Fire captain hosts haunted house in home rebuilt after fire |

Fire captain hosts haunted house in home rebuilt after fire

Dave Frank
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

A butcher waving a chain saw usually chases children out of a room full of severed limbs, but today at Nicholas Agorastos’ haunted house that could change because of what happened with the saw last year.

“It started smoking real hot,” Agorastos said, “so we might not fire it up.”

But the free neighborhood haunted house in Dayton he’s hosted for seven years with his family has gotten better each year since he had to hold it in a rental home in 2005. The fire captain’s house burned down in August that year because of an electrical problem, but he rebuilt it and expects more neighbors and friends than ever before.

He has worked with his family over the past month to set up zombies and bats, gravestones and shackles, babies eating bugs and clowns with flashing red eyes. He had to move some of the things to the backyard this year, however, because it was scaring children.

“The kids were screaming and yelling and wouldn’t come up to get their candy or nothing,” said Tom Wurzbach, one of Agorastos’ neighbors.

Agorastos, who works at the East Fork Fire District in Douglas County, said he did a practice run Wednesday night where dozens of neighbors came past the blood and black lights in the haunted house in his garage, but the people who come to his Grassland Road home don’t always react as he expects.

“Some of the little kids do better than parents,” he said.

Agorastos started the haunted house after his three daughters asked him to, but he eventually started to enjoy it on his own. He said he hopes his children will carry on the tradition, and he’s hopeful because his grandchildren are already interested.

“We’re twisting them early,” he said laughing.

His 23-year-old son-in-law, Jason Ketelaar, will be one of the members of Agorastos’ family in character at the haunted house when he wears a hockey mask and plays horror movie character Jason Voorhees.

This is his first year at the haunted house, but he’s happy to go into character for the neighborhood.

“I love the stuff they do over here,” he said. “It’s great.”

Agorastos’ neighbor, Wurzbach, said Agorastos puts on a great haunted house that even made him jump last year when he saw a mummy unexpectedly move.

“I was about, ‘Woah!'” Wurzbach said.

– Contact reporter Dave Frank at or 881-1212.