Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Haunted house offers frights for a purpose


By Hilary Igl


A haunted house intended to stir up frights has a larger purpose than just spooking the community.

Starting in July, UW-Whitewater student Dustin Lang has been preparing for the sixth annual Lang Family House of Terror: a donation-based haunted house that Lang along with his brother and father host at their home in Oregon, Wisconsin.

All of the profits from the House of Terror are given to the Recovery Foundation, a non-profit organization out of Madison, Wisconsin helping recovering substance abusers who otherwise couldn’t afford help.

Lang’s brother Brandon Lang is a recovering addict, and the family wanted to give back to the organization.

It started off small, just family and friends were invited to walk through their set-up, but in 2006 it became something more. The Langs opened their decorated garage up to the public. Since then, it has expanded to their entire driveway, the garage, part of their house and– – new this year – their backyard and a portion of their neighbor’s backyard.

The House of Terror opened for the public Oct. 17.  Lang said he was amazed by the turn out from the opening weekend: more than 300 people attended and more than $1,000 in donations were collected.

“It was a dream come true,” Lang said. “It’s awesome to see everyone so excited about a haunted house.”

Lang said it is his family’s goal to have at least 1,000 people walk through their set-up.

Laura Attwood from Madison, who attended UW-Whitewater from 2004 to 2006, heard about the House of Terror on the news and went with her sister and brother-in-law on Oct. 24.

“There are some very important people in my life who were once affected by addiction so it absolutely seemed like a worthwhile cause to check out and support,” Attwood said. “I am super glad we did.”

Initially, the décor was paid for by Lang’s father, a Halloween enthusiast, but this year they decided to fundraise in order to make the walkthrough longer and more frightening.

They sold merchandise, hosted a formal dinner, held an auction with donated products from supporting businesses and sold brats at a food stand.

“We’ve really upped our game this year,” Lang said.

About 40 actors each night make the haunted house possible — all of them are volunteers.

Attwood said she was impressed by the actors’ abilities to carry over excitement into the long wait before entering the House of Terror.

“We were in line [for] probably 35 minutes, but the line was fine because they have staff interacting with you for photo opportunities [and] entertainment in line,” Attwood said. “Some of the funniest spooks I saw were people in line zoned out on their phone who had a zombie come up and yell ‘Boo!’ The people would jump eight feet because they weren’t expecting a fright [while] in line.”

Attwood admits she was on her phone and was a victim to one of those frights.

Lang said his family has put a lot of effort into creating a frightening experience for the community and encourage everyone to see what they have to offer.

“I hope that [participants] are impressed with this haunted house… and I hope that we spread the word about recovery.,” Lang said. “People do recover.”

The House of Terror will be open one more time this year on Halloween night from 7 to 10 p.m. There is no admission fee, however donations are encouraged to support the Recovery Foundation.

For more information about The Lang House of Terror visit their website:

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Founded 1901
Haunted house offers frights for a purpose