CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The 250 children who walked through the Cabin Creek Wellness Center's healthy haunted house in Malden this week left with a bag full of goodies and a belly full of healthy snacks.
The first-ever "Healthy Scare" haunted house promoted not only Cabin Creek Health System's newest wellness center on Malden Drive, but also healthy living, said James Tebow, a consultant for Cabin Creek Health Systems.
Kindergarten through fifth-grade students walked through the "haunted" house, which belonged to late Mayor John Hale and was built in 1835, Tebow said.
"Hale's ghost would be 110 years old," Tebow said.
When the school-age students entered the healthy haunted house, they walked through three dark rooms.
In the first room without lights, a headless body exposed the dangers of unhealthy topics such as drunken driving, bullying and smoking, Tebow said.
Kids then walked into the second dark room, which represented a morgue.
The third dark room had "live" zombies and television screens that showed sugary drinks, cell phones and computer games.
"They got the message that if they do these unhealthy things, that unhealthy things are dark and they lead to problems," Tebow said. "Some of them said, 'My mom smokes, my dad drinks alcohol.' There's an awareness, even at a kindergarten level, with issues in the home that relate to unhealthful practices. They understand. It really is quite surprising."
Then they walked into the light, Tebow said.