October 16, 2017
Writer: Myles Primm
Haunted houses come in all shapes and sizes and are generally backed with a big budget and special effects. Dr. Slaughters in Idaho Falls not only scares but gives everything back to the community.
The 45-minute fear tour that is Dr. Slaughters started 17 years ago by Darrell Wagner. The program has moved from location to location because this haunted house is completely non-profit. This is something that not only benefits the D.A.R.E program in Idaho Falls but also helps out those in need.
A regular evening for a volunteer, who are mostly under 18, at Dr. Slaughters starts right after school gets out. They come in and are offered a free meal. After they get ready to apply make-up, costumes, and then to their respective themes to prepare for the opening. While they wait for people to enter their rooms, some of them bring homework with them and they wait. Wait for their victims to come and make an entrance to their own nightmare.
"It's not easy to do," said Darrell Wagner, creator of Dr. Slaughters. "But at the same time, when you see the kids, and you see what they're like, they're in here for the same reason we are: they're here to help the D.A.R.E program."
The performers in Dr. Slaughters are just regular kids from the community. There are children who are struggling with certain aspects in their lives and Wagner says participating in Dr. slaughters helps them out with those personal needs. He shared a story about one performer who had made a drastic change.
"She had probably been knocked down all her life and watched her come into the house as a frail person," said Wagner. "And see within the year of hanging with us, somebody walk out that stood up high that knew that hey had self-worth."
Wagner went on to explain this particular student had spent a sufficient amount of time at the haunted house to have earned a Dr. Slaughters hoodie. When they wore it they were able to become a celebrity in their high school because of how kids were able to associate her with the Dr. Slaughters haunted house.
Dr. Slaughters is open during different times of the year so if you are interested in attending an early show next year just follow them on Facebook. They are located in Idaho Falls at 680 1st st. right next to the bowling alley.