Jon Dawson: Two injured at adult-themed haunted house

Photo by Artem Saranin on

On Halloween, most parents spend $25 in gas driving their children around in $40 costumes to collect candy valued at $5. For many kids who are too old to trick or treat but still want to enjoy Halloween, their only option is the haunted house.

“My parents told me once I started shaving I couldn’t trick or treat anymore,” said Johnny Greenwood, 16, of Snow Hill. “Some friends told me about this adult-themed haunted house in La Grange, so we headed over there.”

When Greenwood and his friends arrived at Paulette’s Adult House of Horrors they were asked to sign a waiver at the front door.

“We thought signing the waiver was part of the haunted house shtick,” Greenwood said. “We all had a laugh and signed it.”

Once inside, Greenwood’s friend Dana Ashbrook says he realized why the owner of the haunted house – Paulette Burroughs, 39, of La Grange — made everyone sign a waiver.

“I’m no stranger to frightening situations,” Ashbrook said from his hospital room on Tuesday. “I’ve toured a slaughterhouse, interned for Katie Couric and gone without Wi-Fi for an entire afternoon, but nothing compares to what I experienced in Paulette’s Adult House of Horrors.”

Chris Blizzard of Blizzard Building Supply in Kinston explains how all treated lumber is not the same.

“These boys showed up thinking ‘adult’ meant they’d be chased around by zombie strippers or something,” Burroughs said between sips of Boone’s Farm on Monday. “But my haunted house was filled with the horrors that real adults face on a daily basis.”

The first injury of the night occurred in “The Hall of Mortgages”.

“I was led into this room by someone dressed as a bank employee,” a visibly shaken Greenwood said late Monday night. “A guy behind a desk explained what kind of loan I’d need to buy a house and how much interest would be added to the lump sum over a 30-year period. He said if the company I worked for was mismanaged and I lost my job through no fault of my own I would lose the house and get none of my money back. It scared me so bad I got tangled up in a metal folding chair trying to run away.”

While a few of Greenwood’s friends were trying to rescue him, they heard shrieks of terror emanating from the dreaded “Tunnel of Taxes”.

“I saw Johnny losing a fight with a folding chair so I took refuge in the ‘Tunnel of Taxes’,” Ashbrook said. “While in there a man dressed as an IRS agent explained how in 1903 the tax code was 400 pages long and now it’s up to 75,000 pages. I was then shown a clip of George Carlin’s take on taxes: “The upper class keeps all of the money but pays none of the taxes; the middle class pays all of the taxes and does all of the work; the poor are there to scare the middle class into showing up at those jobs.”

The tax presentation caused Ashbrook to pass out and impale himself on a plate of extra sharp Cheese Doodles.

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Greenwood and Ashbrook never made it to the more frightening portions of the haunted house, which included “Colonoscopy Corner”, “The Uncle Who Thinks Bodily Noises Are Amusing” and “The Girlfriend Who Won’t Accept ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ As Acceptable Answers”.

For her part, Burroughs doesn’t feel responsible for the injuries suffered in her establishment.

“This younger generation really needs toughening up,” Burroughs said. “The other day I heard about some teenager nearly choking on a Life Saver. You’d think with all these Kardashians running around nothing would scare anybody anymore.”

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The entire archive of shows can be found at

The Bryan Hanks Show airs on 960-AM in Kinston and daily at 7 a.m. & 3 p.m. It also airs on the suite of stations in New Bern and Greenville (107.5-FM) at 6 p.m.

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