Janss Marketplace’s Haunted House Helps

116rotA little fright can do us all good, particularly when that fear comes in the form of the Janss Marketplace Reign of Terror Haunted House. This year, the center donated an impressive $18,000 to charity. Last year’s total was a little over $10,000.

Over the past five years, the center has brought together the community to make this a project of love for everyone involved. Janss Marketplace donates the space for the haunted house and all proceeds from entrance fees. The house’s all-volunteer staff includes tons of ghosts, goblins, vampires and, well, hosts and ticket takers, but it also includes haunted room set designer and founder Bruce Stanton, who oversees the frights.

The donations, which have totaled over $60,000 in the past five years, go to the Conejo Recreation and Park District. They help support District’s Thousand Oaks Teen Center, Young Artists Ensemble programs and the Conejo Theatre for Everyone, which gives special needs youth the opportunity to perform. Jim Friedl, general manager of the Conejo Recreation and Park District, said “The annual donation is a significant contribution for our programs.”

Reign of Terror has an interesting background. For 14 years, it was held in Bruce Stanton’s house. Stanton credits Heather Danko, Director of Marketing for NewMark Merril for coming up with a plan to save the haunted house when neighborhood traffic threatened to overwhelm it and shut it down. She contacted Stanon and arranged for NewMark Merril to donate a 12,000 square foot space at Janss Marketplace to dedicated to the spooky holiday attraction.

The rest, as they say, is history.

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