MISSOULA — As spooky season approaches, so do corn mazes, pumpkins, and haunted houses. But the Missoula Haunted House won’t be coming back this year.
The man behind the Missoula Haunted House is Richard Davenport, a new dad who found himself balancing being a dad and running a Haunted House extraordinaire.
“Anyone who's had a kid can probably imagine that doing a haunted house and having a newborn—it was kind of a lot,” said Davenport.
Up until 2019, the Missoula Haunted House called the Fairgrounds home, situated in a white building—but over the span of a couple of months it would slowly turn from just a white building to a full-blown spooky center.
“Definitely a labor of love the way I do it; you know, I would get in the building September 1 and then build all the way up until opening night, and there would be some stretches of like 33 hours straight, of working, go home, eat a little bit of food, try to nab a couple hours of sleep," said Davenport. "Come right back and do it all over again.”
Although the haunted house was a passion for Davenport, after losing the fairgrounds location in 2019, followed by COVID-19 in 2020, the haunted house was forced to close for the past two years.
“I wanted to put something together that people would love and have a good time and get scared and want to come back and, you know, remember and all that,” said Davenport.
But the greatest reason for closing the haunted house permanently wasn’t any of those obstacles. It was a greater love that called him home.
“I’m raising my daughter and that's my, you know, that's my main job, that's what I'm all about," said Davenport. "That's what I'm focused on. I'm proud to do that and fitting in the haunted house just once again doesn't work.”
Davenport would love to pass the haunted house duties off to someone else and have them continue creating a haunted house for Missoula.
He has even offered up his help to those who are interested. You can contact him via the Missoula Haunted House Facebook page.