Get your fright on starting this Friday in El Dorado Hills

By: Laura Newell, Telegraph staff writer
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For locals this Halloween, going back to school has never been more frightening. This year, locals will get a schooling twist on the haunted house experience when visiting the 2,700-square-foot abandoned Afterlife High. The haunted high school will be located in the “New Orleans” building of Town Center, near Target and the Regal Movie Theater, just off Highway 50 in El Dorado Hills. The building meant to fright, was recreated by a team of more than 25 volunteers including five teen teams, who spent three months designing, building and decorating the venue and moving props. Paranormal activity and visions of ghostly teachers hindered this year’s design efforts, joked Jennifer Bassett, founder and executive director. One of the team decorators said this year will provide even more spooks than last year’s haunted house. “This year will be a little different because there are more cramped corridors with more twists and turns. There are a lot of hidden corners with creepers to scare everyone,” said volunteer Alisa Smith, of Cameron Park. Last year’s Hands4Hope “Haunted Ghost Town” brought in more than 3,500 children and adults from throughout the region. The popular event is a major fundraiser for Hands4Hope-Youth Making a Difference program and will be fun for all ages, Smith said. She said there are two separate walk-through options, one scarier for those ready to jump and scream and another that’s less frightening. The less frightening option will be guided through the Haunted High School by a fairy that will use her magic wand to make all the spooks go away, said Smith. There also will be a special exit for guests who want to “cut class” before the gorier or more frightening parts. “This is so much fun every year and there is such a great atmosphere in town center,” Smith said. “I love Halloween — it is so much fun to help put this haunted house experience together for everyone. What else would you want to do in October other than to visit a haunted house — everyone needs to try it at least once.” All proceeds benefit Hands4Hope-Youth Making a Difference, a non-profit youth driven outreach organization, based in El Dorado Hills. The organization is comprised of youth volunteers ranging in age from kindergarten through 12th grade, Bassett said. This year will also include a special Premiere Dinner and Costume Party fundraiser event on Oct. 13 at Mercedes Benz of El Dorado Hills. The Hands 4 Hope Haunted House will be at Town Center Friday through Sunday evenings, Oct. 12-31. Hours are from 6 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturdays, and from 5 to 8 p.m. on Sundays. On Halloween night, it will be open from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $9 and can be purchased at the door. For more information on the Haunted House and the fundraiser, visit ----- KNOW AND GO What: Hands 4 Hope Haunted House When: Friday through Sunday evenings, Oct. 12-31 Where: Town Center in El Dorado Hills Cost: $9 Information: