The siblings, Walter and Margaret Edwards, grew quite close working together in their mother’s hotel. So close in fact, that their employer mother disappeared shortly after complaining about their relationship. The Edwards siblings wasted no time in building a dungeon in the basement especially for their guests. The townspeople eventually wised up and took the law into their own hands, executing Walter and Margaret. Yet Margaret’s body mysteriously disappeared, and to this day, local people occasionally vanish.
That’s the story, anyway, behind the Face Your Fears Hotel of Terror. It was launched eight years ago by Fred Messaros, whose own father ran a haunt for the Jaycees.
“It’s a four-story farmhouse that truly looks like a hotel from the 1850s,” he said. “We have an incredible level of detail in the rooms. We want to make you feel like you’re actually inside the room, not an old warehouse or Kroger that’s been made up to look like a haunted room. Our goal is to be the scariest, and we’ve had plenty of people who couldn’t finish it. We’ve had grown men just look at the house and say, ‘I’m not going in there.’”
The hotel has approximately 25 interconnected rooms and 77 stairs. The Edwards siblings' victims were often suffocated, roasted, and poisoned. The staff reportedly found Mother Edwards down there as well, or at least what was left of her.
“It’s an old-school haunt, though there are a few animatronics,” Messaros said. “There are no movie characters or anything like that. Next year, we’re going to try to have a second attraction on the same property. We hope to do five or six more.”
Best Time to Go?
Messaros said Friday nights are slower, partially due to high school football games and people having to work that day.
The haunt gives away two free tickets every Tuesday. Visit its Facebook page (Facebook.com/FaceYourFearsHotelofTerror) for more information.
Masks are required at all times for guests and visitors. Hand sanitizer stations are available throughout. High-touch areas such as handrails are cleaned frequently.
Places to Eat Nearby
There are several restaurants in the vicinity, including Taylor’s Tavern (American comfort food), the Dock Bar & Spirits (seafood), and the Boone Saloon (pizza and sandwiches).
How to Go
What: Face Your Fears Hotel of Terror
Where: 1291 Cold Springs Road, Springfield
When: Through Oct. 31, Fridays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.-midnight
Cost: $20 (regular), $30 (fast pass), $40 (VIP)
More Info: 937-605-1040 or www.faceyourfearshaunt.com