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A Nightmare Come True: Behind the Scenes of Iowa's Best Haunts

Every year in October, thousands of Iowans pay for tickets to stand in line, waiting to be scared. 

During this hour of Talk of Iowa, Ian Miller of The Slaughterhouse in Des Moines, Mark Fuller of Circle of Ash in Cedar Rapids, and Mark Turczynski of Skellington Manor in Rock Island, join host Charity Nebbe to talk about the care and keeping of Iowa's haunted houses. 

Miller says that he fell in love with the idea of haunted houses when he was a kid. 

"I always like to say it's a nightmare come true," he says about running a haunt. 

During this hour, we also talk about how haunts train actors and what kind of planning goes into a haunt during the off season. Fuller says that they have a training camp of sorts for the volunteers who work with Circle of Ash. 

"We host training days, which are generally about a month before we open. We talk about improv, development of characters, and emergency procedures. We tend to run our actors through the ringer on those days because we need them ready when we open," he explains. 

Lindsey Moon is IPR's Senior Digital Producer
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa