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Ohio Opens Haunted House for People in Sobriety

As we embark on the journey of life, there are few legendary combinations that we may come across if we are lucky. Some things just simply go together better when mixed with others than when dosed by their lonesome. Near the top of the list, of course, is peanut butter and jelly. Somewhere near there we might be able to spot coffee and cigarettes as a popular favorite amongst many. Yet, there is one lively combo that doesn’t get the credit that it deserves. We’re talking of course about fun and recovery.

Sure they’re both lovely concepts on their own but put the two together and now we’re really cooking. Fortunately, there are some bright candles out there that have done their math realizing that sobriety is at it’s best when you’re having fun doing it. Take that idea, throw in a holiday theme- and we have the perfect recipe for clean enjoyment. Distraction Haunted House was created just for that purpose.

Facing the facts: nobody wants to do something that they don’t enjoy. Recovery is so much more appealing when there is an element of lighthearted memories churned into it. Telling somebody they can be sober and have a blast doing so- that’s the spooky part for some.

Frightening Good Times   

In Perrysburg, Ohio there lies the fun-filled Frankenstein creation of Scott Francis. Scott is the co-owner of Distraction Haunted House where fellowship and Halloween meet for the month of October in a concoction of festivity filled thrills. This creepy amusement attraction has over 100 volunteers in recovery that are involved with the whole production.

Volunteers are called upon from Team Recovery and the Zepf Center to join in on creating the thrilling fright night spectacle. While some are put to work in the celebration of acting for increasing ticketed screaming pleasure, others put in their selfless time for the little ends and outs that are sometimes unrecognized. Some volunteers on this All Hallow’s Eve based event found themselves in charge of things like:

  • Prop Construction
  • Decoration
  • Makeup Detail
  • Ticket Promotion

These are just a few of the many details needed for the completion of this performance. Everything about Distraction Haunted House embodies some idea of positive reinforcement to the recovery community in one way or another. Even all the proceeds from the operation are to go back into addiction services. Everybody involved in the matter benefits from giving back or bringing friends and family in for a night of early winter fun.

people in halloween costumes


The greatest part about this elaborate witchcraft of selflessness is that it shows people that there are ways to have your cake and eat it too. Just like how there are no prejudices with Alcoholics Anonymous, neither is there with involvement in this spell-bound fabrication. It proves case and point that any sober person, regardless of clean time, can get in on some exciting action that fellowshipping provides. It always exists if we choose to look for it.

Matt Bell, the co-founder and president of Team Recovery, explained briefly that Distraction Haunted House is “one of the best things I’ve ever done in the social realm of my recovery.” He also went on to say, “Not only was it extremely fun and entertaining, it was a great way for my team members and I to get active and stay busy together in a safe, sober environment.”

To top off those words, it’s nice to note that Halloween is a much less controversial holiday since religion isn’t specifically involved. Some people who choose to relish in negativity and alcoholic thinking have a difficult time accepting the holiday spirit when it arrives. Misery loves company and there are always those that will act like Scrooge regardless of the holiday. Distraction Haunted House shows that we can pick the Charlie Brown Great Pumpkin Halloween over the threatening feel of an alcoholic Michael Myers based holiday.

Pumpkin Fun

Of course, the idea of Distraction Haunted House stems from practicing the 12 steps and entering some form of a fellowship. Through all of the above, we learn to become people having fun again. Yes, as active addicts and alcoholics we were people still, but we were shells of the human beings we had the potential to be. We were literally the skeletal ghosts that we use as the theme for the holiday. Talk about scary.

You see, it’s here in the rooms we learned that sobriety is not the figurative death sentence we thought it to be. It is here that you learn of the irrationality at hand in wondering why we couldn’t find this sort of fun while using and abusing. It is here that we learn of a new life without substances and the possibilities that life still has for us. You can think up the idea of sobriety, but to achieve it action has to be taken and patterns have to be broken. Actions like volunteering and patterns like selfishness are then adapted.

Obviously, without question, the substances have to be out of the picture- that’s the big no-brainer. Yet even with the substances gone, sobriety is still not guaranteed. The realness of fun in sobriety takes effort in order to create such a beautiful thing out of nothing, but it will be the best decision ever made.

Don’t Think Too Hard About It

Getting through the holidays can be a challenge for anybody in recovery- regardless of the sober time accumulated. Most of us need something to distract us from the ways that alcoholic thinking would like to celebrate the 31st. All it takes is a few more people trying to do the same thing and hope forever exists for these scary times. If you or a loved one is struggling with chemical dependency and are ready for help, please call 1-800-481-8457 or visit oarcstaging.wpengine.com. We are ready to give you any suggestions possible and set you or your loved one on a path that we can all be proud of.

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