The House of Haunts was created by Robert Kocher Hightower and Eric Princz on the Sportland Pier in North Wildwood, NJ. It was created to bring back a ‘classical’ style Haunted House in the form of an old Haunted Manor. The name, “House of Haunts” was chosen to help bring back some of the old school names of attractions from a long forgotten era, as well as to help summarize the uniqueness of this Haunted attraction. The House of Haunts is a collection and holds lots of props and relics of many of the haunted houses on the east coast, especially New Jersey. It took over a year to design and build this attraction, and it was with the help of many professional haunted house designer friends of Rob and Eric that this vision was created. The House of Haunts can even boast to have some of the only surviving props from Wildwood’s own Castle Dracula as well as props from Fred Mahana's Haunted House.

House of Haunts - "The Legend of Von Draco" Background Story

There are stories which make men laugh, and stories which make men
weep; tales of heroism and mystery, that echo throughout the ages.
And there are tales of horror that are so fearsome they can but be whispered.
Such is the legend of Baron Von Draco and his wife, Isabella.

It was the 19th Century, and there lived an affluent lord, Baron Von Draco.
His estate was prosperous, a land of supple, rolling hills and thick forests laden with game.
The Baron ruled over this dominion from a prodigious Victorian Manor, alongside his lovely wife
Isabella, and their handsome sons and daughters.

Late one fateful autumn afternoon, the Baron took his
prized mastiffs hunting in the forest. He was very far from home when the
sky began to darken preternaturally, and the distant roll of thunder
rattled the trees. Von Draco quickly turned to make his way back to the
safety of his manor. He was pelted with heavy drops of rain, and
lightening snaked violently from the sky.

The storm grew so furious that the Baron was forced to seek
shelter in a nearby cave. As the Baron entered the cave's evil presence, he
was buffeted by the beating of a thousand wings, and deafened by an army of
shrieking bats. He felt himself being bitten on his hands and neck, and he
dove from the cave, screaming. The bats erupted from the
entrance in a hellish gout of writhing darkness, spreading to form a dark
canopy over the forest. He ran furiously through the trees in a blur, and finally made
his way home to his concerned wife Isabella who tended to his wounds.

For many days the Baron lay in his chambers, silent and reclusive. In the days and weeks
that followed, the Baron continued to act unlike himself. He became harsh and
demanding. He often slept during the day and even went so far as to order the windows
of the manor boarded up, and the lights extinguished in the night.

Within a month disturbing and frightful events began to take place. Animals were
found in the hills, their necks rent asunder and their bodies drained of
blood. Some of the manor's most trusted servants disappeared. As fear mounted,
and rumors spread, many fled his lands altogether.

When the head housekeeper was found murdered, her lifeless body
pale and drained, even the Baron's own children left the household against
the protestations of their mother. They beseeched Isabella to follow them,
to flee the now forsaken manor and the obviously possessed Von Draco, but
she could not; she loved her husband still, and in her devotion she was
blind to what he had become.

The halls of the Von Draco Manor were now streaked with blood. Isabella woke one
morning to find the dead housekeeper standing stiffly over her bed, staring
down at her with listless eyes. Isabella's screams shook the very
foundation of the manor, and she ran from her chambers seeking her husband.

She found Von Draco surrounded by a host of undead servants; men and women
she had known for years now stood limply, their mouths gaping with silent screams.
Baron Von Draco laughed maniacally, and beckoned Isabella closer. As she backed away
in horror, the undead began to move towards her, their limbs raised
crookedly and their eyes glowing with a soulless hatred. She fled from the
hall, running blindly through the manor. Sobbing with fright, Isabella stumbled
into the graveyard, cutting her hand on the barbed iron of the entrance gate.
When the reality of the Baron's evil struck her heart,
Isabella collapsed, kneeling in the soft soil of a recently dug grave.

The grave was very deep, its bottom lost in the darkness, and at the head of the grave
stood a tall, blank tombstone. She reached up to touch the tombstone, her hand dripping
blood. Instinctively she wrote a single word upon the cold stone in blood;
ALLEBASI. She sensed the presence of Baron Von Draco behind her, and with a
final sigh she threw herself into the open grave. The Baron's laughter
followed Isabella to its bottom, ending only with the snapping of her neck.

For centuries the Von Draco manor lay empty and untouched. The tales of what had
transpired within those walls lived on in the hearts of those who had
escaped the Baron's clutches, and the name of Von Draco became synonymous
with all manner of evil and death. For generations creatures were seen wandering the manor.
It was a place that even the most courageous souls dared not explore.

The manor of Baron Von Draco has long since deteriorated into ruin,
an unspectacular mound of stone and mortar. But occasionally, in the darkest
of nights, the winds may carry the faint sound of a scream, or a curse, or
the echo of chilling laughter....

Now you, fair guest, have ventured into the ruins... shall ye share Isabella's fate?