They scare because they care about others

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - This time of year haunted houses are everywhere. What about a haunted maze for you connoisseurs of terror?

The entry sign says "Dead Zone". What it ought to say is "Abandon all hope ye who enter here". But hope is what makes this haunted maze so important.

The maze is located in Jessie Warren's back yard. It's nearly a thousand feet long.

"There are 22 rooms, I don't know how many hallways and it takes about 60 - 80 people to run this maze."

Because of the length of the maze, Warren told me he had to get up on the roof of his house to lay it out. He can't do it in his head or on paper he said. "I need to see it."

And those people all volunteer, lots of relatives and friends pitch in to provide the fright for the 10 days leading up to Halloween.

Why do this every year? Warren is in an ongoing battle against cancer. But the money he makes isn't for himself.

"I've dealt with cancer for the last 8/9 years. I know people that can afford to go to hospitals and some can't. For family members that gotta rent a motel room and can't really afford it. I do this to help somebody and I make sure they try to get the help they really need. We scare for the Care."

In the past Warren says the funds have been used to help people offset motel and travel bills associated with out of town doctor visits. This year the funds will go to help a Lake City man recently diagnosed with cancer.

A maze this big takes a lot of help. When I was visiting the maze a crowd was beginning to gather to find out about their assignments.

Warren, "They're family, they're friends. They volunteer their time, their effort, to help somebody in need."

The youngest participant is 5, the oldest 63. Warrens daughter, Amber Swain has been doing this for 11 years. She likes it for a couple of reasons.

"It's fun to watch people scream and run. It's fun to help people. We did one for a little boy that needed a heart transplant."

One of the really cool things about this maze is that it's made from stuff that Warren finds just laying around that he keeps from year to year and recycles into a new maze.

Warren, "Some people want it and some people throw it away and I just put it into a small box and make use out of it."

And the maze is really, really scary even in the twilight.

Warren, "During daylight it's alright to go through there but when it comes night time, I will not go through this by myself."

And he designed it. For a good cause.

Ready to be scared? You can visit the Haunted Maze at 1616 N. Kathleen Street in Jonesboro. It opens around 7 every evening and runs until 10 on weeknights. It closes on Friday and Saturday after the last person has ran screaming into the night.

The admission fee is $7 per person....Good Luck....You'll need it.

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