By Truman Self, Ozarks News Journal

This time of year people enjoy dressing up and going to different haunts. Many people enjoy carving pumpkins and decorating their house. With the nation’s economy in the shape it’s in, haunted houses in the area have suffered.

Sterling Mathis is the owner of the Hotel of Terror, a local haunted attraction.

“I am the only one in the Springfield [area] there are no other haunts in the Springfield city limits,” said Mathis.

Haunted corn mazes remain popular in the area, but the haunted houses aren’t having as much luck.

“There has been several that has went out of business,” Mathis said.

As with any business, money management is the biggest priority. Businesses that fail to manage their money correctly can mean the end of the business. But keeping people coming back each year and not spending too much money to do so is the challenge.

“Oh we try to change as much as we can [but] I can’t change everything because it wouldn’t be cost effective,” Mathis said.

The Hotel of Terror is a family owned business that has been around since 1978. While opinions on the house may vary, one frequent guest seems to enjoy his time at the attraction.

Joseph Arthur is a frequent guest of the haunted attraction.

“I’ve been through it quite a few times, I love it,” said Arthur.

The cost of admission for the amount of fun one has is the trick to keeping this type of business alive.

“After you walk through all four floors in there for 30 to 45 minutes each room has a different scare, different lighting, stuff like that [and] it’s a pretty fair price I think,” Arthur said.

$11 during the week and $13 on the weekend may seem like a lot for 30 to 45 minutes of fun, but many find it worth it.