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Haunted Schoolhouse and Haunted Laboratory celebrate 40 years of fear

2:48 PM, Oct 18, 2013   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: SLIDESHOW | Haunted Schoolhouse turns 40

Photo Gallery: SLIDESHOW | Haunted Laboratory 2013
Haunted Schoolhouse at 1300 Triplett Blvd. in Akron. Photo by Ryan Haidet, WKYC-TV.
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AKRON -- 40 years and still screaming.

Since its doors first creaked open in 1974, millions of people have braved the three floors of fright inside Akron's Haunted Schoolhouse.

PHOTOS | Haunted Schoolhouse celebrates 40 years of screams

But the monsters aren't only spending the 2013 Halloween season celebrating their 40-year milestone, they are also remembering the life of the man who started it all.

GUIDE | Halloween 2013

Don Johns, the owner and creator of the Schoolhouse and neighboring Haunted Laboratory, passed away after a brief illness in May.

Although he is gone, his spirit lives on throughout the haunted attractions.

PHOTOS | Inside Akron's Haunted Laboratory 2013

The current staff has scattered symbols of his memory throughout both haunted houses.

Flowers from his funeral are discretely placed in some of his favorite scenes.

His portrait hangs in a creepy library scene at the Laboratory.

His well-known saying, "Oh, geez" still echoes through the dark hallways every night by his longtime employees.

Keeping the tradition alive, his wife Cindy Johns is proud to dedicate this season in his honor.

The Haunted Schoolhouse is just one of three haunted attractions in the United States that have been open for 40 years -- and it's the only one to do so consecutively using the same building.

It features three floors of classic frights including a slew of new scares for 2013.

Before it became an annual autumn event, the Haunted Schoolhouse was actually a school building -- the Thomastown Elementary School, which was constructed in 1921.

In 1981, the four-story Guggenheim Airship Institute went up for sale, which the Johns family immediately purchased and transformed into the Haunted Laboratory.

The Haunted Laboratory puts scream seekers face-to-face with experiments that have gone terribly wrong. There's a twisted tunnel that will leave your head spinning, eye-popping 3-D effects and a pair of 10-foot tall Tesla coils that each zap the sky with 1.5 million volts of electricity.

The Schoolhouse and Laboratory have been haunting the top of the hill at 1300 Triplett Blvd. ever since.

Throughout recent years, the Schoolhouse and Laboratory have earned national recognition with several awards from AOL, Fangoria Magazine, HauntWorld Magazine and CityBlood.com. Most recently, HauntWorld  named the attractions as two of America's most influential haunted attractions in the industry.

The Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory are now open every Thursday through Sunday until Saturday, Nov. 2.

WKYC-TV

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