Four hours of horror feeds the hungry

Troy ‘Stinky’ Philpott’s Halloween haunt has become an annual tradition in Muscatine, with more than 1,000 people expected this year. Admission will cost you a food donation for the Salvation Army.

Stinky is having a thousand or so of his best friends over to his place for a Halloween Haunt.  Please come; bring food.

Twenty-four years ago, Troy ‘Stinky’ Philpott discovered by accident he loves scaring people.   He and some of his racing buddies added a tarp to some left-over hay bales in his front yard to create the first ever Stinky’s House of Horrors.

“It’s a real riot scaring people,” said Philpott. “The best was when this big, bad football-player type guy visited the Haunt with his pretty, little girlfriend.

She stayed, but the big boyfriend was so scared he ran out of the very first room.”

Later this month, for four hours on Halloween night, Stinky expects to have nearly 1,000 guests come through his home, Stinky’s House of Horrors, to experience the thrill of his haunt.

In 2011, Stinky’s House of Horrors added its Frightening for Food Drive to collect food for the Salvation Army food pantry.  That first year he said they collected a couple of totes full of food.  In 2012, they collected about four totes of food. “In 2013, before we opened, we had people lined up from my front door down the hill to the street about 100 feet away,” said Stinky.

Last year he said they had their longest line ever … three or four people wide, two blocks long up the 11th Street hill.  And best of all, says Stinky, everyone coming to his haunt brings a non-perishable food item as admission into Stinky’s House Horrors.

As an answer to the long lines and long wait, the haunt now offers its “AXpress Line.”  Guests bringing a full case of canned food are allowed fast forward through the line for quicker entrance.  Through his haunt and the support of local businesses for it, Philpott expects to collect several pallets of food to help restock the food pantry.

But what’s so scary about a food drive? Everybody loves clowns, right?  Remember IT?  Visitors will need to keep their wits about them as they enter Stinky’s clown house.

A trip into the haunt passes through the slaughterhouse and the freak show with its cage full of rats.  And of course, giant spiders, bats, bones and zombies will terrorize guests around every corner.  Philpott says he has about 30 monsters staffing his haunt during the night to ensure visitors have little time to relax and catch their breath.

Design and construction begins in early October with the help of hardworking construction crew, prop makers and makeup artists.  Philpott shows off his MythBusters-like workshop and costume shop where every prop and scare is created specifically for his haunt.  The entire Stinky’s House of Horrors is designed and built with Philpott’s passion for scaring people for fun in mind.

Stinky recalls the idea for the food drive came from the competitive spirit found among local racecar drivers.  Years ago, they challenged each other to help out with the KWPC & KMCS radio stations’ Freezin’ for Food Drive. Figuring they are all winners, the racing community is proud to rally around Philpott in his endeavors for his Frightening for Food Drive.

This newspaper and its affiliated radio stations, KWPC AM860 / FM95.1 and Vintage Sound are also proud to support Stinky’s House of Horrors Frightening for Food Drive.

Stinky’s House of Horrors is open on Halloween Night, Oct. 31, from 5-9 p.m.  It is located at 911 E 11th St. in Muscatine.  Admission is granted to those bringing at least one non-perishable food item.  AXpress Line admission is one full case of canned food.