"The Haunted Hotel was an idea we had last year to give something back to the community," said Col. Dennis Sullivan, 2nd Brigade Combat Team commander. "We wanted to do something fun for our Soldiers and Families, and open it up to the entire Fort Drum community, particularly the Families of our deployed brigades."

And as the daylight of Saturday was slowly replaced with a blanket of icy black night air, more than 150 volunteers crawled and crept into place, under darkness, bringing to life all that goes bump in the night.

"Some of these volunteers have been working for over two months to put on a first-class event for people of all ages," Sullivan said. "We took the old Fort Drum Inn … and transformed it into the Haunted Hotel."

Those attending said they enjoyed the opportunity to socialize with others at the event.

"We are having a really good time. It is nice to meet others outside of work in a relaxed atmosphere," said Pfc. David Morris, who is assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd BCT.

"This is a good opportunity to meet the Soldiers my husband works with as well as other members from our community," said Blakeley Morris.

While thrills and chills might have some participants all in goose bumps, others settled for something less spine tingling and walked their younger ghouls, ghosts and goblins through Alice in Zombie Land, an amazing maze of wonder and excitement.

Soldiers, Families and civilians who needed a break from all of the excitement could warm up inside the concession tents, where they could devour devilishly delicious treats sold by the battalion's family readiness group members and sample more than a dozen different types of chili brought in to be judged in this year's chili cook-off.

"I am excited and pleased to see all of these people sampling the different types of chili," said Sarah Cotter, FRG adviser for 210th Brigade Support Battalion. "We could not have done this without the volunteers; I am truly grateful for their help."

Members from the battalion's FRGs were not the only volunteers who made this event happen.

"The Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation staff has provided tremendous support for us, and we would not be able to do this, to this scale, without their resources and partnership," Sullivan said.

With the chill shaken from their bones and bellies filled to the gullet with frightful treats, spectators could finish off the night with a visit into Werewolf Woods that took the experience of the Haunted Hotel outside.

In the end, organizers declared the event a scary success. The command wished to thank all of the volunteers, FRG members and post agencies who helped to make the event possible.

Page last updated Wed November 14th, 2012 at 00:00