When it came to raising money in tough times, the folks at Middleborough Volunteer Fire Company decided to use their braaaaaaaaaiiiiiinnnnnns.
And for good measure, the firehouse mixed in chainsaws, ghosts, spare organs and a towering Jason Voorhees.
The firehouse will host Colts Haunted Knolls on weekends through October. The house opens Friday night and will continue through Oct. 28.
The idea sprang from the fleshy gray matter of Fred Causey, Middleborough's fire captain.
"We have an electric chair, we have a completely dark maze that's about 124 square foot," he said. "We have a couple zombie rooms, we do use chainsaws inside. Of course, every good haunted house does."
Groups of up to eight people will start the tour by a watching fake news report of a zombie apocalypse. Victims then proceed through the house, where they'll meet convicts, a zombie firefighter, a cannibal chef and other new friends before navigating a pitch-black maze.
"It's got to be pretty scary when you built it and you're still walking into walls," Causey said.
Construction in a firehouse meeting hall took four weeks, Causey said, with help of Middleborough firefighters like Adam Burgen of Pikesville, who plays a National Guard soldier in the house.
"It's been quite a wild experience, from an empty hall to a completely built and decorated haunted house," he said. "This is definitely going to be one of the scariest haunted houses out there."
Proceeds will benefit the fire company, still reeling after a former president and treasurer stole more than $100,000 from fire company coffers. Lisa O'Connor was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay restitution, according to court records.
But Causey says the fire company has had to sell a ladder truck to keep up with payments, and they need a new ambulance to replace their current 12-year-old model.
Causey is a veteran of several haunted houes in Middle River and elsewhere. Middleborough firefighter Griffen Linkowich of Essex broached the idea of bringing it into Middleborough this season.
In addition to helping the firehouse recover from the theft, he said, "the most important part about building it was everyone working together up here. You can feel the brotherhood of everyone working on it."
Colts Haunted Knolls will be open Friday and Saturday nights from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday nights 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. through Oct. 28 at Middleborough Volunteer Fire Company at 1913 Middleborough Road. Tickets are $12.