A local haunted house in Bismarck is celebrating 20 years this Halloween. This haunted house does more than just giving a scare, they help local students go to college.
Halloween has always been Tom Braun’s favorite holiday to celebrate. For as long as he can remember, he’s decorated for Halloween. The haunted house, Horror on Harmon, originated 20 years ago when Tom Braun began hosting it at his home. It quickly grew into a crowd his yard just couldn’t support.
“My yard wouldn’t take the amount of people we would get because we did it on Halloween night. We would get close or exceeding 1000 people in one night and Harmon Ave. has never seen that many people in one night,” says Tom Braun, the creator of horror on Harmon.
President of United Tribes Technical College, Leander McDonald, soon offered him space in an old hospital building on the UTTC campus. Although President McDonald has never been through the actual haunted house, he says the history behind the building the attraction is staged in, is enough to spook him.
“This is a old hospital. There are just certain rooms in there you just have an uneasy feeling,” says McDonald.
The old hospital was built in 1901 and is a part of the original campus of Fort Lincoln. What was once a one night event has now extended into a two night scare to accommodate crowds.
“When we saw this we thought it was a perfect opportunity for us. At the time, it had no electricity so we were will hammers and flash lights pulling nails out of the ceiling,” says Tom Braun.
All of the money raised from the haunted house is used as scholarship money for UTTC students.
“I think the main benefit has been the scholarships that have been raised through this work. Horror on Harmon has done a great job at doing that and has been progressive over the years,” says McDonald.
Chris Braun, the head supervisor of Horror on Harmon, has helped his dad with the haunted since he was four years old and says his favorite part is helping students. In 2019, Horror on Harmon raised close to $10,000 in scholarship money.
“We want to see people go to school, thats the main focus here, raising money for scholarships,” says Chris Braun.
This is the 5th year UTTC is hosting Horror on Harmon.
“We worked with our Health and Wellness Department and Safety and Security, and we’re doing everything we can to have a safe event and we’ve been working with the Horror on Harmon team as well as UTTC to make sure that happens,” says McDonald.
It takes about 20 minutes to walk through the entire attraction. There are about 14 differently themed rooms.
“So many people are scared of clowns and they don’t even look. Some people go in blind covering their eyes which is kind of humorous,” says Tom Braun.
The haunt will be October 29-30th 7 pm to 11pm. UTTC students get one free ticket to the haunted house but general admissions tickets cost $10.