ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Brian Wykoff grew up terrified of haunted houses.
Then, when he was 17, he rode one of those rickety dark rides at the fair. A few loud noises, maybe a skeleton or two.
And he loved it.
"That was it!" says the St. Pete man who now puts on one of the scariest homemade haunts in the bay area. "I wanted to do THAT!"
His annual Wykoff's Haunted House at 5082 67th Way N. in St. Petersburg is getting buzz as a must-see for local scream junkies.
"It took us about 3 to 4 months to build," says his fiancee Nickie Loveland. "We make it from scratch, just the two of us."
Because Brian feels for little kids who might be too scared, he can adjust his zombie-filled house for any age level.
He is happy to tame down frights if that means a whole family can enjoy it together.
If you need comparison, Wykoff's is not as scary as Busch Gardens' Howl-O-Scream, but definitely more intense than the zoo's Halloween event. There's some blood and guts, but nothing too gross.
The whole haunt takes about 15 minutes to go through, although lines can get long. There are also light concessions.
Brian and Nickie follow CDC guidelines for safety including mandatory face coverings, temperature checks and social distancing.
Part of proceeds will go to restaurant and bar workers in the area affected by the pandemic.
"Waiters, waitresses, bartenders," Brian says. "We're giving them straight cash."
Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for 13 and under. The haunt is open Wednesday to Sunday evenings until November 1.
For more information on the Wykoff's Haunted House, click here.