Family uses haunted house to help fight addiction

Some families may put a few carved pumpkins with menacing faces on their porch, while others may not do anything at all. Yet certain families take things a little further, designing a full haunted house that even includes spots like the driveway. This happened in the Langs’ case, at least, WMTV-Madison discovered.

The family from Oregon has been turning their house into a spooky mansion for the past six years. Now the “house” does not just include their property but neighbors’ backyards too. They titled their creation “The Lang House of Terror.”

The greatest scare

The Langs began designing and transforming their home into a haunted house to help deal with the family’s haunt – addiction. Their son Brandon has been battling addiction for years on and off. The haunted house was a way to garner support and awareness for him and others dealing with substance abuse. The family rallied behind Brandon, understanding that addiction affects more than just him.

Brandon’s father, Mark Lang, acknowledged their support. “It’s not just his disease, it’s our disease,” Mark said.

The prevalence of addiction in Oregon

Oregon is not unfamiliar with addiction. Drug abuse data collected in October 2013 by Trust for America’s Health found that Oregon had the 21st highest drug overdose mortality rate in the nation. Most of these drug overdoses are because of a type of opioid, such as prescription drugs like Vicodin. The amount of deaths in the state has doubled since 1999. Though doubling the numbers seems frightening, some states’ numbers have quadrupled since 1999.

The proceeds from the house go toward the Recovery Foundation, an organization that funds addiction treatment for people who otherwise cannot afford it.

The house’s tagline for this year is one that addresses the stigma surrounding addiction: “We wear masks so addicts don’t have to.”

Brandon discussed the several masks that a person battling substance abuse must put on to get by. He noted the importance behind taking off the mask and feeling comfortable as a person in front of his family.

Community contributions

The family fundraises throughout the year to afford the materials needed to rebuild the house. Locals also contribute and gave more than $5,000 in donations last year. This year, more than 40 “actors” have stepped forward to be involved.

Last year, the house brought in more than 500 visitors over four nights. The family expects even more company this year. They hope their house is a welcoming place that encourages sober fun. The family believes that each year visitors are spooked by the house, but also learn a little more about substance abuse.

A positive effect on people with addiction

“I hope people can come together for the community. We put this on for their benefit as well as ours. Yes, we get the benefit of the scares, but by donating time or money to this cause, I think we can get more money and people in treatment, and that’s what I hope we can take away from it,” Mark said to the news publication.

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