Local family's ‘Haunted Barn’ has charitable motives

By Jennifer Coe - ReminderNews
Suffield - posted Thu., Oct. 27, 2011
The McCuskers have decked out their barn and surrounding grounds in the scariest ways possible. Photos by Jennifer Coe.
The McCuskers have decked out their barn and surrounding grounds in the scariest ways possible. Photos by Jennifer Coe.

If you drove down Ratley Road in West Suffield the weekend of Oct. 21-22, you might have heard ghoulish sounds emanating from a barn owned by Brian and Sheila McCusker, who annually open up their “Haunted Barn” to local residents to raise money for Suffield public schools.

The barn sits on their property all year long, and Sheila McCusker said this year they almost did not open it up to the public for the pre-Halloween tradition. The elaborate undertaking, to get all the “cadavers” and flashing lights up to snuff, takes a lot of work for Brian and his neighbor, Dave.

Sheila said that the attraction all began as a small haunted house for their three children, now 13, 12 and 6. But, eventually the project turned into a full-fledged, town-wide destination, with all proceeds going to the Suffield Parent Teacher Advisory Council.

“We started doing this for our kids,” said Sheila. “It started out small,” she added, and then they began purchasing items at Job Lot. Eventually, their decorations went professional, and many of the animatronic creatures throughout the barn are truly frightening.

The McCuskers also donated one full day’s proceeds this year to Suffield Emergency Aid Association.


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