Towers of Terror brings spooks to the community while also giving back

CDT photo

When you think of the bogeyman, you probably don’t think of your average Joe from Howard.

But that’s exactly who Malcolm Shultz said he portrays during a three-day Towers of Terror haunted house at the Centre County Public Safety Training Center that’s owned by Centre County and managed by Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology.

It was a position he’s had the past few years after his wife, Denise — the benefits coordinator at CPI — conned him into helping out.

It’s also a position he said he’s learned to embrace.

“It’s great,” he said. “I just say the kind of things you’d expect the bogeyman to say to you in your sleep. That’s me.”

Shultz is stationed in a command center near the entrance of the tower. Guests on Friday night couldn’t see him behind a black curtain, but he could see them through surveillance footage.

A microphone he spoke through deepened his voice.

Shultz said things like “I can see you” and “you can’t escape me,” in a creepy way.

But that was just the beginning of the tour that lasted about 10 minutes through narrow hallways, staircases, haunted theme rooms and people dressed as zombies, ghosts, grim reapers and more.

The fifth annual Towers of Terror is an event hosted by CPI that brings spooks to the community while also giving back.

This year’s event helps raise money for the Centre County Youth Service Bureau.

Denise Shultz said the goal is to raise at least $5,000 for the beneficiary. A different organization is selected each year through an application process.

“It’s a lot of work, but a lot of fun,” she said. “We look at it as an old fashion haunt that’s perfect for this time of year.”

Shultz said a construction crew built props in the training facility about a week ago, while organizers wrangled up 60 to 70 volunteers from CPI and the community to participate in the action.

Some students used the time to collect community service hours, Shultz aid.

It took second-year student McKinley Yarrington about 35 minutes to put makeup on for his zombie costume, with which he said he ambushed tourists in attempts to scare them.

That was also the mission of CPI graduates Keith Miller and William Salvanish, dressed as a skeletal Grim Reaper and Michael Myers, a character from the “Halloween” movies.

“It’s just fun to get out here once a year and feel the Halloween spirit,” Salvanish said. “It’s fun and I usually think a year in advance about what I want to do.”

The center is normally used for emergency responder training.