In 2001, Smyrna’s Jeff Griffin (also known as the “Halloween Guy”) decided to scare the community out of the goodness of his own heart, frightening both kids and adults who toured his very first, and very free, homemade haunted house. Now at 24 years old, and nine free haunted house tours later, Jeff’s teenage ambition has followed him into adulthood, where he’ll host his most epic haunted house tour yet.


In 2001, Smyrna’s Jeff Griffin (also known as the “Halloween Guy”) decided to scare the community out of the goodness of his own heart, frightening both kids and adults who toured his very first, and very free, homemade haunted house. Now at 24 years old, and nine free haunted house tours later, Jeff’s teenage ambition has followed him into adulthood, where he’ll host his most epic haunted house tour yet.

Jeff Griffin’s Fright Nights will be held at the Greater Clayton Smyrna Boys & Girls Club at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The event is free but donations are accepted. Proceeds will benefit Scares that Care, a Maryland-based nonprofit organization that provides money, toys and other items to help sick children.

House of terror
Jeff has a number of twisted ideas he’s bringing to the blood-splattered table for Fright Nights. Come Saturday, the Club, which he has never used as a haunted house before, will be decked out in horrific fashion, with the main attraction taking place in the gym.

Here’s how it works: The house will feature at least four rooms that will be sectioned off by makeshift walls. Upon entering each room, a light will shine upon the horrific attraction in each room, said Jeff, who’s funding the entire operation out of his own pocket and with funds from his grandfather, Bill.

IF YOU GO

WHAT Jeff Griffin’s Fright Nights

WHEN 6:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29

WHERE Greater Smyrna Clayton Boys & Girls Club, 240 E. Commerce Street, Smyrna 

COST Free; donations are accepted.

INFO facebook.com/jeffgriffinsfrightnights or call 465-6971

For instance, in the animal testing room, the light will shine on a creepy looking animal-like man who will appear to have mutated into an animal, as a result of an experiment gone terribly wrong. Moreover, each room will feature a terrifying character played by one of Jeff’s friends.

In addition to the animal testing room, guests will also experience an insane asylum that will showcase a mentally tortured inmate. Then there’s the toxic dump and butcher shop, which will feature the meat butcher from Hell and his – fake, yet chilling – circular saw.

Jeff’s grandfather, Bill, has helped his grandson decorate homemade haunted houses since the beginning, 10 years ago, in which the project originated in Bill’s yard then traveled to other locations throughout Smyrna. This year Bill has scared up some eerie signs for Jeff to display in the butcher shop.

“Instead of leg of lamb, we’re putting ‘leg of man,’” Bill said.

But there’s more to the house. In between the rooms, there will be real, dead-looking trees throughout the hallway area. This adds more eeriness to the tour. Also, on the outskirts of the haunted house, there will be a graveyard (with zombies that will arise from their tombstones to greet the living) and Camp Crystal Lake, featuring more large trees, inspired by “Friday the 13th.”

Fueling the fire
Despite joining the National Guard and getting married, the 24-year-old continues to service youth in the community who otherwise may not get to tour a haunted house at an amusement park, since some of them can be a bit pricey and it’s something “Smyrna people can’t afford,” said Jeff, who returned to the States last November after serving a year-long tour in Afghanistan. “What really gets me is you can’t go to any haunted house for free.”

Despite missing the opportunity to host his 10th consecutive Fright Night last year, Jeff’s happy to be back in business and show the community why he’s still “The Halloween Guy.”

“It really means a lot to me,” he said. “I want people to remember me.”