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576th Flight Test Squadron supports local haunted house

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- It's scary how much volunteer community service work some Airmen do, especially when it comes to the Haunted Theater in Lompoc. 

By the time it closes up Oct. 31, approximately 20 Airmen from the 576th Flight Test Squadron will have put in more than 800 hours creating and being a part of this project. 

Being held at the Calvert Theater on North H Street in Lompoc, the Haunted Theater not only gives people a fun place to go on the weekends leading up to and during Halloween, it is also a way to introduce them to stage shows. 

"While we're doing the haunted house thing, we've also added some of the theater aspects into it," said Staff Sgt. Jason Burleigh, a 576th FLTS daily scheduler and current president of the Lompoc Civic Theater. "It kind of eases them into going to the theater." 

To both scare people and tell them a story, the volunteers have built the sets around local ghost stories. A tour guide will lead people through the sets, showing and telling the tales, culminating in the "Disturbing Area," which will include a small stage show. 

Airman from the 576th helped construct the Haunted Theater and continue to volunteer, doing everything from concessions to acting in the horror scenes. 

"When my good friend and coworker approached me I saw a fun and interesting opportunity to get involved with the local community," said Tech. Sgt. Axel Gaud Torres, unit deployment manager for the 576th FLTS. "It's good to give the areas young people a clean and fun way to pass their time." 

Besides entertaining Vandenberg's neighbors, the volunteers want to show that the base is part of the community. 

"I (volunteer) because I feel it is important to keep strong ties with our surrounding neighbors," Sergeant Gaud Torres said. "I feel they are a key element to what we do." 

Admission to the Haunted Theater is $5 at the door for the first trip and $2.50 for each trip afterward in the same day. For more information on the Haunted Theater, call the Lompoc Civic Theatre at 735-ACT1 (2281). This event is not recommended for children under 14.