NIAGARA FALLS — Most high school seniors give their time to soup kitchens or homeless shelters when school requires community service. But meeting requirements wasn’t good enough for Niagara Falls High School students Kali Lacey and Kyle Sortore.
No, when their government class informed them they needed to complete a certain number of hours of service in the community, they decided to organize their own haunted house – actually, a haunted trail – and open it up to the community.
“I was with my boyfriend walking around his back yard and we were talking about what we were going to do for Halloween,” Lacey said. “We came up with this idea.”
For a $3 admission fee, patrons can take a walk along their Fear Trail, located at 733 93rd St. She hosts the trail each Saturday this month, including tonight, from 6 to 10 p.m.
Every cent of the admission is donated directly to Community Missions of Niagara, the charity they chose to benefit.
And though the walk only takes about five minutes, Lacey said, don’t expect a cakewalk with little excitement. As a cosmetology student through the Orleans-Niagara Board of Cooperative Educational Services, she’s created some of the most gory, realistic characters in any of the area’s assortment of spooky attractions.
It’s a skill she’s proud of and wanted to showcase, especially the zombie makeup she creates for some of her actors – who are also donating their time to help the cause.
Proof of her work is available on the trail’s Facebook page, which features several photographs of her actors in various stages of makeup application.
“I’ve been into makeup and theatrics for a long time,” she said. “I’m really good with costume makeup ... the realistic zombie makeup. The wounds look incredibly real.”
While the trail is quietly building a fan base each Saturday, Lacey is hoping a Halloween night event can raise even more money for the mission. She’s calling it the Grand Blood Bath and it’s promising more scares, more actors and more fun at the same admission price.