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Find Cheap Thrills in Area Haunted Yards

Toby Wrolson runs Haunt 31 out of his yard at 340 S. Annandale Drive in Lake in the Hills and Jim Haupert runs Halloween Town at 415 W. Parkview Terrace in Algonquin.

Creativity meets creepiness in two area "haunted yards" that have been opened up to the public in recent weeks. 

In Lake in the Hills, Toby Wrolson runs Haunt 31 out of his yard at 340 S. Annandale Drive. The outdoor haunted yard drew 10,000 people last October, Wrolson said.

As has been the case in year's past, Wrolson has stuck thousands of dollars into improvements and new props for his yard, which he allows residents to visit free of charge. 

"There is a new animated snake, changes to the barrel spitter props, some new tombstones, and the dungeon and garage walls were re-vamped," Wrolson said. In total, he will spend at least $7,000 this year on his yard. 

And if you have visited in year's past, don't expect the same-old thing. Wrolson has re-programmed all of his proper to offer something new. 

Wrolson opened his yard up to the public at the beginning of October and Haunt 31 will remain open through Oct. 31. Hours of operations (weather permitting) are dusk until 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and dusk until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

In Algonquin, Halloween Town has been up and running in Jim Haupert's yard at 415 W. Parkview Terrace. 

This is the sixth year Halloween Town has been in operation and last year, around 500 people visited Halloween Town.

"Being relatively new to this, I dont attract the big crowds and I think people enjoy that since they get to spend more time taking in the whole experience," Haupert said. 

What started as a small graveyard with a few skeleton lights has grown larger and more extravagant every year at Halloween Town. This year, Haupert has added some live actors on the weekend and has a couple new props, including an animated video screen. 

Halloween Town is open through Oct. 31 from dusk until 10 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday and 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. 

Both Haupert and Wrolson are a part of the Chicago Haunt Builders — a club for Halloween fanatics that get together to build yard decorations. Throughout the year, club members construct grave sites, mummies, zombies and witches to put in their yards each fall.

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