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October 24, 2013

Officials mum on scares in store

PLATTSBURGH — Rumor has it a vampire or two might show up at the Firefighters Haunted House this year.

But Keith Berg's lips are sealed tighter than a coffin bound by rusty chains and buried under a Transylvanian rockslide.

"I can't rule out anything," the Beekmantown firefighter said.

Since late September, volunteers have been readying space at the former Lake City Skate on Sharron Avenue for the annual spooky house, which raises fire-prevention funds for four volunteer fire departments: Beekmantown, Cumberland Head, Plattsburgh District 3 and South Plattsburgh.

New blood (insert evil laugh here) every year brings fresh ideas, Berg says.

But he won't give even the smallest hint about what terrors are in store.

"This year, pretty much everything is new," he said. "There are a couple of old favorites that never seem to go away, because people like them — but that's as far as I want to go."

COFFINS ON HAND

Those include a few grim reapers — tall, hulking figures like the dementors in "Harry Potter," earthbound versions of ringwraiths in "The Lord of the Rings." 

"A couple of our volunteers can't stand to be around them," Berg said, and they ask to be posted elsewhere. 

But have the Grims ever truly "reaped" any souls?

Berg, of course, wouldn't say.

"But we do happen to have a supply of coffins on hand."

'TREMENDOUS HOSPITALITY'

As many as 60 volunteers are helping out this year, every one of them vital because preparations got a late start, almost a month, in fact.

The building was sold and is slated to become a machine shop, Berg said, but fortunately the new owner, Phil Titherington, allowed them to use it this one last time.

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