The Haunted Armory Bringing Scares that Care (Gallery Inside)

Angie Stephens poses with one of her many creations that benefit The Haunted Armory.
The love of all things creepy goes hand-in-hand with most of the personalities in the Goth community.  In Metroplague’s opinion, the best way to celebrate the creepiness in life is to visit all of the local haunted attractions of an area during the Halloween season.

However, while many haunted attractions around the nation are very large-scale, for-profit businesses,  DFW is lucky to have a community of haunters that take their businesses to the next level and bring the profits up for a better community.

Randy and Angie Stephens have been running a non-profit haunt out in Wylie, TX since 2012.  As of the 2016 season, the haunt is now based in the Wylie, Texas National Guard Armory and is properly named, The Haunted Armory.

The Haunted Armory is put together for one weekend in October, and is about 2400 square feet, with around 120 panels that put together the haunt. Mix that with special lighting, local kids as main talent, and the help of other names in the haunt industry, The Haunted Armory is locked and loaded to blow visitors away on their special weekends.

Angie and Randy run the haunt under the LLC, Amordolos Productions.  Not only does Amordolos put on the haunt, but Angie also uses the business to create products like journals, prop books, and corsets for the public to purchase.

“We have done a different haunt benefiting schools since 2012.  It has now gotten kind of big, so we have taken it to the Wiley, Texas National Guard Armory.  The costs go up so high,” Stephens said in an interview with Metroplague.

Originally, the haunt was based at Wylie High School, but due to the growth in popularity of the haunt, the attraction was moved to the armory.

“Once you are out of the school, you have to pay rent, you have to pay insurance.  We can no longer use rotten fence panels and throw them away.  We had to build 4 x 8s and sturdy them up, have emergency exits, and more,” Angie said.

“I started creating the books to sell to offset the costs.  Coming up with sponsors to fund a haunt completely is hard.  So, we started this business.  The corsets came along when we were doing the Krampus Walk (link) this year,  I wanted something different to wear so I made one and three different people asked if they could buy it from me and where they could find it.”

All of the sales of Angie’s products go towards offsetting the price of producing The Haunted Armory.  What’s wonderful about that is that all proceeds of The Haunted Armory go straight to school theater booster clubs in Wylie.

“I don’t pay myself.  I get help… you have got Robert J Cory who comes in from Dan’s Haunted House and Dark Hour who teaches acting class etc.  You have got people at their business’ pinnacle time of year that want to help out within the industry,” Angie said.

“Everybody comes and pitches in; we have the home haunters, the make-and-take groups, people from Dan’s Haunted House, Reindeer Manor, Dark Hour, Twisted Manor.  There are people I have worked with every single year since we got started.  I am fully indebted to them.  I have a sponsor graveyard where I put everybody’s headstone.  When they help out, I like to plug their haunts also.”

As she looks back on the past years, Angie has come to the conclusion that the haunted event is about so much more than the haunt itself: it’s about community, teamwork, the give and take of knowledge/skills which make the event shine, she said.

 “At this event, there are no egos: both high schools pitch in as one, the pro-haunt community gives its insight, expertise, and even show up on Thursday nights during haunt season to roam in character,” she said.
 Angie added that the haunt is re-themeing for it’s 2017 run, and there will soon be opportunites for haunters to purchase larger props and costumes from her in the near future.
During her time talking with Metroplague, Angie wanted to take a moment to shine the spotlight on the people and organizations who help make this event grow every year:

“Donovan Ashley (who has worked with Onstage Systems, and M&M The Special Events Company), has been on board since the beginning in 2012. He provides the exterior glamor which sets the tone for this shindig. He has introduced me to the indefatigable Marla Watson and Kayla Robbins of Exit 98 Group, a promo company and event planning group which has helped guide me through many decisions and are selflessly promoting to help grow this event and do as much good for the community as possible.  Exit 98 Group has clients like the Super Bowl, and Gwen Stefani, yet they make time for my little community fundraiser as if it is the most important thing on their plate. They awe me,” She said.

“There is First Sergeant Peter Fenimore, who works at the TX National Guard Armory in Wylie, and who has supported us and the community of Wylie selflessly, and without whom this venue would not be possible. He has loaned us props (like tables and chairs), helped with heavy lifting, and not one of the men who stayed later than expected complained a single time.”

The list of contributors goes on from Roland Pickens of Toxic Pneumantix to lead members of Reindeer Manor and Dan’s Haunted House.  Through the passion that Angie and Randy show for their production, and the team that backs them up every year, it is evident that, as Angie said, The Haunted Armory is so much more than just the scares.

For more information about Angie’s products, visit Amordolos productions.com.  Please be sure to check out the lovely gallery below that Angie has so willingly provided us.

 

 

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