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Haunted Hometown Hero

Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 5:56 PM EDT
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IRONTON, Ohio (WSAZ) - A haunted house in Ironton hosted a special event for kids who don’t always get to take in Halloween traditions.

Lover of all things spooky, Larry Wilson and his wife Kayla began elaborately decorating their home for Halloween a few years ago.

“We’re here for screams and scares and a good time,” Wilson said.

This year, he’s evolved and created a haunted house in his front yard.

“It’s our home,” Wilson said. “We love doing this. We love giving to the community.”

It’s open Friday and Saturday nights in October, and it’s free.

“We’ve had crowds down to the very end of the block,” he said.

Wilson’s 14-year-old son Aiden has autism, and Larry recognized an absence of Halloween attractions suitable for kids like his son.

“He loves Halloween, and he could never do a haunted house,” Wilson said. “There’s no way he could, and there are a lot of kids like that who can’t as well.”

On Saturday, Oct. 16, he toned down his haunt and hosted an autism-friendly version. More than 50 kids showed up.

“It was during the day,” he said. “The lights were down, no flashing lights, no loud music, no scary actors, and the kids absolutely loved it.”

The reaction from the kids and the parents is proof fear isn’t the only emotion Wilson knows how to bring out.

“We’ve got pictures of them cheering and jumping, just the smiles they had were remarkable,” Wilson said, “and there were a lot of tears from a lot of parents and us too.”

Wilson’s generosity has earned him the Halloween-weekend edition of the WSAZ Hometown Hero award.

Wilson plans to hold another autism-friendly event next year.

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