Escape to the Jaycees Haunted House

Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 at 04:49 PM.

PANAMA CITY — The zombie apocalypse has arrived in downtown Panama City, and the public is invited to sample the end of the world.

Jessica Pennington, president of the Panama City Jaycees, led a tour of the organization’s annual Haunted House this week, including scenes of undead infestation in classrooms, hospital corridors, dark mazes and a recreation of Harrison Avenue in ruins. This year’s theme: “Your World is Dead.”

In the hospital, a doctor fought to revive an infected man while the dead began to awaken around him. In the school room, little zombie children played with the remains of their teacher. And along the avenue, a flesh-eating creature chowed down on something in front of a sign for Tom’s Hot Dogs — something with too many fingers to be mistaken for a hot dog.

“I was terrified the first time I came here,” Pennington said. “The dark, the people screaming. But it’s a whole different experience when you’re creating it.”

This is the fifth year Pennington, 23, has participated in building the maze of ghastly scenes for the haunted house and her second year in charge of the project. The Gulf Coast State College student said she was hooked after she got a chance to design her first room along the path.

The Haunted House is open every Friday and Saturday night through October, with additional nights on Oct. 25 and 31. (Click here to see a video tour of the Haunted House.)

The Panama City Jaycees was chartered in 1946, and have helped thousands of needy children celebrate Christmas through the annual Christmas Shopping Tour, which along with the annual downtown Christmas Parade celebrated its 63rd anniversary last year.

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