Spirits haunt Oak Creek hockey hut

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Dressed as Michael Meyers from the "Halloween" horror movies, 15-year-old Chris Williams stood behind the door to "Hell" -- a room decorated with images of fire and lit by red lights -- waiting to jump out and frighten children as they walked by.

The youngest children -- some trying to look scary themselves in costumes -- gripped parents' arms tightly as they slowly and timidly walked through Oak Creek's haunted hockey hut. One young boy veered away from his mother for a few moments, and when he realized he was alone, he yelled out, "Mommy!"

The mummy hanging from the wall smiled down on him.

The hut had a main entryway, where visitors first encountered the "laboratory," where young witches behind a black cauldron warned visitors to stay away or else they would torture them. The lab, as well as the rest of the hut, was decorated elaborately with strobe and black lights, skulls, spider webs and other ghostly trinkets.

Visitors then continued the walk, encountering frights along the way -- dead people coming to life, a young prisoner in an electric chair and other scary sights that had the bravest souls recoiling in horror.

The haunted hockey hut was put together through the collaborative effort of the Oak Creek Police Department's Police Activities League, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Women's Auxiliary and several volunteers.

The VFW Women's Auxiliary has organized many haunted houses, several at the Oak Creek VFW, and last year, at Women's Auxiliary member Margie Brown's house. This year, PAL wanted to put together a haunted house and so the two groups joined forces to create the biggest one yet. The hockey hut provided plenty of space for a haunted house, Brown said.

"For this small community, we thought it would be better to do it together," Oak Creek police Officer Felipe Nardo said.

Volunteers were still working on the hut at 6 p.m. Thursday, when it was supposed to be open.

"The kids love it," Brown said while fastening black vinyl straps and adding finishing touches to the electric chair. "There isn't much for them to do on Halloween in Oak Creek, so we try to do something nice for them."

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