Duo in Ferrisburgh giving scares for a good cause

FERRISBURGH — Kathy Smith of Bolton and Michelle Livingstone of North Ferrisburgh have had a ball scaring the daylights out of people for the past five Halloweens. Each year, they have collaborated on a creative haunted house that has also scared up some cash for worthy causes, such as for Tropical Storm Irene recovery and for National Guard families.
This year is no different. The women and a cadre of around 40 helpers — including several Northlands Job Corps students — have established their latest, ghoulish estate, “Throckmorton Manor,” at the Van De Weert Farm adjacent to the Rokeby Museum off Route 7 in Ferrisburgh. Fees collected at the gate will benefit the two young daughters of the late Conrad Bell, a Vergennes man killed during a confrontation at a Ferrisburgh bonfire on July 27. Micayla Bell is 16 and her sister Cierra is 4.
It is particularly fitting that Throckmorton Manor is being staged at the Van De Weert Farm; that’s where Conrad once worked as a farmhand. Smith and Livingstone said the Van De Weert family was happy to open their property to the haunted house experience, during which customers will be taken on a hay ride to some tricked-out barns and a spooky forest.
Organizers don’t want to tip their hand on their scare tactics, but suffice it to say it packs some punch. Smith and Livingstone have accumulated a bunch of neat Halloween props over the years, and they and their families have made their share of faux gravestones, rickety fences and specialty items, such as stockades, battleaxes and a horse-drawn hearse.
“It’s for teens and adults,” Smith said, noting the chill factor. “We don’t recommend it for children under 13.
“There will be some things that are unexpected.”
Admission to Throckmorton Manor is $5, with the tour taking around 30 minutes. Smith was pleased to report that 188 people went through the gates (and all returned!) this past Saturday, the first night of operation. People will get their last opportunities to visit the haunted house this Friday, Oct. 26, and Saturday, Oct. 27. The gates open at 6 p.m. and stay open until all customers are served.
More information about Throckmorton Manor can be found at www.midnightfear.com.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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