Grave Schoul offers a night of “pure hell”



Hundreds of people line up every weekend throughout October to attend the Scareview Grave Schoul, a famous haunted attraction, located off  Coal River Road in St. Albans, West Virginia.

“We got 25,000 feet of nothing but pure hell in here,” said James Bonnett, director of Scareview.

Scareview Grave Schoul is a recreation of the old Fairview Grade School, originally built in 1923.

The school is owned by West Side Volunteer Fire Department. Each year, Fire Department members and community volunteers work together to make Scareview Grave Schoul come alive.

“I was petrified,” said Autumn Elswick, sophomore at Winfield High School. “The props were amazing and the details were just incredible.”

Most props and sets at Scareview are built from old barns and demolished houses throughout St. Albans.

“Sixty percent of this place was build here on site,” Bonnett said. “No going out and spending $4,000 on something, it’s pointless, we just build it ourselves. So, we kind of pride ourselves in that.”

Scareview is listed on several national review boards.

In September, a review board from Indiana for reviewed Scareview. These teams go to different states across the United States to review different haunts.

“They had a lot of good things to say,” Bonnett said. “One thing they said was they had to stop several places and tell themselves it was just a haunted house.”

The Scareview team starts designing areas and sets in the spring and work until they open the doors during the haunting season.

“Expect everything. Here’s the science behind scaring somebody or a group of people, everybody is not scared of the same thing. You might be scared of clowns, we got clowns. You might be scared of chainsaws, we got chainsaws. You might be scared of witches, we got witches. Hell, we even got Santa Clause this year. We got them all.”

The haunt changes annually, so visitors can expect a new experience every year.

“We like a lot of realism; 95 percent of our first room was living and walking four or five years ago,” Bonnett said. “I have a deal worked out with the local slaughter house in Milton. I have a huge trailer I put it all in and let nature do its work. You can paint stuff but to get that kind of patina on an actual bone, you can’t paint that.”

This is the seventh year for Scareview Grade Schoul.

“I have an upwards of 200 volunteers I’m in control or over top of, and it’s like throwing chaos in a bag, shaking it up and turning it over and that’s what you got,” Bonnett said. “It’s testing at times, but it all works out.”

Scareview is open Fridays and Saturdays from 7:30 p.m. until 12 a.m. through Oct. 31st.

Admission is $10 per person, or $8 with non-perishable canned food.

All proceeds go to West Side Fire Department; canned food donations go to Christ Kitchen Food Banks.

Brianna Paxton can be contacted at [email protected].