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Madness Manor set to go up on Woodstock Square

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013 5:00 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013 11:19 p.m. CDT

WOODSTOCK – Woodstock residents planning to enjoy their last full weekend of summer on the Square will find workers putting up a 7,000-square-foot testament to the approaching fall season.

Family Alliance has elicited the help of volunteers all summer to build the Haunted Square, a haunted house that will be open from Sept. 27 to Nov. 2. The organization will unveil its work to the community this weekend, assembling the structure on the Square on Saturday and Sunday.

Family Alliance decided to move forward with the idea in the spring to give the growing organization a signature event, and in an effort to tie together the community for Halloween.

Heather Clark, Family Alliance development associate and volunteer coordinator, said the scope of the project has been a challenge, but community support has the organization on track for its Sept. 27 opening.

"It's been big, but it's been running well," Clark said. "We're going to have it up and have two weeks to play with it and make our last-minute changes."

A portion of proceeds will go toward renovations of the Old Courthouse, though Family Alliance hasn't said what percentage. Proceeds also will benefit Family Alliance, an adult wellness center that provides dayside care for the elderly.

The haunted house has been built as "Madness Manor," a depiction of Madigan Manor – a fictional, Victorian-style home built in the 1800s near Bull Valley.

Volunteers have worked off-site putting together about 400 4-by-8-foot plywood panels, reinforced by 2-by-4s, Clark said.

This weekend, if all goes as planned, Family Alliance, city representatives and volunteers will move the panels to the Square and assemble the haunted house.

"We built them kind of like puzzle pieces," Clark said.

How to help

To volunteer to help construct the haunted house, or to volunteer during its showing either as an actor or working the box office, call Heather Clark at 815-245-1123.

For information about the Haunted Square, visit or

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