Haunted Overload helps 'scare up' shelter money

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October is here, and that means it's time for Howl for the Animals, Cocheco Valley Humane Society's annual kick-off party for local attraction Haunted Overload. Haunted Overload, located at DeMeritt Hill Farm in Lee, NH, is a unique experience that combines live actors, special effects, and movie quality sets. Last year, the haunt was featured on ABC's "Great Halloween Fright Fight" and was the awarded the top prize of $50,000. Generous supporters of the shelter, Haunted Overload donated the prize money to Cocheco Valley Humane Society's capital campaign for a new building.

Howl for the Animals marks the opening weekend of the Haunted Overload season. Running from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17 at DeMeritt Hill Farm, Howl for the Animals provides guests with the special opportunity to trick-our-treat through the Haunted Overload day haunt. The day haunt allows guests to explore the haunt in the safety of daylight without the fear of special effects or live actors. For this special event, the haunt will feature non-scary actors passing out candy to trick-or-treaters. Guests are encouraged to come in costume and will also have the opportunity to decorate their own trick-or-treat bag prior to going into the haunt. The day haunt is Fido friendly, so be sure to bring every member of your family.

Admission to the Howl for the Animals trick-or-treat experience is $5 with all proceeds benefiting the animals at Cocheco Valley Humane Society. For slightly braver guests, Haunted Overload also offers Fright Night Lite several nights in October. Fright Night Lite features all the lights and special effects of the full show without the scares. Non-scary monsters are on hand to greet guests at the entrance but are not in the haunt itself. Fright Night Lite gives Halloween fans of all ages a chance to slow down and appreciate the artistry of the haunt. The full Haunted Overload show featuring actors and effects runs Fridays through Sundays for the last three weeks of October. Guest are strongly encouraged to purchase timed tickets ahead of time online at as evening shows often sell out.

No matter which show you attend - the day haunt, Fright Night Lite, or the full show - Haunted Overload donates 10% of their proceeds to Cocheco Valley Humane Society. Last year, their donation to CVHS totaled more than $19,000! Whether you're a horror fan or a scaredy cat, there's something everyone can enjoy at Haunted Overload. Plus, you can feel good knowing you're helping the shelter animals while enjoying Halloween!

Alaina Goodnough is the Promotions Coordinator at Cocheco Valley Humane Society in Dover, NH. She lives in Sanford, ME with two parrots, a cockatoo, a cat, a bearded dragon, and two dachshunds. She can be reached at CVHS at To learn more about Cocheco Valley Humane Society, go to or call 603-749-5322.

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