House of Scare

Published 4:13 pm Wednesday, June 4, 2014

BE AFRAID:  This larger than life scarecrow is similar to what visitors will see at The Scare House being planned in Picayune.  Photo submitted

BE AFRAID: This larger than life scarecrow is similar to what visitors will see at The Scare House being planned in Picayune.
Photo submitted

A Poplarville couple is taking advantage of an opportunity to celebrate their passion for their favorite holiday, use it to benefit others and bring business into Picayune.

Rochelle and Doug Holliday, along with their friend and business partner Doug Rowell, are planning to open a scare house that will serve the community by providing entertainment, helping young people to embrace their creative side and promote tourism.

Rochelle Holliday said the trio has held haunted houses in the past as community fundraisers for various causes.

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Two years ago, they decided to attend a professional convention, which helped them take their hobby to a new level.

She said the safety procedures and creative thinking really stepped up their game, and the first thing they did upon arriving home was organize a haunted house at the Dixon Theater.

“The response to our haunt at the Dixon was overwhelming. We had people lining up for blocks to go through the building,” she said. “We realized that if you do your groundwork, you can draw a big crowd and it has far more to do with use of space, than amount of space for guests to enjoy it.”

As the trio looked for space to house their new venture, they turned to Picayune and met with Picayune Main Street President Bill Edwards to view some of his commercial properties.

Rochelle Holliday said their main purpose was to find a location in the heart of the community.  They found that location on Stevens Street.

At this new location they will orchestrate haunts, benefit Zombie Walks and initiate anti-bullying campaigns featuring the theme “Don’t be a monster.”

Rochelle Holliday said the endeavor will use volunteers instead of employees.

“Basically, our entire budget will go towards billboards and media advertising to let people in a wide geographical area know we are in Picayune, “ she said. “Hopefully we will draw people in and they will take advantage of the restaurants and other amenities that the area has to offer. We would love to grow to the point that we could afford employees.”

There are currently 18 volunteers the group relies on to make things happen.

The volunteers benefit by expanding their knowledge in special effects and expressing their creative side in set and costume design.

As the head of Pearl River Community College’s police force, Rowell has learned that there is a need to reach students who would otherwise not have a place to ignite their interests, Rochelle Holliday said.

The group believes that achievement, accomplishment and involvement throughout the summer can keep young people entertained and give them something constructive to do, which will allow them to see results.

To become a volunteer or to find out more visit their website at