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We would like to thank everyone who supported us the five scary years we were open.

Please enjoy the story of "The Dragon's Eye Haunted Barn" ....

 

2004 -- "THE DRAGON'S EYE" BEGINS...

It all started in late 2003 when Kelly's daughter, Krystle, needed to write up a business plan for her entrepreneurial class at NIACC.   She wanted to write one up on a horse business but instead Kelly suggested she do one on a Haunted House business since it was October and all thoughts were on Halloween at that time.    That would be something very unique and Kelly said she would help her put something together.    Krystle ended up getting an "A" on that fake business plan.     That was no surprise ..... Krystle always got "A's" on everything she did .... but what WAS a surprise was the overwhelming response she got over the whole idea.   ......and that's when we started to think ..... hmmmm, maybe this isn't such a crazy idea.  ?? ...might this be something people will want??

So Krystle and Kelly went to work planning a Haunted House FOR REAL.   They both researched the industry and found out what it would all entail.    Insurance, codes, laws, scare tactics, props, etc.    Once they got going, everybody said they were crazy.   Many friends said, "NOBODY is going to drive out in the country in the middle of nowhere in Hampton, Iowa to walk through your stupid haunted house.   They said you guys are going to put all your time and money into this thing and nobody is going to show up.    Kelly and Krystle really had no idea what they were doing aside from gathering a few prop building books and visiting a lot of haunted houses in the state.  

Well, first we need a name, Kelly thought.   She came up with the name "The Dragon's Eye" one day when she was mowing.  She always liked the name the place in Chicago had -- The Raven's Grin Inn ---and wanted something unique like that.     Then they saw lots of haunts had 'legends' that went with them so they came up with a legend that had five dragons in it to go along with the name of the haunt..... then they started thinking of ways to scare people.   -- but they seriously still had no clue how to build this stupid thing.

They flew by the seat of their pants and put something really neat together in hopes it would entertain people that chose to come see it.   The girls scrambled each and every night and sometimes only had 6 people show up to help.    Those actors would duck under walls and move from room to room trying to follow the guests to scare them since there wasn't enough people to go in every room.     They would panic every night they were open ...... it all started around 6pm ..... when people started calling in telling them they weren't coming to help ..... so the girls would get on the phone and call in all favors from everyone they knew -- PLEASE come help us scare people!!!      If they only ended up with 6 people ...... they did the best they could with who they had.

2004 ROCKED!   The Dragon's Eye Haunted Barn was born.  Kelly and Krystle were absolutely shocked that about 1,000 people came to visit the haunted barn over the 5 days they were  open that first year in 2004.    At the end of the season Kelly and Krystle congratulated themselves on a job well done, tore the maze down,  packed everything up, and started planning for the next year .... 

 

2005 -- "THE DRAGON'S REVENGE"

....but what could they do to change things up a bit?   They didn't like going to the same old haunted houses each year.  Those that never changed things up were boring.     Kelly decided they would NEVER be boring.    The Dragon's Eye has the ability to start from scratch every year since they were building from the ground up each time.      Kelly decided to give this year's haunt a theme that related back to the original name ....... and continue the "Legend"      2005 would be known as "The Dragon's Revenge."    The dragons were so mad that they've been locked up for an eternity that they have kidnapped many of our family and friends.  Kelly told people that they lost a lot of people who tried to walk through in 2004 ....they went in but never came out.     SO, this year we're going to open up ONE MORE YEAR to try to save these lost souls from the Dragon's Revenge .....

What a BLAST 2005 was!!!!   Since this was the SECOND year, word of mouth started spreading and crowds were a tiny bit bigger and there were a few more kids volunteer to come out and help.    There were still many nights of sheer panic when the girls would look around at their volunteers and count 10.    ....but there were 13 rooms to man.     ....and a ticket booth and the door and the concession stand.    Yikes!!    So, once again EVERYONE manned their phones and by 7pm ...... they managed to beg enough people to come out to help scare.

The number of days open were increased to 7 total in 2005 plus guests were asked to bring a can of food with them to donate to the food pantry and they could take $1 off their admission.   A lot of cans of food were raised for the local pantry and the group made a LOT of new friends.   Now there were actors coming in from all over Iowa to help.   

There was one unfortunate accident in 2005 ....... one of the overzealous adult actors (Tim M) accidentally knocked the big 'dragon's eye' off the door when he was trying to scare the crowd waiting in the main barn.     When the big eye fell off the door, it shattered in a hundred pieces ---- uh oh.     Little did Kelly know that was the best thing that could have happened.    A couple little boys in the line up yelled out --- OH NO!   The eye just fell!! That means all the dragon's can get out now!!!      Hmmmmmm........ they're right.   Little did they realize that they had a following and that original legend was known by all.       Removing that eye from the door at the end of the season was just what the gang needed to step into the next season ........

 

2006 -- "THE DRAGON'S RETURN"

......by 2006 rumors had spread that the Dragon's were released from the dungeon and now could walk freely among everyone outside the dungeon.    OH NO!    Now the mayhem and madness was not just contained INSIDE the barn .... but now guests would see monsters OUTSIDE in the fields and in the line up area.     This was EXACTLY what was needed to step up to the next level.    The Dragons RETURN .... and they're on the loose!!

Word quickly spread that The Dragon's Eye Haunted Barn was one scary place!    Kelly put together a promotional gimmick that year to see if the kids were telling the truth.  Many of the actors claimed they had made guests 'pee' their pants after jumping out of the dark and scaring them.   Kelly bought a bunch of t-shirts that said "I peed my pants in the Dragon's Eye Haunted Barn" and told the guests that if they would let her take a picture of their 'peetality, that they could have a free t-shirt.       The shirts didn't last for long.  At first the kids were shy and didn't know if they wanted their 'accidents' publicized but once they saw the neat shirts they would receive --- their modesty quickly flew out the window.     Peetalities were being posted on the website.  

2006 saw record numbers of guests.  Over 3,500 people walked through the dark, scary maze.  The number of volunteers were also increasing.  There were only a couple nights of the seven nights open that they had to call for back up help.   Most nights there were plenty of actors ...... and the more actors ...... the better the scares were.

 

2007 -- "THE DRAGON'S REIGN"

By 2007 the Dragon's Eye Haunted Barn had become a major contender in the Iowa Haunt Industry.    This haunt was quickly becoming known as one of the best haunts in Iowa.    For a fleeting moment, Kelly thought about maybe not opening during the 2007 season.   Krystle had now moved onto other interests so it was just Kelly at this point.   It was so much work to build this thing and then turn around a month later and tear it back down again.    But the outcry from the public was overwhelming.   So many people had begun to count on "The Dragon's Eye Haunted Barn" and the kids BEGGED Kelly to open up.    So with the help of many super friends (including the gang from Horrid Hollow pitching in) --- they opened for another year.   ....and this year Kelly bought DOUBLE the amount of free t-shirts to give to the peetality victims in exchange for posting their 'accidents' on the website.    

She also increased her promo budget and went all out with live remote broadcasts on THREE radio stations.   She knew getting the word out was the only way to increase traffice so what the heck --- why not.  If  they're going to go for it -- let's go all the way.     The word was spreading through local schools and the volunteers were exploding.  Now Kelly had to keep a list of kids who volunteered ahead of time because they actually had TOO MANY kids coming out and scaring.   

Kelly couldn't believe how this thing had grown so massive over just a period of 4 years.    Amazing.    Lines would sometimes be so long it would weave clear out to the road.     The wait could be over 2 hours on peak nights.    CRAZY!!    There were literally THOUSANDS of people coming to walk through this stupid horse barn from all over the midwest.    Some people were driving HOURS to get here because of what they were seeing on the internet and hearing from their friends.   

What had started in 2004 as a plain, simple cemetery set in one of the front horse runs had grown through 2007 into a massive electronic light show that would entertain people even if they didn't want to walk through the haunt itself.    People were coming to the farm bringing lawn chairs and sitting outside the haunt just watching the light show, eating dinner from the concession stand, drinking hot chocolate and listening to the screams of the people running out the exit.    They didn't have to walk through to be entertained.      Kelly also had started a room called the "Pumpkin Patch" where people with big families could drop their younger children while the older kids and mom and dad could walk through while the kids watched cartoons and colored.   That caught on VERY QUICKLY and the Pumpkin Patch was PACKED almost every night we were open.   Young and old sat in there.  There was no age limit.  There sometimes were 40 year old guys that were too scared to walk through by the time they got up to the entrance door and they opted to 'sit out' while their friends went without them.   

Yes.   The Dragon's did REIGN in 2007.    This haunt was a force to be reckoned with.  By the end of the season Kelly and Russ's arena was torn apart and their yard was emaciated.   That'll happen when there are THOUSANDS of cars coming in and out of the driveway and thousands of feet walking back and forth over the grass.    But it was well worth it.    Kelly and the rest of the Dragon's Eye gang met so many amazing people and made lasting friendships that no amount of damage can destroy those things.    If she had to do it all again --- she'd do it in a heartbeat.

 

2008 -- "THE DRAGON'S TAKE A HOLIDAY"

...and as that heart beats, 2008 was here.     There was no question Kelly was going to open up.   --- but she had exhausted just about every twist and angle she could with the name.  What would be their focus in 2008?   They needed something to make them stand out from all the other haunts in Iowa.     During their pizza pre-planning party in March, Kelly came up with an idea so off the wall that everyone thought ........ you know, this just might work.   This might be the exact thing they need to get the attention they wanted from all over the midwest.     That's when "The Dragon's Take a Holiday" was born.     They decided to take every beloved holiday that familie's celebrate and twist them into something disturbing.    The haunt featured the Evil Easter Bunny .... Santa Claws ... a deranged Tooth Fairy ..... Thanksgiving Terror ..... just to name a few.     There was no other haunt in Iowa that had the types of whacky scares that The Dragon's Eye Haunted Barn had.   

As expected, the crowds continued to EXPLODE.     Kelly was turning volunteers away because now some nights there were over FORTY volunteers.    There was a monster hiding in just about every corner PLUS they were scattered all over the place outside.    There were school bus loads and hay racks and car after car after car coming in droves.     Kelly had an idea to offer a FREE ADMISSION night in 2008 and asked the guests to please bring 3 cans of food each to get in that night.  They collected over 2,000 cans of food in one night.    It was amazing.   The monsters would seldom get a break because the lines were so long.  There were no more 'lulls' in the crowds like there were in the early years.   Once the doors were opened it was go, go, GO!  all night long.    They had some kids that would stay back in 'reserve' and would try to break out the other kids inside needing to get a drink or go to the bathroom.    It was seriously out of control.   

By 2008 the "I Peed My Pants" t-shirts were becoming collectors items and kids would drive in JUST to get one of those t-shirts.    They would drink lots of water right before getting there and then intentionally have an 'accident' inside so they could get their picture on the internet.   What was once before an embarrassing incident was now a badge of honor.    The kids couldn't wait to get their pictures on the website.    Kelly now had a full time photographer and a separate videographer roaming the haunt and the line up area snapping pics and taking video to later publish on the website.   

At the end of the 2008 season, the farm was once again completely trashed.    Garbage everywhere.    Cigarette butts all over the yard.    Grass worn down to nothing on the pathways that thousands of feet had traveled over the 7 days we were open.   The east driveway was torn up ..... the poor field was so torn up from hundreds of cars parking on it...... the horse barn and arena were a mess.    The clean up continued to be harder and harder each year as the crowds grew larger and larger.      This time it took several months to pick up the pieces after it was all over.  

--but again, the videos and pics that result from all the hard work and effort are priceless.    The smiles on all the people's faces who came to be scared cannot be duplicated.    That's what makes it all worthwhile.    That's what makes the clean up and damage tolerable.

2009 - The Dragons Go To The Movies ?

So you may be wondering ........ what happened in 2009?     Well, the kids all came together in March 2009 like they had for years prior to do their pre-planning party.     Since "The Dragon's Take a Holiday" went over so well spoofing Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny and other beloved characters, the kids all voted to theme the 2009 haunt "The Dragon's Go to the Movies."    

Ideas were thrown out on how to twist beloved movie and cartoon characters kids love.   Like turning Spongebob Squarepants into something evil and disgusting.    Winnie the Pooh would be one bear you will NEVER forget.   The Cat in the Hat and Thing One and Thing Two would leave the kids walking through our haunt with nightmares FOREVER.    ....and if you think clowns are scary ..... wait till you encounter the Teletubbies we have here ..... that carry GUNS!!!     Scooby Doo with rabies, Dora the Explorer Zombie, ....and the list goes on.

The kids were incredibly excited.  The maze was designed completely different just like every year before and all the rooms had it's own 'movie' theme.    Unfortunately, by the time fall arrived Kelly was having a lot of issues with her bad leg and both Kelly and Russ had just come off planning a huge Arabian Horse Show that had taken up so much of their time that they just didn't have the energy to begin building.     They also knew that this year the numbers were going to be even bigger than the years before.   They knew the crowds and the resulting damage to the farm would be overwhelming.......and the clean up would be massive.    ---so the very tough decision was made to not open in 2010.    "The Dragon's Go to the Movies" would have to wait.

2010 -- The Dragons Say Goodbye...

Everyone was incredibly disappointed that The Dragon's Eye Haunted Barn didn't open in 2009 but many were optimistic that this was a short break and Kelly would be back up and ready to go in 2010.    The horse show that Russ and Kelly managed over Labor Day Weekend continued to grow just as the Dragon's Eye Haunted Barn had over the years.    In the spring of 2010, Kelly needed to make a decision ...... something had to give.    Running both huge events back to back was just too much.     It was then that Kelly made the ultimate decision to shut down The Dragon's Eye Haunted Barn for good.    She called some of her haunted friends and offered her props to them as a donation to keep their haunts going strong.     There's not many props left out in the garage.    Everything has been passed onto others that will hopefully keep the smiles and screams coming for years and years in the future. 

So folks, that's the story of "The Dragon's Eye Haunted Barn."    Those of you that were lucky enough to experience a walk through the barn of terror will likely never forget it.    Some people screamed so much they can't remember anything they saw.  Some laughed so much they almost hyperventilated.     Some were unimpressed because when they walked through half the actors were outside at the concession stand getting hot dogs and pop and visiting with their friends, but such is life.     Trying to control a bunch of kids in costume is like herding cats.    They go where they want to go ..... and most of the time that's to food.     

 It doesn't matter what your experience ..... if you were just a guest passing through or an actor working inside or someone that just volunteered to come out and string cobwebs through a room one day.   Everyone has a unique memory they take away from the experience.    Everyone was somehow changed ..... hopefully for the better .... because of an idea a couple girls threw together in an old barn with some scary looking props years ago.    Lasting friendships were made.   Personalities were discovered.   Kids that were shy, broke out of their shell.   Teens that didn't seem to fit in anywhere finally fit in somewhere .... and found others that had their same interests.  Those that believed they weren't good at anything found out they were incredible at scaring people.    Adults were allowed to let go of all their problems and pretend to be someone else ... if only for one evening.    Good, honest, sincere smiles were captured on film.      ..... and just like Kelly was heard saying to many people going through the door into the haunt --- "It's ok to scream.  Really....It's ok.  Now's the time to let it all out.   There's no other place in the world that you can scream at the top of your lungs ....... and it's completely appropriate.   Let your troubles go, and scream until you can't scream anymore.    That's why we're here."   

The Dragon's Eye Haunted Barn.   It was a good thing.    Remember us always.

Even though you will likely never again experience Santa Claws carrying a chainsaw or a huge, evil Easter Bunny chasing you out in a field ...... we HIGHLY recommend our Dragon Fans check out these other haunts in Iowa and surrounding states so you can all get your Halloween Screams in and won't miss the holiday terror.     We will miss all your smiling faces.   Please tell those you visit that The Dragon's Eye sent you....

 CLICK HERE FOR OTHER HAUNTS IN THE AREA  

   

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The Dragon's Eye Participates in Local "Amazing Race" -- Click here for pics!!

 

What horror awaits those that dare enter this place of darkness and death?????

 Have YOU ever seen a REAL DRAGON??

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Did we REALLY scare you?!?

 

For the past 3 years, the DRAGONS gave away FREE T-shirts to those who got REALLY, REALLY scared in their lair.      …and by REALLY, REALLY scared …we mean those that actually peed their pants while inside the haunted barn!    

 
     
 

If our visitors allowed us to take a picture of the ‘peetality’,  we awarded them with a ‘special’ t-shirt

 
 

commemorating the event.

 
     
 

We gave away 30 t-shirts in the first two weekends in 2006 and in 2007 we gave away 40 in the first two weekends!! In 2008 we set a new record giving away over 30 t-shirts to those that peed their pants in ONE NIGHT!!   SO ..... if you have a bladder control issue, come early this season and maybe you'll get a free t-shirt!!

 
     

CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL OUR PEETALITIES FOR THE 2006-2008 SEASONS!

Can you say --“I PEED MY PANTS IN THE DRAGON’S EYE HAUNTED BARN!”

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THE MONSTERS DONATE TO LOCAL FOOD PANTRY IN 2008!

Another successful Halloween season has come and gone.    We saw record numbers on some nights and a couple slow nights when the winds were 40+ mph and snow was flying.   This is definitely a season we won't forget.    This is the first year we did a "free admission" night in an effort to raise cans of food for the local food pantry.   We raised over 2,000 cans-- a new record for one year for The Dragon's Eye.    Definitely something the community needed with the economy the way it is this year.   Thanks to all the volunteers in the community that helped at the Haunted Barn this season and made it possible to bring all that food to those in need!!

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THE MONSTERS DONATE TO LOCAL PROGRAMS IN 2007!

The monsters were out and about on Friday, November 2nd, handing out money to local programs.   This year we're supporting the CAL School in Latimer.   Pictured here from left are: KISS Creature, Amy Karg (Principal), Nick Brooks (aka Psycho Bob), Big Red Demon Guy, Skeletor, and Mr Insano (knealing).  

 Skeletor hands Nick and the CAL School a check for $1,000.00 to be used any way they see fit, from The Dragon's Eye Haunted Barn monsters.

 

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Our second stop of the day on Friday was the Franklin County Food Pantry.   The monsters dropped off 883 cans of food to give to needy families.   Pictured from left is Skeletor who is scaring Nola Johnson (head of the food pantry), Mr Insano (knealing), KISS Creature scaring Beulah Holmgaard, and Stuart Riggins being spooked by the Big Red Demon Guy.

 

MEET OUR MONSTERS!!    Updated 10/28/07 -- Click here to read more about our actors!!

     
 

 

The Dragon's Eye Haunted Barn monsters went on a field trip to Ames and visited the Ames Haunted Forest and then went over to the Jaycees Pirate Haunt in the mall.   There were 16 of us and boy did we have fun!!    We all screamed so much we were so tired on the trip home!!

From Left:  Witch from the Haunted Forest, Levi, Zach, Taylor, Brianna, Tracy, Taryn, McKenzie, Maggie, Rachel, Dalen, Kasi, Steve, Dani, Justin, and Kelly (Not Pictured: Russ who is taking the picture)

 
     

"THE PUMPKIN PATCH"

Have a large family?   Not all kids brave enough to walk through?

NO PROBLEM!!

We have a fun room called "The Pumpkin Patch" where those faint of heart can sit and wait for the rest of their families and friends.
 
*Color Books *Halloween Books
*Halloween Games
*Cartoon Movies Playing
*Lots of Pumpkins
**LOTS OF FUN**
 

   

Click here for More Pictures of the Dragon's Eye in the 4th of July Parade!!

   

CLICK HERE TO SEE PICTURES OF OUR 2007 PIZZA "PRE-PLANNING" PARTY

Click here to hear the 2006 Dragon's Eye Commercial!

 The Dragon's Eye Haunted Barn monsters bring over 1,000 cans of food to the Franklin County Food Pantry in 2006.   Pictured above is director Nola Johnson receiving the cans of food from Scarecrow, Wee Wee, and Dr Death.     Nola was sure happy to see us!!

The Monsters then travelled over to the Hampton-Dumont Community School and donated $1,000.00 to their program in 2006.  Pictured above is Dr Death; Joel Heuer (Liason Officer), Scarecrow, Dr. Lee Morrison (Superintendent), Trent Grundmeyer (Principal) and Wee Wee handing the principal the check.

 

 

Click on the picture above to see more pics of the Iowa Falls 4th of July Parade

   

Click on the picture above to see more pics of the Franklin County Parade

 
 

Click here to see pictures of our 2006 Pizza "Pre-Planning" Party

 

 we gave away a PS2 video system in 2005 to one lucky victim that attended The Dragon's Eye Haunted Barn.

Everyone had an opportunity to put their name in a drawing and Mrs. Lisa Plagge of Sheffield was our winner!!    Mrs. Plagge is a kindergarten teacher at Northside Elementary in Hampton.

Andromeda (one of the scariest of the five original dragons from the legend of "The Dragon's Eye") showed up at Northside Elementary to present Mrs. Plagge with her new game.

(Pictured at left: Mrs. Plagge & Andromeda)

   

Once again, The Wee Wee Man was seen out and about.   This time he showed up at the South Hamilton School to give the South Hamilton Foundation a check for $500 from The Dragon's Eye Haunted Barn.    All of the kids pictured helped in the haunted barn in 2005.   Pictured on the Bottom Row:   Isaac Hodnefield, James (Tyke) Clavin, Jessica Hodnefield, and Alexis Pruismann.    Second Row: Vanessa Roys, Superintendent Lyle Schwartz, Samantha Grohen, Principal Steve Gray, Bobbi Jacobs, Bethany Olsen, Caitlyn Cook.   (..and Bryce Rowe as Wee Wee Man).

(Pictured above: Mr. Kuehner & Wee Wee Man)

The 'Wee Wee Man' from the Dragon's Eye Haunted Barn showed up at the Hampton High School to donate $500.00 to  their music department taken from profits made in 2005.   

Click here to see other Iowa Haunts that "THE DRAGON'S EYE" recommends.....

Concessions and Restrooms on-site

 

 

 

 

 (**Not responsible for accidents, death, dismemberment, or disfigurement.    All will enter at their OWN RISK**)

For more information on how to sponsor this event - click here...  

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05/13/2010

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