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Murray Journal

Happy haunts reach out to bereaved families

Oct 01, 2018 02:30PM ● By Jana Klopsch

The 5th Annual Halloween for Angels Art and Car Show brought out all sorts of spooks and hearses to raise funds for a good cause. (Photo courtesy Landrie Miller)

By Shaun Delliskave|s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

In a match made in Halloween heaven, Dead City Haunted House (5425 Vine St.) and Spoox Bootique (3453 S. State St.) joined their ghostly forces for a good cause to support the Rest in Peace Foundation. Dead City hosted the 5th Annual Halloween for Angels Art and Car Show Sept. 29 to raise funds for the foundation that supports grieving families who have lost a child.

“We opened Spoox Bootique because of our love for all things dark and mysterious. As we saw our business grow, we decided to turn to our loyal customers and local artists to help us throw a fundraiser for the foundation,” said Landrie Miller, who co-owns the boutique with her husband, Shane.

They created the Rest in Peace foundation after watching some friends and family suffer after losing a child. “We saw these families not only mourning the loss but now struggling to pay for all those things that come with end-of-life situations. It was absolutely heartbreaking,” noted Landrie.

“We then decided to dedicate our home haunt, which we had done for a few years at that point, to a friend who lost her son to suicide. We made fliers and advertised with social media for our haunt that year. We charged $5 to come through the haunt. We were able to raise just over $600 for the family and it helped to pay the remaining balance on the headstone.”

Word got around about the Rest in Peace Foundation, and when a group of automotive enthusiasts was trying to help a fellow club member whose daughter had died, they approached the foundation to see if they could help. The idea of a spooky car show was hatched and the foundation raised enough money to help the family pay for their daughter’s headstone.

“Every year since then, we gather local artists, vendors, creators, well, pretty much anyone who wants to support the cause, together for our annual fundraiser. Since we are a Halloween family, we base our fundraiser on this theme, including hearses and haunted houses. We bring in bounce houses, face painting, music and haunted houses for a family based event. It's all about the kids,” said Landrie.

The foundation needed a new site to hold the expanded fundraiser. The newly opened Dead City Haunted House stepped in and offered a perfect location. “We thought that donating the location for the event would be a great way to help support the community,” remarked Timothy Riggs, owner and founder of Dead City Haunted House.

Dead City has over 50 Haunted/Halloween themed rooms that patrons can walk through in the new haunted house. Patrons will encounter both automated animatronic and live-actor scares and effects throughout the event. The former Wagonmaster Restaurant has been outfitted with Halloween themes, which visitors can experience during the month of October.

“This year was amazing. We had a row of over a dozen personally owned hearses ranging in years. The oldest was a 1937 Packard hearse that is just the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. We also welcomed cars and motorcycles of all makes and models,” said Landrie. “We had tons of local artists and other vendors who mostly sell Halloween-related items. Our raffle drawing was full of unique donated items from all of our vendors and artists.”

The foundation works with a local mortuary to help pay for headstone costs, which can range from several hundred to thousands of dollars. The Millers feel overwhelmed at not being able to reach out to more grieving families. Email spooxbootique@gmail.com for more information regarding the Rest in Peace Foundation.