Press-Republican

October 19, 2013

Haunted Barn attraction destroyed by fire

By FELICIA KRIEG
Press-Republican

---- — CADYVILLE — A fire has put an end, for now, to the eight-year tradition of the Hardscrabble Haunted Barn.

”We were able to save, I know this sounds terrible but, a couple totes of a cauldron of (fake) body parts and bones and skulls,” said Amy Aubin, who with Shanna Davis organized the event for locals looking for a Halloween scare.

Proceeds from the $4 ticket sales at the Haunted Barn, located at 508 Hardscrabble Road, went to area animal shelters, and those who brought a non-perishable food item for food shelves received 50 percent off their admission, Aubin said.

Aubin said her fiance, Jim Rundall, was riding an all-terrain vehicle through the fields of the property, bringing back equipment to install a fence from her other barn, when he spotted the fire. He yelled to Aubin and Davis, who were actually in the barn, cleaning stalls before bringing the two horses in for the night.

They hadn’t realized it was on fire, she said.

“When I pulled up on the scene ... there was heavy fire coming from the back of the barn,” Cadyville Volunteer Fire Department Chief James Favaro said.

Aubin’s home, which stands about 200 feet away from the barn, was not damaged, he said.

And luckily, Aubin said, no one was injured, and horses were still in the pasture when the blaze ignited.

NINE DEPARTMENTS

Aubin said she is grateful to the firefighters who worked together to extinguish the flames.

“They were absolutely, positively amazing.”

Aiding Cadyville firefighters were departments from Morrisonville, Saranac, Dannemora, Peru, Beekmantown, South Plattsburgh, District 3 and Cumberland Head, Favaro said.

The cause was undetermined, Favaro said on Thursday, adding that the structure did have electrical service.

‘A DISAPPOINTMENT’

Aubin said she had already received a card from a family expressing their sympathy for the loss of the barn.

They wrote they would miss the attraction, which they had attended for the past five years.

Last year, 320 people traveled through the barn, led by tour guides, Aubin said.

About 50 of Aubin’s friends would volunteer to act as zombies, dead brides and scary clowns, among other characters.

“It changes every year,” she said of the Halloween props volunteers used to frighten attendees.

“We had a guillotine, we had a drop ceiling, we had a giant birdcage that we built,” she said. “I’ve done several different coffins and mummies.”

The only other item salvaged after the fire, she said, was a piece of artwork hand-painted by a friend.

“It’s a picture of Shanna Davis done very eerily.”

‘HOPE TO REBUILD’

Today, instead of putting on the spooky show, some of Aubin’s friends are going to help her build a small barn for her horses.

On Friday, Ron Marx, owner of Cedar Knoll Log Homes in Plattsburgh, donated all the wood Aubin will need to build the barn, Aubin said.

“It was one of the nicest things anybody has ever done.”

She hopes to have the Hardscrabble Haunted Barn up and running for next year’s Halloween season.

“We’re working with the insurance company now,” Aubin said. “We’re hoping to have everything taken care of.”

Email Felicia Krieg: fkrieg@pressrepublican.comTwitter: @FeliciaKrieg