.

This is not where the charity from the event stops, however.

Intel, Kevin Leger’s employer, matches the amount raised by the haunted house and donates the proceeds to Valley of the Sun United Way’s Results that Matter Fund.

According the LeNetta, last year’s haunted house raised nearly $1,200. With the help of Intel, $2,400 was donated to charity.

“We will also have an overhead projection in front of the house explaining what ICAN is,” LeNetta said.

ICAN CEO Christy McClendon, says the haunted house has benefited the organization’s cause.

“This event has become a favorite among ICAN youth,” McClendon said. “Not only does our community have a safe place to enjoy the fun of Halloween, but along the way ICAN teens learn about planning and organizing a fundraising event.”

Laumanu Kulitea, 17, volunteers to help with the Legers to add construct the haunted house. Along with other teens from ICAN, she volunteers weekly to help paint and decorate. She even gets to join in on the fun when it is time to scare visitors.

“Last year it was really fun,” Kulitea said. “Usually we get to put masks on and sometimes escort little kids through the haunted house.”

One of the newest features for this year’s haunted house is a torture chamber. According to LeNetta, the Renaissance Festival-inspired display will have hand made devices such as shackles and a guillotine. 

“We try to add things to keep the people who are waiting in line entertained,” LeNetta said.

This year’s haunted house will be open from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, and again on Saturday, Oct. 28, and Monday, Oct. 30.

However, don’t get any ideas about visiting the haunted house on Halloween; the Legers say they’ll get some rest and enjoy simply handing out candy to trick-or-treaters.



Photo by David Stone


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