Haunted house dishes out screams for a cause - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

Haunted house dishes out screams for a cause

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This Halloween, there's one haunted house in metro Atlanta that's meant to do more than just scare you.  At the Dark Harvest Haunted House, every scream helps support charities in DeKalb County while its organizer realizes a dream.

Creator Angelo Ritz says he's always loved haunted houses.  The Avondale Estates man organized his first one when he was just 9 years old in his family's living room.  Now, 40 years later, he's fighting cancer, and he realizes this may be one of his last haunted houses—so he's making it count.

For Ritz, a dream of screams is coming true.  But coordinating a haunted house takes much more than just strobes and a few black lights.  It takes a special spooky vision, dedication, and a whole lot of time.  

Since Ritz was diagnosed with cancer three years ago, time has been on his mind a lot.  He says he's been through five rounds of chemotherapy and a few rounds of radiation.  His cancer is inoperable, and he says eventually, he knows it will win.  

 "Every 6 months - it sort of crops up somewhere else, and each time it gets a little bit harder to get through," Ritz said.  "So that's why I think this was the year to make this happen. I'm physically able to do the work."

All of the proceeds from the Dark Harvest Haunted House benefit the Lifeline Animal Project, the South DeKalb Senior Center, and Academy Theatre's Youth Outreach Program.  Ritz calls this year's haunt his legacy.  

"I've had a few years I shouldn't have had," Ritz explained.  "And this is a way to give back to the community. Do something good for charities that will hopefully live beyond me."

Ritz says if he's not able to run the show next year, he has the right people in place to continue it for him.

The Dark Harvest Haunted House launches on October 26, and runs through Halloween.  It will be located next to the Academy Theatre.  Tickets are $10, and all of the proceeds go to the charities mentioned above.


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