CHARLESTON, W.Va. For the past seven years, Lee Gordon has taken Halloween to a new level of scary. Now for the eighth year, he is excited as ever to do it all again.
Gordon runs the Haunted Barn across from Shawnee Estates in Winfield. It's open from 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. every Saturday through October, plus Saturday, Oct. 29.
Growing up, Gordon loved Halloween. He loved the idea of dressing up and going to Halloween parties. He would give parties a twist by doing a decorated walkthrough.
In high school, Gordon used to show horses. When he graduated, he began pursuing his other careers: dancing and hairstyling. All the while his old barn was sitting unused. So he combined the space with his love of Halloween and creative instincts to begin The Haunted Barn.
Lee and his friend Josh Harper began working on the Haunted Barn. When they started, it was only open one night a year to family and friends. Now that the barn is open to the general public, 300 to 500 people come every night.
Every year, Gordon's dancers from Lee's Studio of Dance help build sets, guide guests and act out characters in barn scenes. His family also volunteers, from his wife to his niece and nephew.
There's no overall theme each year, but Gordon says it either begins or ends with one. The rest of the barn is filled with other frights. Gordon and his crew create their own unique characters for it, but it always includes iconic movie characters, too, like Freddy, Jason and Jigsaw from "Saw."
The Haunted Barn is also a way for Lee's Studio of Dance to give back to the community. If you bring a can of food, you receive $1 off the $7 admission fee. Gordon says he does the drive with the event because everyone does food drives for Christmas and Thanksgiving gets left out.
Over the years, the Haunted Barn has become a Halloween destination in the area. If you're in the mood for a good scare, head out there - if you dare.