Ann Marie and Tim Gavinski went from “home haunters” to professional scarers, earning recognition across the state for their elaborate designs of eerie haunted houses each year.
When Tim Gavinski was retiring, the couple started their venture in Walworth County and were there for two years. Then in 2006, they ran two haunted houses, one in Walworth and the other in Waukesha, before combining their ventures in 2007 into one and staging it all at the . They were voted the No. 1 Haunted House in America by Haunted Attraction Magazine and rated No. 1 in Wisconsin in 2010 by HauntedHouseRatings.com and HauntedWisconsin.com.
Wisconsin Feargrounds gives Halloween lovers the thrill of conquering three haunted houses in a row: Morgan Manor, Morgana’s Torment and Unstable. The Gavinskis are the owners, operators and designers of these three houses of terror.
“We used to do an elaborate set-up at our home every Oct. 31,” said Ann Marie Gavinski.
One of those times a reporter came and told them it was better than some of the professional haunted houses. And so they became professionals.
The three houses are themed and all connect to their icon character-Morgana, a witch with a Wisconsin backstory to go along with her. The story goes that she married a rich quarry tycoon and they moved into the Morgan Manor estate, where Carroll University now is, and that her husband disappeared. Then the villagers who came to investigate disappeared next. Morgan Manor is set up as rooms in a house, Morgana’s Torment is the basement, where she sends her sisters, and Unstable is where her animals and their keepers reside. But then they skin the animals.
It is estimated that getting through all three haunts will take about an hour. Participants will not be required to go through all three. They can choose to pay $13 and just go through Morgan Manor, or pay $30 and go through all three.
Coupons for $5 off the three haunts combination can be found at Bartz’s, Applebee’s and Pizza Hut. A limited number of discounted tickets—$20 for all three haunts—are available online for people who want to attend between 7 and 8 p.m. Other tickets, including a speed pass, are also available on the website.
The Feargrounds ticket booth opens on Saturday, Oct. 1, and the following Fridays and Saturdays of October from 6:45 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Starting on Oct. 26, they are open every day through Oct. 31. Weeknights and Sundays the hours are reduced to 6:45 p.m. to 10 p.m. The houses stay open until everyone gets through.