NewsPinellas County


Adults with developmental disabilities re-energized with creation of haunted house

parc haunted house.jpg
Posted at 10:17 AM, Oct 27, 2021

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — There are a lot of haunted houses around Tampa Bay, but one really stands out when you hear about the people who made it possible. It’s a group of men and women with developmental disabilities who have been working together all month to make this Halloween as spooky as possible.

This week, the participants of PARC threw around some last-minute blood splatter.

“We’re going to use it on the door and we’re going to make it bloody and dirty and nasty and icky,” said Chelsea Brown.

PARC stands for providing advocacy and recognizing capabilities, and it’s obvious these participants are capable of doing some real scaring this October.

"One hundred percent boost in confidence, self-worth,” said Rothey. “Every day we get together and plan the haunted house, come up with new ideas or create new props and actor roles.”

Each participant will be dressing up in their nightmare outfit of choice.

“I'm going to make people scared and the kids will have fun,” said participant Aime Wilson.

“And I told Brian Rothey I wanted to be a killer clown this year and he said, ‘absolutely,’” said Brown.

“One of the participants wanted to dress up as a bride and carry around dead flowers so she wants to be a dead bride,” said Rothey.

The haunted house is truly by PARC for PARC and is open Oct. 28-30 for participants, families and staff of the nonprofit organization.

“I love it, I think it's awesome, it gives everyone a chance to creatively express ourselves and show the community what we are capable of,” said staff member Rachel Springsteen.

“I'm super excited, I’m very nervous, but I was born ready to do it so let's get it done,” said Brown.

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