YouthBuild Students Help Bring Horror to YWCA

Warning: The following Building Futures blog post may cause increased heart rates, nightmares and cause the heebie-jeebies! PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK! This blog is not for the faint of heart!

Apocalypse Haunted is an attraction at the YWCA of Alton located at 304 E. 3RD ST. In Alton, Illinois.

The Apocalypse Haunted Attraction is at the YWCA of Alton located at 304 E. 3RD ST. In Alton, Illinois.

Hello all, I welcome you to engage in frightening and spine tingling Building Futures YouthBuild AmeriCorps News!

Imagine this… The end of the world as we know it has come. There is no escape from the horrors and destruction. This new world is teeming with corroded souls both dead and alive. Survival is now a daily struggle. There is one place rumored to exist, a haven, where shelter can be found: the Apocalypse Hunted Attraction. But, beware, a smiling face is not always as it seems…

The Apocalypse boasts 15,000 square feet of pure terror, including the insane and rotting corpses. I dare you to pit your wits and your very life against the adrenaline rush that is… The Apocalypse. The end has begun…


Pretty scary intro huh? Ya I thought so, too. I don’t know about you but I personally started getting goose bumps as I was writing this. So, I can only imagine how you feel! I’m sorry for the scare, and I promise to tone it down, so we can get through this post. Scout’s honor!

As we quickly approach October, my favorite time of the year, the leaves are beginning to change, days are becoming shorter, and nights are more crisp. But, it’s not my favorite time of the year due to the changing of seasons! Nooooooo! It’s my favorite time of the year because of Halloween.

Halloween is the time of the year where all things spooky and crawling are celebrated. During the month of October, adults and children alike attend Halloween parties, wear costumes and embody the personas of the characters they are dressed as. October is just an all-around great time for everyone.

The face of terror: a child experiencing Apocalypse last year. Photo courtesy YWCA

The face of terror: a child experiencing Apocalypse last year. Photo courtesy YWCA

What makes a place scary? If it is the shear amount of unexplained paranormal activity, then Alton, Illinois, may be one of the scariest destinations you will ever have the misfortune to visit. If you are born and raised here, a transplant, or even the least bit familiar with Alton, you know that Alton is rumored to be one of the most haunted places on earth. Alton’s list of haunted sites include, but are far from limited to, the First Unitarian Church, the Mineral Springs Hotel, the very first state prison in Illinois (a civil war prison) and the Alton YWCA.

The YWCA of Alton is an AmeriCorps service project partner for Building Futures and has utilized the skills of our members on many different occasions. In recent years, the YWCA has experienced much paranormal activity and has even captured ghostly figures in pictures discovered by the St. Louis Paranormal Research Society. Building on their paranormal activity the YWCA hosts a haunted house yearly for the Alton community called the Apocalypse.

This photo is from the first year the YMCA held Apocalypse in 2013. Photo courtesy of YMCA

This photo is from the first year the YWCA held Apocalypse in 2013. Photo courtesy of YWCA

I know what you’re thinking the YWCA really? How scary can it really be? But I took my children last year, and I was honestly impressed! It was much more than I ever expected it to be! But, I digress… What does all this scary stuff have to do with YouthBuild anyway?

The YWCA called upon your Building Futures members to assist with the setup of the Apocalypse haunted house. Eight Building Futures members have been helping a local production team, Come Closer Productions, to put the finishing touches on the haunted attraction at the YWCA. Building Futures helped with light construction, moving, clean-up and special effects review in almost all of terror-filled paths on the second floor of the facility. One Building Futures member, Condrell Dunlap, summed up the general feeling of the group, when he said, “It’s going to be so much fun, it’s scary.”

YWCA Executive Director, Andrea Lamer, said:

“Building Futures is a valued partner of the YWCA, and we are so glad to have their help in preparing for the 2015 haunted house. It helps the production team prepare, and gives students a chance to explore a whole new area of work with special effects and construction of attractions. Since, a large portion of the haunt proceeds are donated to support the YWCA after school programs, we truly appreciate the help.”

Members of Building Futures have been invited back to donate blood at the ARC Bad People do Good Things Blood Drive on October 3 from 2-6 p.m. and then experience an unforgettably scary tour through the apocalypse. You can also join Building Futures at the Apocalypse.

The End is about to begin, and you can catch this PG-13 attraction every Friday and Saturday evening from September 25 through October 31. The haunt team is dying to eat, I mean, meet you. 😉

Recommended for guests 12 years of age and older. The Apocalypse Haunted Attraction at the YWCA of Alton is located at 304 E. 3RD ST. In Alton Ilinois.

To obtain your tickets contact the YWCA (618) 465-7774 or email You can also purchase tickets at the Apocalypse web site.

Tickets are $16 for adults (13 years of age and over) and $10 for ages 12 and under. And, all proceeds go to a good cause, your local YWCA!

Until the next time, signing off with Happy Halloween wishes! Booooooooooooooo!

Pat Mays
YouthBuild Coordinator

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?”
– Dr. Martin Luther King.



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