The Haunted Garage: A Halloween Wonderland

Keith Allen sits among his massive collection of
horror and Halloween items. He and his wife open
their Haunted Garage to the public every October
and raise money for the local MS Society.
By Matt Bayman
TIPP CITY
- Tipp City resident Keith Allen can boast the largest private collection of Halloween and horror memorabilia in the Northern Miami Valley and he’s happy share it with the public each October in the name of charity and fun.
The Haunted Garage, 7373 Bard Rd. in Tipp City, is located at the private home of Keith and wife Charlene and contains a sample of the couple’s collection that was started in Keith’s childhood and now includes almost 30 animatronics and a dozen battery powered props meant to thrill, chill and scare groups of visitors and individuals, not to mention a hearse and a haunted hot rod. The Haunted Garage also helps to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis and the local chapter of the MS Society through donations.
Located in the couple's garage, the collection and its many moving characters and props are controlled through a special panel that Keith operates while being fully dressed in one of his favorite costumes. The panel includes access to all corners of the garage and visual effects that can be triggered at any moment.
The Haunted Garage, in its eighth year, is open Friday and Saturday nights from
7-10 p.m. in October with extended hours on Beggar’s Night and by appointment by calling (937) 667-0121.

Moving monsters are just
one attraction at the charitable
Haunted Garage in Tipp City.
“We get a lot of groups like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, soccer teams and families that have come here year after year,” Keith said. “You can call a week, a day or even 15 minutes ahead of time and I’ll come out and get things ready for you.”
Some of the fun pieces include a life-size, moving Jason from Friday the 13th, an organ player with ghoulish manners, a winged demon and a moving Leather Face from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies that roars up his chainsaw in human-like manners, just to mention a few.
As visitors encircle the garage, many of the props will simply go into motion without Keith’s control, while others can be triggered at just the right moment.
A full demonstration of everything moving, speaking and lighting up in the garage at the same time is more thrilling than most haunted houses can offer in 2,000 square-feet of space and quite a site to see.
Over the years, Keith has become a master of telling the stories behind each of his collected pieces while also using them at just the right moments to scare the shoes off visitors.
The Haunted Garage is for all ages and Keith and Charlene cater scariness to the age of the visitor, but Keith said there have been adults that have ran out quicker than their children.
Many of the life-size items found in the Haunted Garage are limited edition pieces where only a few hundred or, at the most, a few thousand were ever made. Other items are homemade gags and props that Keith has pulled together over the years and the oldest piece is from when he was knee high when he used to put a fake centipede in his pockets for his mother wash.

“You never know what I’ll have around here,” he said.
Charlene, who is involved with fundraising for the local MS Society said visitors are not required to provide a donation, but that any money given will go directly to help local people with MS.
And, of course, each visitor to the Haunted Garage, even if it’s not Beggar’s Night, gets candy to take home.

“My two favorite things about this are scaring people and the candy,” Keith said.
When visiting, make sure and talk to Keith or Charlene about the entire set up’s history.
You may even learn that the Michael Meyers mask originally used in the first Halloween movie was actually a William Shatner Star Trek mask painted white.

“They were on a low budget and that’s how they came up with the mask,” Keith said.
This is only one of many stories and thrills to experience when visiting the Haunted Garage and the wonderful cause it was created to support.

1 comment:

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