Festive Fundraising: Northern Tier Wresting at the Wysox Haunted House

Northern Tier wrestlers strike a pose as they wait in line to get their temperatures taken on Saturday afternoon’s COVID-19-friendly event outside the Wysox Haunted House.

WYSOX TOWNSHIP – Northern Tier Wrestling made its way to Wysox for the first time on Saturday afternoon, sending longtime fans as well as horror enthusiasts over to the haunted house.

Fans sat in chairs set up around the outdoor ring, enjoying goodies from the bake sale run by haunted house staff and from other local vendors as they waited for the show to begin.

Attendees were encouraged to bring non-perishable food items, pet supplies, winter clothing, blankets, and other items in clean, usable condition to the haunted house’s big annual basket raffle, which will be called on Nov. 1.

Mary Sturdevant, Executive Director for Building Outreach Opportunities, Inc., said that they’re trying to break last year’s record of 500 pounds of collected food and supplies to help those in need, especially the community members who were financially stressed by COVID-19.

BOO, Inc. and the haunted house worked together to provide free family-friendly Halloween fun for over 20 years as a fundraiser for a local EMS agency until that ambulance station closed just last year. To give back to the community in its first year as a non-profit, the haunted house staff partnered with Child Hunger Outreach Partners, who will receive a portion of Saturday’s event and any other events that they are able to put together this year.

As cars rolled in before the first match, wrestlers lined up to sign a form promising that they were free of COVID-19 symptoms and to get their temperature taken.

“We’re one of the few wrestling companies that are still running during COVID-19,” said Jim Holbert, owner of NT Wrestling.

Last week, NT Wrestling held three events in Strasburg, capping the number of guests at 25. The outdoor venue at the haunted house allowed them to bring in more people; Holbert said they had pre-sold about 50 tickets. At $20 for admission to watch the wrestling and walk through the haunted house later on, Holbert and his partner Keith Zimmer were happy with the turnout.

Guests and referees were required to wear face coverings and abide by social distancing guidelines.

The day’s matches featured Canton’s own Aaron Lineberry, who wrestled as “King Kong Nasty.” He came to the area on his farewell tour as he plans to retire within this next coming year after over a decade spent professional wrestling.

Other notable participants were WWE and ECW veteran HC Loc, of Campbell, Mike Templar, of Elmira, and Chris Chichester of the tag team “Born to Wrestle.”

An anticipated part of the afternoon was the match between wrestlers Anarchy and Rob Cook, who had gone over 10 years without facing each other one-on-one.

“(NT Wrestling) offered to come out here and do an event to benefit us, and we are happy to have them here,” said Sturdevant.

She said that normally, by this time, the haunted house would have held multiple fundraising events, but the staff had to hold off to keep themselves and the community safe and healthy during the ongoing pandemic.

“The goal is always to bring the community together,” Sturdevant said, “We will continue to have fundraisers to keep us going, and we will also have free community events.”

Stay tuned for future events at the Wysox Haunted House Fundraiser’s Facebook page.

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