“31 years! Why now?” Archdiocese says this year will be the last for Hubertus “House of Horror” – but why?

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HUBERTUS (WITI) -- The Archdiocese of Milwaukee says a haunted house in Hubertus run by the St. Gabriel School is too dark. This year will be the last for the Hubertus "House of Horror."

The Hubertus "House of Horror" is in its 31st year. Volunteers say it's all about having fun. The Milwaukee Archdiocese says this year will be the last year this haunted house will be allowed to operate.

"From the minute you walk in, your adrenaline is rushing. It's so much fun and it's so exciting. You don't know where they're going to jump out and get you," volunteer Lynda DuPuy said.

People have been scared at the "House of Horror" in Hubertus for the last three decades. The haunted house is put on by the St. Gabriel Parish and community volunteers.

The haunted house raises more than $70,000 a year for St. Gabriel School.

"It took 30 years to get the reputation we have," DuPuy said.

The group that is used to surprises recently got one they were never expecting.

"We all just kind of went, WHAT?! 31 years...why now?" DuPuy said.

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee says this will be the last year for the haunted house. A spokesperson told FOX6 the haunted house "is not representative of Catholic values or the Catholic community."

"There's a lot of anger. There's a lot of frustration. It's hard to wrap your brain around," DuPuy said.

The St. Gabriel Parish priest says there were concerns about "circumstances or situations that did not seem to align with the joy of the Gospel message."

This is news haunted house volunteers don't want to hear.

"I don't believe that's an informed decision. Christ is at the core.  As Christians that's important.  Why can't it happen in a haunted house? What they're saying is just not true. It's a gem of a school and I don't want to see that threatened," DuPuy said.

The haunted house volunteers have invited Archbishop Jerome Listecki to the haunted house, but he hasn't taken them up on the offer. The haunted house is open every Friday and Saturday night.

The final performance is set for November 1st.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Hubertus House of Horror.


  • diane

    It has always been good clean fun!! That is just a real shame. …now protecting…priests who have harmed children that was against Catholic..preaching..and beliefs. ..I will sign any petition..st Gabriel..starts!!!!

  • Crystal

    I don’t understand why the archdiocese has the right to have anything to say. St. Gabriel and its volunteers have worked hard for over 30 years to make this a solid fundraiser for the school and should be applauded for their commitment of time and passion to make it so successful.
    It is said Catholics mourn their faith…..im starting to see why.

  • Ceylene

    Anyone with an ounce of understanding about Catholicism can clearly see that a Halloween event like this DOES contradict their beliefs. With $70,000 on the line, this is obviously abput money, not faith.

    • Laura

      Well all of the child molestation and cover ups that have gone on, all of the innocent children’s lives that were ruined because of it “contradict me beliefs”, yet it is still going on. But a huge fundraiser for the school can’t go on? Smdh

      • Ceylene

        You know that old saying “Two wrongs don’t make a right”? Well, it applies here. Widespread absue does not negate the fact that this DOES contradict catholic values. Its just that 30 years of solid profits are keeping some people from admitting it to themselves. If they werent about to lose a TON of money, the parishoners probably wouldn’t even care – & might agree.

    • Matt

      Found your whiner right here. This affects you 0%; why don’t you use your time and energy in a constructive instead of destructive manner? Who made you the official decider of what contradicts THEIR beliefs? If it contradicts yours don’t go. Everyone interprets THEIR beliefs differently; get over it.

      • Ceylene

        Great name calling! You seem like a really nice guy! But more seriously – THEY are part of a large organization which itself has decided it is against their own values. As part of the larger catholic church, THEY have decided this about thier own beliefs. Sorry if my logic conflicts with your emotional attachment to the haunted house.

      • Matt

        I couldn’t care less about the Haunted House. I just don’t like self righteous pretentious people who ruin the fun and hard work of others simply because they don’t like it. How does shutting something like this down contribute to society? It doesn’t; it simply negates hard work done by others to benefit others. This is the reason more and more people move away from religion. Instead of encouraging and conducting constructive positive behaviors and projects they focus their energy on policing others and destroying hard work in the name of beliefs. It’s really sad and a complete waste of energy. Kind of like arguing with an illogical person.

      • Matt

        After shutting this down they should begin to cry about finances and beg for tax breaks to finance operations.

      • Ceylene

        Like you said, shouldn’t you be leaving this decision to them? It sounds like your personal issues with religion are the impetus for the assertiin of your personal anger and opiniin into this matter. You cant have it both ways – telling others that it should be “their” decision/opinions and then giving your own. That kind of suggests that your opinion is the type ofself righteousness you mentioned in your previous post. Just a thought. Well, sir, have a good day. It seems like something may have greatly angered you. I hope your day brings you more joy. :-)

      • JR

        Ceylene you havent provided one ounce of “logic”. You havent made one point to back anything up. Please make a point without blanketed statements like,”anyone with one ounce of understanding” and then not provide any understanding on your part.

    • Jack

      I would have to disagree with you, Ceylene, on the fact that it contradicts Catholic beliefs. I am a very strong practicing Catholic and go through this house every year with my family. (I’ve been going since I was in high school and know others that have as well.) I can see why “haunted house” might carry some stereotypes, but there is nothing content-wise in this house that would contradict Catholic beliefs. It’s all good fun, a lot of startles, amazing scenery, interactive rides, and great acting. The volunteers truly do a great job year after year to make this event hugely entertaining and an outstanding community asset.

    • PJ (@brewers35)

      Without fundraising, the school will be forced to close. It was true 31 years ago and still is today. Without the school, it becomes a lot harder for the children to learn about their faith and really understand it. And besides, Archbishop Dolan never had an issue with it, and he’s a Cardinal now (the highest an American will likely ever be in the Catholic church). Archbishop Listeki is wrong.

  • Melissa

    Given the accusations and crimes the church has covered up, (no need to mention; we all know), I don’t see how Listecki can say with a straight face that a bit of fun during a holiday is now not “representative of Catholic values” after 30 years of it being held. Child molestation and perversion within their own ranks is okay, but a fake play haunted house that entertains the masses is against God? Give me a break.

  • Delia

    Well then! We all need to get together and do the hubertus house of horrors somewhere else and have the same outreach in our community. We can have the donations go to the food pantry or helping out inner city homeless shelters. It can go on. Someone needs to make sure it does.

  • Kristi Hillmann

    I grew up in Hubertus and the Haunted House was a must threw out my childhood!! I now enjoy taking my children and watching them loveing it as much as I did when I was their age! The news of the House closing is extremely sad! 31 yrs of an excellent fundraiser! Why now is a great question!

  • Reagan 84

    I’m a practicing Catholic and see no problem with this Haunted house. It’s not like they are encouraging devil worship or anything like that. I LOVE Halloween!! It’s my favorite holiday of the year.

  • Tonya

    Based on the comments here, the entire Catholic Church should probably jusy shut down. The coveruos of continued sexual abuse have completely undermined the Church’s ability to make statements aboyt right vs wrong. The evil that occurred within the Church has neutered it’s spiritual integrity and power.

  • SBugg

    And having church festivals in the summer with beer and gambling is as Catholic as it comes, right?? Give me a break!

  • DisaL

    Love how people feel the need to bring up the widespread abuse that has been prevalent in the Catholic church. The Catholic church has recognized the issue and is dealing with it – it has nothing to do with their thoughts on the Haunted house. They get to have other thoughts besides “the big issue”. Focus on the haunted house people (just waiting for people to claim that Obama or Bush had a hand in this). Now my thoughts on the haunted house are as such. It’s probably a little out there for a Catholic fundraiser, but in my opinion, fits in the range of acceptable. If there are specific exhibits that are outside the range, the arch should deal with those – maybe approve the content each year, but overall it’s just good fun and an excellent fundraiser for the school. As a parent of a child in another Catholic school, I would be thrilled with this for a fundraiser as opposed to Bradley Center, Magazines, and a host of other items.

  • Annette Robbins

    So…. remember how all those kids that were harmed by priest stood up to the archdiocese and sewed? And the response was that each parish is its own entity? You can’t get to Vatican or archdiocese money since the parish stands alone? How can they now hand down a command like this? Aren’t they detached? Or is that just when it comes to taking responsibility? Hmmmm

  • Jacqui N

    I volunteered at the house of horrors multiple times before I left for college, and to see this is going on right back at home is extremely frustrating. A haunted house whether for a church or a family farm, is all in good fun. We’ve raised so much money FOR THE PARISH in the past. It’s all in the spirit of a much loved season. I don’t understand how this is at all decided or reasoned. There is nothing at all negative about the entire experience, whether as a volunteer, supervisor or attendee. People thoroughly enjoy coming specifically to this haunted house year to year, and the volunteers that run it are a tightly knit group or friends and family. No one has a bad time, and nothing is ever conducted inappropriately. Why take away something that is only beneficial and fun from anyone? Not just from the church, but also from the community we love to serve?

  • Chris Multerer

    I bet the Jehovah’s Witnesses are happy. They think Halloween and the Easter bunny are evil. BTW, I’m Catholic. I always loved this time of year. Boo on the Archdiocese.

  • Chris Multerer

    As a former professional wrestler for 25 years, to the Archdiocese and all the naysayers, Halloween is a “work”. The haunted house, and all the volunteers that make this a fun event, it’s pretend !!
    The monsters, vampires, goblins, and more, are all gimmicks. The volunteers put on a show, give the people their moneys worth, and they go home. Just like I used to do. Kudos to all the volunteers that made everyone happy. Sad it has to end.

  • Maryanne

    Slenderman is fake too, but a belief in him led 2 girls to try to kill their classmate. As small as Hubertus is, it has also produced a murderous teen. A terrible irony: It looks like last years event featured a murdered girl in a nightgown. A little too close to reality, in my opinion.

    • Katie

      Hubertus did not produce a murderous teen. I knew Dan Bartelt and I can tell you he developed a mental illness, but not caused by his surroundings. How wrong you are.

      • Maryanne

        The term “produced” was meabt to indicate that he was from Hubertus. But I do find it interesting that people are always willing to lay claim to successful people who came from their community, never those who have issues.

    • Jack

      You are wrong. Hubertus had absolutely nothing to do with Slenderman or any part of that situation.

      And the Haunted House did NOT have a murdered girl in a nightgown. I would know – I volunteered there as an actor a number of nights and went through the house as a customer.

      • hlmarkovich

        Jack, she’s talking about me. I play a little girl with an Elmo doll at the house. I run around singing lullabies and stuff. Not sure how that’s me telling people to murder. I also don’t wear a nightgown. Those are pjs.

    • Maryanne

      There is a photo of a teen girl (or younger) in pajamas with bloody eyes on their own facebook page. She appears to be “living dead”, having been killed. She also appears to be holding a weapon. It is on their own personal facebook page, uploaded by them, along with pictures of a man holding a chainsaw in the midst of human body parts, and other macabre scenes.

      • Katie

        I still don’t understand what the hell you’re getting at here. Are you saying it’s the correct decision to close the house or what?

      • Katie

        Also, I was just looking on their Facebook page, and have no clue where this picture you’re talking about is.

      • Katie

        My bad, I was looking at the old page. My friend who plays the girl character you’re talking about has left you a message at the bottom.

  • Sandra

    The Milwaukee Archdiocese states that the haunted house “is not representative of Catholic values or the Catholic community.” My question is, But Common Core is? This Archdiocese (the ONLY Archdiocese in Wisconsin!) has made the decision to implement the Common Core in it’s Catholic Schools but won’t allow a haunted house to continue? Hmmm. Doesn’t quite make sense to me.

  • Katie

    I’ve been a volunteer at this house for almost 10 years and I’m extremely sad to see it go. For me and everyone else it was all about having fun and pushing people out of their comfort zone. After all, you go to haunted houses to get scared and feel the rush of adrenaline. It was a huge fundraiser for the school and I completely disagree with the decision made by the Archdiocese, I hope they’re planning on picking up the tab and not placing all the burden on the Parish.

  • Nancy

    I was sad to hear of the last year of the haunted house in Hubertus. We 1st went 20 years ago. It was so fun. Even waiting for 2 hours to get in was fun. My grand kids would be almost old enough to go. Sad!

  • Megan Otters

    They should make the Haunted House a community event and then donate the money to the school. Take that, you stuffy Catholic Archdiocese! ;)

    • 2econd

      great idea, but instead of donating the money to the parish, keep it in the community. apparently the archdiocese doesn’t feel the money is needed for the church or school.

  • Disappointed

    I am so very disappointed in this continued decision. It was decided approximately a year ago. The parish was notified.

    I am more disappointed that the bishops did not have the fortitude to come to the parish and explain the rational for the decision in person. They have chosen to stay in their offices versus being in the field to shepherd the flock.

    This is about politics so much more than any gospel teaching or foundation of faith. How does this decision lead to any, any increases of: engaging community youth to serve others through volunteering, create a safe environment for youth that is drug free, lead to increased desire to seek and learn more about the Catholic faith, or partaking in the holy sacraments, engagement into a life with prayer, engagement to serve those in need (through lowering the barriers of tuition), etc etc.

    The decision won’t change. They have made their mind up. The parish will overcome this. The parish is blessed with many smart and hard working faithful members. Great ideas will result and while it may result in a “stumble” the parish school WILL BE OK.

    Alas, I suppose an analogy would be the censoring of famous authors – which only leads to increased book sales. So, come on out to the “house,” support those who volunteer countless hours of service and provide excellent role modeling for others to follow. Suspend disbelief, live in the moment, and enjoy this family friendly, safe and good event.

  • Heather Schweitzer

    Flabbergasted!!! Listecki finds this inappropriate but approves Common Core State Standards in for ALL Catholic schools in the Milwaukee Archdiocese!!! COMPLETE HYPOCRISY

  • SMH

    Wow, Haunted Houses are bad for us? Better start hearing this from our Priest in their Homilies. In my 50+ years of attending weekly Mass, I have never heard, in any homily, that Haunted Houses were “bad” for us. Better start hearing this… Preach what we should practice?

  • Don Schmitt

    Hypocrisy has been the norm with this Archdiocese…Lest we forget about Archbishop Weakland.
    Just imagine any other situation that is condoned for thirty years, during a time that has forced us practicing Catholics to endure controversy after controversy involving the church. Our archdiocese will be paying off legal bills for years to come and this “fully approved” thirty year fund raiser provided 2.2 million dollars towards the operation of our school – not to lawyers. Which children were treated more appropriately? Hypocrites!

    • Katie

      That was the part that upset me the most, now the school has to suffer lack of funding because of this. The real victims are the children and their education. I loved getting those “thank you” notes in the mail from them, made me feel like I was actually contributing to the Parish for once rather than just dropping a $5 in the collection plate, knowing that’s going to the Catholic church itself.

  • hlmarkovich

    Maryanne, I play the little girl at this haunted house. I have been playing her for the past 6 years. She does not condone murder or anything of the sort. Nor does she promote it. It’s a character. I am a normal human being who is playing a character.

    Also… that ‘weapon’ is an Elmo doll.

    • Ed Mallonen

      Tickling to death… scary! I hope you and Elmo get the chance to continue terrorizing people with a fear of muppets.

  • Graduate

    I am a graduate of St. Huberts, now St. Gabriel. My parents built a room in the house every year from 1st grade (when we moved to Hubertus) until I entred high school in 1993. It was always about fun, working together, and fellowship. I spent every night there passing out cough drops, coffee, tea to the workers. I then became old enough to volunteer and that is what I did. It was always late nights on Friday and Saturday, but yet we always made sure to attend church before the event began. I lost my dad in 2002, but I have so many memories of time we spent there. His rooms were always the best! He kept everything running smoothly, we were there everynight! It was a family!

  • Sad

    I am very sad to see this being the last year. I was a graduate of St. Huberts, now St. Gabriels. I can say that I spent many nights working the house. It was fun, and provided a great opportunity to meet new people. A lot of times, my friends and I would get together to work a room and that made for a fun night. I do not believe this house to be against Christian values, but rather a fun fundraiser. If it wasn’t for this house 31 years ago, the school would have closed. And now the school continues to thrive.

  • Ther

    Move the house, run it somewhere else and donate the money back. The site willl make a great park for a 10 K Fall school fundraiser Hubertus to Holy Hill (and be a healthier option and much easier on the parents at that school).

  • HypocrisyDetector

    The Bishop Listecky of the Ecclesiastical Province of Milwaukee doesn’t have a problem with St. Patrick’s Parish in Hortonville, WI holding a “pig rassle” where as parishoners try to capture petrified pigs let loose in a mud pit to be ambushed and grabbed, prodded, slammed, tugged, crushed, strangled by a predatory team of humans in an attempt to stuff this mud-covered terrified living creature — trying to escape and survive — into a small barrel and sent to slaughter the next day – but has a problem with a fake haunted house whose sole purpose is to entertain without physical abuse followed by murder of sentient beings? In 2014, 37 pigs were violently abused then murdered. This despicable savage spectacle is a clear violation of Wisconsin’s Animal Abuse statute – Chapter 951, “Crimes Against Animals”, which outlaws cockfighting, dogfighting, and any other similar fighting between animals or animals and humans. Why would the hypocritical Ecclesiastical Province of Milwaukee destroy a source of entertainment AND SCHOOL FUNDRAISER because of a holiday theme that has been part of our culture for decades yet allow docile farm animals to be brutalized and abused in front of barbaric spectators and later slaughtered? There’s usually an ugly behind-the-scenes explanation. http://www.examiner.com/article/church-hosts-pig-fight-protest-ensues

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