13-Year-Old Builds Haunted House For Good in Parents’ Driveway

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Check out Youth Radio’s video profile of  Sam DuBois, one of the few teens in the U.S. with the title Director of Operations stamped on their business card. The lanky 13-year-old founded the Albany Haunt, an elaborate haunted house sprawling across the front yard and down the driveway at his parents’ home in Albany, California.

It’s difficult to overstate the scope, scale, and construction of the haunted house built over the course of months by DuBois and about a dozen friends. A windmill stands two-stories above a suburban street. Animatronic ghouls lurch. Blood, or what looks like it, flows endlessly from a kitchen sink.

The kid loves Halloween. That’s clear. But that’s not all. DuBois is also hoping to support the county food bank with donations of food and cash from visitors to the Albany Haunt. Michael Altfest of the Alameda County Community Food Bank said, “(DuBois) knows there are a lot of hungry people in the community and he wanted to help.”

So how common is it for teens to go to such lengths to support the food bank? According to Altfest, very common. Two brothers who busk at a local mall have raised more than a thousand dollars this year. A ten year-old girl recently skipped birthday gifts in exchange for donations to the food bank. And a local high school collects more food annually than any other group or corporation.

DuBois doesn’t expect to break any records with his donations. Beyond that, he hopes to make a few people scream.

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