[Courtesy Community Rebuilds]

Instead of a haunted hayride for Halloween this year, how about a haunted straw-bale house? Local nonprofit Community Rebuilds, which creates sustainable, affordable housing and offers professional training and experience for natural building volunteers, is hosting a Halloween event at its Moab campus. The event will include lots of activities and showcase a scary walk through the former volunteer bunkhouse, which will be converted into an eerie set of creepy-themed rooms.

“Moab hasn’t had a Haunted House in many years, and since Community Rebuilds is an affordable housing nonprofit, we were excited to fill this gap,” said Molly Gurney, Community Rebuilds fundraising coordinator, in a press release.

Local artists and Halloween enthusiasts have adopted rooms in the bunkhouse and transformed them into scary vignettes, peopled by live actors.

“Watch out for clowns, witches, spiders, and surprises around every corner!” says the press release. The house is meant to be quite scary; there will be waivers and disclaimers to sign, and Community Rebuilds recommends that kids under 12 stick to the other activities on-site, which will also be fun and seasonal, but less scary.

Those activities include tarot card readings, fortune tellings, ghost stories, face painting, and arts and crafts.

“I’m thrilled that we have real tarot readers and fortune-tellers, as fall is a wonderful time for self-reflection,” Gurney said.

Some activities, like reading aloud Halloween storybooks, will be tailored to very young children.

The press release includes a direct challenge to Moab’s Halloween lovers:

“We heard that Moabites rock the best Halloween costumes … come prove it!” it says. The campus will be outfitted with a catwalk where participants can show off their Halloween disguises. There will be separate categories for kids under 12 and those over 12.

“I’m excited to see all the little kids dressed up in Halloween costumes,” said Ellie Grosse, planning and content development AmeriCorps VISTA for Community Rebuilds.

A DJ will provide commentary on the costumes as well as dance music throughout the evening. Winners in different age groups can win prizes in categories like “funniest,” “scariest,” and “best group costume.” Community Rebuilds staff plan to participate in the costume show.

“Ellie and I are psyched to strut our stuff on the costume contest runway,” said Gurney, adding that she expects to be impressed by everyone’s designs. “Moab is so full of artistic people I think it will be a blast to see everyone’s creations.”

Proceeds from the event will support Community Rebuilds projects. By the end of this year, the organization will have built 52 homes and plans to build 12 homes per year going forward. The homes are built using natural materials and techniques and using volunteer labor and special loans available through the US Department of Agriculture. The program contributes to Moab’s housing stock, especially for low-income residents, and gives aspiring builders, designers, or housing advocates a strong foundation to pursue their field.

In addition to supporting Community Rebuilds, the Haunted Bunkhouse event is a great time to catch up with neighbors, appreciate the creativity of the event organizers, and enjoy the community.

“We have so many volunteers from different pockets of the community, so I’m excited to see everyone come together to scream, laugh, create, and have fun,” said Gurney.


What: Community Rebuilds Haunted Bunkhouse and Halloween event

Where: Community Rebuilds Campus (150 South 200 East)

When: Saturday, Oct. 30, 4-9 p.m.

Cost: $15 for ages 12 and up; $5 for under 12

Info: communityrebuilds.org/general-6