EL PASO - Ghost, ghouls and goblins haunted the Boys & Girls Club of El Paso this Halloween in a free, frightful, family function thanks to the hard work of Fort Bliss soldiers and community volunteers.
The week’s worth of spooky decorating to transform the club into a haunted house paid off when the playful screams and laughter from local children filled the dark gymnasium.
Volunteers in creepy costumes sprung from every corner toward terrified teens and toddlers, as eerie music played in the background. Dim, flickering lights granted glimpses of ghastly grins on the frightened faces of almost every visitor who dared march through the masterful maze.
“We had an awesome haunted house this year,” said Erick Trevizo, the club director who helps set up the annual event. “Because of the amount of soldiers that came in [to volunteer], it really helped us out a lot to make it much better than last year.”
The group of about 30 soldiers from the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club and 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, dedicated their time before Halloween to make sure the children of the El Paso community had a safe, fun and terrifying evening.
In fact, much of the framework for the maze and a great deal of decorating was a result of the soldiers' efforts, said Trevizo.
“We wanted to do something that would build team spirit, but also help out the community,” said Staff Sgt. Michael E. Malawey, an infantry squad leader with 2nd Platoon, Company B, 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 3rd IBCT, 1st AD. “What better way to do that than to knock two birds out with one stone and volunteer together.”
The Haunted House was actually a part of a larger Halloween event called the Segundo Barrio Block Party, which aimed to give children a safe place downtown to spend their night. The block party featured areas to trick-or-treat, scary storytelling, costume contests, food and of course a haunted house.
“My kids always enjoy the haunted house,” said David Torres, an El Paso resident and father of two. “They got scared, but they enjoyed it.”
The blood curdling shrieks followed by immediate sounds of amusement by dozens of trick-or-treaters, including Torres’ children, were undeniable; the haunted house was a success.