The first haunted house I ever went to was in Julesburg, Colorado. Growing up in Grant, NE, I’d never been to a haunted house. No such thing existed in my tiny corner of the world. But the haunted house in Julesburg, CO opened my eyes.
It was a primitive haunt located in a steel building on the outskirts of town, but people lined up outside to go to it. Just inside the steel building, a person sold tickets. Patrons could stand at the ticketing station and listen to people inside the haunt screaming. It was great for building anticipation.
The walls were made with wood and black plastic. The years that I went to it, it was mostly dark on the inside except for a couple of strobe lights, a surgical room with blue and red lighting, and a giant spider that dropped down at the end of the haunt where the whole thing opened up into a big area wherein a man with a chainsaw hid discreetly. This was good enough though. Scare actors wore masks and I suppose they were probably volunteer teens from the local high school.
I’m not sure when the Julesburg haunted house closed down. The first two years of our first haunted attraction, Cornstalk in Grant, NE, the Julesburg haunt was still running. It was a lone haunt whereas Cornstalk had three Halloween haunted houses and a haunted village to draw patrons. Both places were hard to find though. But I was sad when I heard that Julesburg had closed it’s haunted house.
I’ve been to more haunted houses now than I can count on my fingers and toes. John and I do a lot of market research whenever possible, but the Julesburg haunt will always be my first love. It was raw and it was real. Bigger city haunts just aren’t the same.
At School District 13, we try to keep things as raw and as real as we possibly can. Because we can work with the context of the entire community of Brule, we have something really special here. Ours is not a lone haunt, but our haunts are connected organically by the scare actors who walk the streets between here and there. A lot of people wonder what it’s like to go inside those old abandoned school buildings in Nebraska and Eastern Colorado. At School District 13, they can find out. They can walk the streets of an unfamiliar small town. It’s a real town. It’s not a fake Disney-esque town. The Community Hall where the Prom Night Massacre is located is the real community hall.
The Julesburg, CO haunted house was the first scare attraction that I fell in love with in my youth. Brule is only about 20 minutes away from Julesburg and our haunt is a bigger, enhanced version of the same thing. School District 13 Haunted Attraction is completely unique among haunts featuring the old school, the community hall, a haunted bus, the haunted concession stand down at the ball diamond, and streets that are crawling with the undead. And without the Julesburg haunted house, it probably wouldn’t be here.