A national magazine ranks two Lee County haunted houses in the top three of all such attractions in South Carolina.
Kreepy Hollow, owned and operated by Benji Sims, was rated the No. 1 haunted house in South Carolina by www.hauntworld.com. Kreepy Hollow began in 2006, and features a bus ride and a hay ride along with the traditional haunted house.
Scream Acres, owned by Bobby Hasibar, was ranked third in South Carolina, falling just behind Blacksburg's Fear Farm for the No. 2 spot in the rankings. Scream Acres is the area's longest running haunted house, going strong for more than 15 years.
Cedar Creek Haunted House and Maze, established in 2006 by Derrick Brown, is a smaller, less expensive attraction. Still, as many as 200 people visit the Cedar Creek attraction on a good night, Brown said.
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"I've had several people tell me that we are more of an old-school haunted house," Brown said. "We don't have all the bells and whistles as the others, but when you come out of our house, you're going to be scared."
Brown said a couple of rooms have been changed for 2013, and the maze will be longer than in previous years.
Lee County's haunted houses are all in the Cedar Creek-Lucknow area of the county and within five miles of each other.
Benji Sims, owner of Kreepy Hollow, said several improvements have been made to his haunted house, hayride and bus ride.
"We have added something to our hayride which we call the Locker," Sims said. "We will have an actor who will float above the (hayride) trailer. And we will have a Hollywood actress who will be with us on Oct. 18-19."
Bobby Hasibar, owner of Scream Acres, said as many as 1,200 customers visit Scream Acres on a good night.
"We have enlarged our parking area," Hasibar said, "so we hope that no one will have to park on the side of the road. We've also added a new slaughter barn on the hayride. And we're going to have a souvenir shop this year. We'll have T-shirts and other items for sale. And of course, we've made some changes inside the house."
Any revenue made in 2013 will go into the maintenance and oversight of Scream Acres and to two families identified by Hasibar who are in need of financial support.
"We know who we're going to help this year," he said. "We are not going to make their names public. But they both have had major medical problems and are in need of help."