New haunt hits Christiansburg
CHRISTIANSBURG — Like many young men, Timmy Humphries has long had a clear vision of his dream house.
For Humphries, however, that dream has almost always included bringing nightmares of others to life.
Starting on Friday, the 23-year-old is inviting the public to his housewarming party, as he plans to open his 10,000-square-foot haunted attraction in Christiansburg, officially titled the Gallows Foundry of Fear.
The 27-room venue features a variety of different terrors, each unraveling another layer of the legends of the bizarre rituals and rumored massacre of the Woodson family. According to Humphries’ tale, the family disappeared in 1979, but the next generation of Woodsons recently resurfaced to continue their terrifying ways.
While the attraction is new, the practice of frightening people has long been in Humphries’ wheelhouse.
“I was always the kid jumping out of the bushes, just scaring people,” Humphries said.
After graduating from Christiansburg High School in 2007, Humphries moved to Charlotte where he began to work for Morris Costumes, a North Carolina-based company that specializes in costumes, props and stage products for TV, movies and theme parks.
The company also operates Dr. Evil’s Haunted Houses, which according to its website, is an “8 different walk-through haunted house attraction.”
Humphries said it was while working at the attraction and seeing the large turnout of customers each night that he first began to think of the business potential of haunted houses.
Humphries returned to Christiansburg where he spent the next few years working for his family’s business, AAMCO transmissions in Blacksburg and Roanoke. He also assisted with various haunted houses in the area, where he was always planning how he would run his own.
Humphries finally got his break earlier this year when he learned the back half of the Weiman Upholstery furniture factory in Christiansburg was available for rent. In April, he signed the lease and went to work.
“Since April 1, I’ve literally been here every day,” Humphries said.
Humphries said he took the next three months off from his day job in order to focus on his house, and said those days often consisted of 14-hour work sessions in the factory.
Unlike many other haunted attractions, Humphries had to build each and every wall of his house. While time-consuming, he said he believes this feature is what makes his haunt stand out from others.
“I don’t have prestructured walls, so I can build to get the best scare,” Humphries said.
From gruesome operating rooms and spooky cemetery scenes to creepy bugs to clowns, Humphries said he has attempted to tap into every type of fear possible in the roughly 25 minutes it will take his guests to take the self-guided tour. He added that the tour shouldn’t be a problem for anyone from a physical stand point, as the entire house is handicap-accessible.
It’s not just the structure or elaborate decorating that will scare visitors. Humphries said each night the house will contain about 30 actors, which he warned will be very much within reach of their guests.
“There is no velvet rope. … You become part of the haunt,” Humphries said.
With just over six months of laboring complete, Humphries said his dream house is now officially ready for guests, however, he wants his guests to be fully prepared.
“You really are encountering a completely different world once you enter the doors,” Humphries said.
Gallows Foundry of Fear is located at 137 Warren St. in Christiansburg, just behind Weiman Upholstery and will be open every Friday and Saturday in October, as well as October 28 – 31. Hours are 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and admission is $12.
By Travis Williams
The Roanoke Times | 381-1643
The Gallows Foundry of Fear
The haunted house will team up with Feeding America on Oct. 28 for a night of “The Dead Feeding the Living.”
Visitors will receive $1 off admission for each nonperishable food item they donate, up to four items.
Oct. 29 is Student Night. Students with a valid high school or college ID will receive $4 off admission.
Oct. 30 is Blackout Night. Guests will travel through the attraction lit only by flashlights.
Souvlaki will be on site every night selling concessions.
When: Starting Friday, the house will be open, rain or shine, from 7 to 11 p.m. every Friday and Saturday. The house will be open Oct. 28-31 from 7 to 11 p.m.
More information: www.fearthegallows.com