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Harrison Group Turns Haunted Hobby into Business

HARRISON, N.Y. – What started as a single-night hobby in 1994 has since evolved into a weeks-long must-see attraction. A homegrown Harrison team launched The Haunt at Rocky Ledge in North White Plains into its second year in 2011 and now averages close to 400 customers on its best nights.

"Our hobby turned into a business," Harrison resident Rich Lamance said.

Lamance and a small crew of local residents started The Haunted Dead End in 1994 out of West Harrison native Tony Mancini's home. As its popularity rose, Lamance said, so did the team's commitment to organize one of the scariest haunted trails in Westchester County.

"We used to just dress up and walk around," Lamance said. "We never thought it would grow into something so big."

The Haunt at Rocky Ledge is now stationed at the Rocky Ledge Swimming Association in North While Plains and includes a walk through the woods, different haunting scenes, two haunted houses and a cornfield for residents to cautiously walk through. Residents line up as early as an hour before the gates open to assure their spots on the haunted trails.

The crew also hires SUNY Purchase students and even provides them with transportation to stock their large demand for actors throughout the attraction.

Now with a staff of over 50, The Haunt at Rocky Ledge opens on weekends between Oct. 14 and Halloween weekend and also hosts more kid-friendly events with children's days on Sundays.

"As long as people come and are supporting us, we're not going anywhere," Lamance said.

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