In 1987, Wanda Cassady and several other PTA volunteers needed a way to raise money for the Fallsburg Elementary School. Mrs. Cassady and her husband Bill Cassady had recently purchased a historic but yet sturdy building in the community, the old Oddfellows Lodge, which they thought would be perfect for a haunted house.
The first year was a success, bringing in nearly 200 people. People weren't accustomed to such an attraction, which is what brought on its quickly growing following. It’s amazing to look back now and see how far the Fallsburg Haunted House has come and see the creativeness of those that helped in the beginning. In 1987, there were no other attractions like it in the area to gather ideas from.
Years that followed brought the support from many non-profit groups in the area, including the Fallsburg Fire Department, Fallsburg Community Center, and various groups affiliated with the local school. It’s hard to say how much money was actually raised over the years from the efforts of all these volunteers. One thing is for certain, though; the fun times had by parents and kids alike will always be remembered those in this small town.
Around 2001, the haunt was taken to a new level by a few creative people wanting to raise money for the Lawrence County Girls Basketball Team and Storm Cassady Memorial Scholarship Fund. Bill Short, Tim Stevens, Karynn Branham, John Branham, Brian Cassady, Linda Cassady, are just a few of the people that helped shape the haunt into what it is today. With only a few how-to books and a well-developed storyline, this team turned Fallsburg Haunted House into the best haunt the area had ever seen. This same group kept raising the bar for the next few years as they added more key players, such as Kenny Chaney, Jason McCoy, and John Deboard just to name a few. The Fallsburg Haunted House (“FHH”) had now been branded as the best haunt in the tri-state area, and was bringing in nearly 2000 people per year. In 2006, however, busy lives and responsibilities caused this group to put the Fallsburg Haunted House on hold for two years.
After being out of operation for two years, a handful of the key players banded together to put on an excellent haunt in 2008. It was thought to be one of the better volunteer shows that had been put on at the FHH according to locals. After the 2008 season, the Fallsburg Haunted House was put on hold yet again.
In 2011, Brian Cassady, one of the original crew that ran the Fallsburg Haunted House, had purchased the property where the house stood. He often thought of turning this already known haunt into a commercial operation. After much thinking and debate, he decided to start resurrecting those that had helped him years before. The team also added Ken Akers, who had helped with another local haunt, and Mike Smith, a longtime friend of the group. Their dedication, creativeness, and business skills quickly proved to be a recipe for success. Plans were set in motion, and more than 35 paid employees were hired by the crew to put on the show. Brian Cassady saw that Facebook could be a valuable asset to communicate and grow the fan base, and began using it to bring in interest for the haunt through the Fallsburg Haunted House Facebook page. This Scare Crew beat out all prior attendance records by bringing in over 5000 paying customers. Employees and customer alike walked away happy, and a new dream was born of being not only the best local haunt but to take FHH to the national scene.
In the spring of 2012, the Scare Crew went to St. Louis to see what other national haunts were doing at TransWorld’s Halloween & Attractions Show, a convention for people that worked in the haunt industry. This trip proved to be more than enlightening, bringing back ideas and concepts the tri-state hadn’t seen before. Many new employees were added, including Bob Conley, Bill Hall, Randy Hall, Tyler Branham, Keshia Tussey, Caleb Farley, Sheree Butcher, and Josh Greene, making for a productive summer.
Zombie paintball attractions had just been started popping up the previous year, and the FHH became the ONLY haunt within hours, and one of less than twenty in the country, to offer such an attraction. Hell’s Wagon Paintball was installed in 2012, and this attraction allowed the small town haunt to get one step closer to breaking into the national scene. Innovative improvements in the haunted house and the addition of Hell’s Wagon Paintball doubled attendance from 5,000 in 2011 to nearly 10,000 customers in the 2012 season. Brian Cassady and the rest of the Scare Crew could see that they were on the verge of something big with the Fallsburg Haunted House and its multiple attractions. With a happy customer base and huge following on Facebook, the crew set forth to stay on course with more additions and improvements.
2013 was a very big year for the Fallsburg Haunted House, due to more additions to its attractions and a 60% increase in customer growth. An additional attraction was added that year, called Crazy Creek. Not only was this mew attraction a hit with customers, but it also allowed for thousands more customers to be moved through the attractions. On top of the additions, Hell’s Wagon Paintball was into a well oiled machine, running 240 happy customers per hour. The haunted house underwent extensive updates and renovations, keeping up with the idea that despite the new attractions, the haunted house was the main focus.
For the 2014 season, the Fallsburg Haunted House and all of the attractions with it was been rebranded as Fallsburg Fearplex, due to its ever increasing size. A 6000 square-foot building was added, housing two new attractions and is now the new site of the ticket booths to go with the idea of “MORE HAUNT, LESS WAIT IN 2014”. The two new attractions for the 2014 season were Backwoods Blackout and Appalachian Nightmare 3D, the first and last attractions that customers went through.
In 2015, the Fallsburg Fearplex brought back a fan favorite from year's past, the corn maze. Crazy Creek also underwent extensive changes, including updating the Fallsburg Mine and mine transport bus, and adding additional buildings in the shanty-town area. The entire upstairs of the haunted house was rebuilt, and Appalachian Nightmare 3D underwent numerous updates. Hell's Wagon Paintball was made it's own seperate attraction, allowing an option for customers that only wanted to shoot zombies, but not visit the other attractions."
In 2016, the Fallsburg Fearplex underwent some major changes to provide a better haunt experience for Fearplex fans. Hell's Wagon Paintball was discontinued as an attraction, and the resources from it put to better use in other attractions. It will also allow for a better flow of customers and cut down on line time between attractions. Construction at Backwoods Blackout and Appalachian Nightmare increased the size of the attraction by 75%, giving our Scare Crew more room to play in. The 2016 story video began planning in May, pre-production in July, and filming started in early August. The story video plans to return to the roots of the Fallsburg Fearplex and tell our fans the true terrors that has happened in Fallsburg over the years, showing the legends that have been told at the Fallsburg Haunted House since it's beginning in 1987.