Helena neighbors adapt to COVID-19 to host annual Bonanza Court Haunt

Posted at 6:32 PM, Nov 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-01 20:32:00-05

Two Helena neighbors hosted their annual haunted walk event this weekend after thinking of canceling it due to the pandemic.

Two Helena neighbors transformed their properties into a haunted walk through. The garage is a haunted house. The front yard is a graveyard. There are pieces put together by two creative neighbors.

“I myself, personally, I've always loved the home haunters that you see on television," says Tony Schaan, co-organizer of the Bonanza Court Haunt. "I actually took technical theater at Carroll College and specialty makeup. It's just a way to keep my hand in.”

“Then we started realizing, we wanted to have other people enjoy it," says Randy Zeleniak, the other co-organizer. "So, we started doing small haunted houses when I lived in Washington. They just kept growing and growing and growing. Now you can see what we're doing now so."

For the last five years, Tony and Randy have been putting fear in the Helena community with props and items collected over the years.

In 2020, the neighbors thought they would have to cancel their event due to the pandemic, but they received over 100 comments from community members wanting to attend.

“So many things are being canceled and I understand it. This is not a joke but we think we can, because we're doing everything pretty much outdoors, we're going to have everything in place, we think we can do this without getting anybody sick," says Schaan.

The neighbors mandated masks and only one group was allowed to enter at a time.

"Regular times or, you know, back to normal you might say. It's never going to be quite the same again. So, if we can help people out with that little bit, make them feel better about themselves, maybe take your mind off a little bit. That's a good thing I think," says Zeleniak.

The neighbors also collected monetary donations for the Helena Food Share.