By Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley, 15th Sustainment Brigade Public AffairsNovember 3, 2008
FORT HOOD, Texas - Children and parents smiled, somewhat nervously, at the sound of screams coming from within the darkened building. Couples held each other a little tighter as families ran out of the exits, shrieking and giggling at the same time. Even seasoned Soldiers admitted the scenes within were frighteningly fun.
49th Transportation Battalion and 15th Special Troops Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), each ran separate haunted houses open to Soldiers and family members for Halloween here.
263rd Maintenance Company and 565th Quartermaster Company created and operated their annual haunted house in their motor pool where they also sold sweets to raise money for their Family Readiness Groups Oct. 29 - Nov. 1.
"We started planning 45 days out," 1st Lt. Evelyn Ogwu, shop officer 263rd Main. Co. said.
"We let the Soldier's creativity run wild."
And wild it was.
A speaker outside the door was attached to a microphone inside, so newcomers heard the reactions of the group going through as they passed through pitch black rooms filled with fake blood, monsters, and strobe lights.
"Scaring people is always fun," said Pfc. Nobel Manguel, Avenger systems technician 263rd Main Co., one of the many Soldiers involved in creating and maintaining the haunted house.
"I got scared all the time working in there!"
Manguel wasn't the only one.
Nodia Parras, 7, daughter of 1st Sgt. Evaristl Parras, noncommissioned officer in charge, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, also had quite a fright.
"I went [through] just half of it because I got scared," she said, hugging her father's leg in line for baked goodies.
263rd and 565th had some ghoulish competition within the brigade, however.
Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 49th Transportation Battalion had their share of ghosts and goblins as well with their haunted house Oct. 30 - 31.
"Do you want to go through'" Spc. Tracy Riles, chaplain's assistant and one of the main coordinators asked in a low, eerie voice to a group of children with their parents as she prepared to open the haunted house's front door.
They muttered "Yes" and nodded.
"Is that your final answer'" she asked with a sinister hand gesture and tone.
"I went through twice and it scared me both times!" Lakesha Jackson a 49th Trans. family member exclaimed.
It wasn't just about scaring people though, as Jana Pearson mother of two young children and 49th family member explained.
"They got to do all kinds of crafts and got all kinds of free sugar," she said.
This was 49th HHD's first time to run a haunted house, and everyone agreed that it was frighteningly successful.