FULTON – Partners in business and life, Fred Mellini and Terrie Eggert have been scaring people for about three decades.
The couple owns and operates 13th Hour Rising, a haunted hayride and maze attraction located at 84 Merritt Rd. in Fulton.
Between the two of them, this is their fourth haunt location over the years. They both began working in haunted attractions years before they met, and it is what brought them together.
After starting out on separate paths as home haunters, they met while working at Screamers’ Hollow in Sterling.
“I had a haunt in the late 90s, early 2000s in Seneca Falls – Seneca Falls Haunted House. I was a police sergeant over there for the village of Seneca Falls; I’ve since retired,” Mellini said. “Terrie, who I didn’t know at the time, was doing a haunted hayride at the exact same time at Chengerian’s Tree Land, where we are now, and then we both ended up at Sterling doing Screamers’ Hollow.”
One Halloween season, Eggert visited Mellini’s home haunt without knowing who he was, then about two years later they met through Screamers’ Hollow.
Eggert was working in Sterling and her boss bought Mellini’s haunt stock that he built himself for his home haunt, and he became a worker there as well because of his experience in creating the monsters and sound bites.
They began dating and over time he worked his way up to becoming a partner at Screamers’ Hollow. Not long after, they decided to open their own haunt, 13th Hour Rising.
“I was at this location for 12 years before knowing Fred, then we went to the Sterling location for another owner, did seven years up there running and directing Screamers’ Hollow, and then this one we just reopened as 13th Hour Rising,” Eggert said.
The two employ 40 people to act as scarers, and the rest is all them.
“Him and I, ourselves, we do everything. We build it all, design it all, we do all the budgeting, the marketing, the graphics, training, literally everything,” Eggert said. “We’ve done every step of the haunting business ourselves over the years.”
To make 13th Hour Rising unique, most of the equipment and interior products are made in-house rather than bought, a perk of Mellini’s talent for sculpting and animating original monsters.
Eggert said although it is up to the parents’ discretion, it is targeted at ages 9 or 10 years old and up. It is not recommended to bring young children.
The two believe the haunt is a great live community event for Fulton. Mellini and Eggert are also involved in the Fulton community by sponsoring a car at the Fulton Speedway and sponsoring Midway Drive-In.
Since Mellini is a retired police sergeant and Eggert was in the Army, they offer half price tickets for the haunted hayride to all first responders and military with I.D.
“We do that every year to give back to families who may not otherwise have an opportunity to be able to come,” Eggert said.
13th Hour Rising will be open for the remainder of the Halloween season Oct. 18, 19, 25 and 26. The gates open at 6:30 p.m. and it goes from 7 to 10 p.m. They also have concessions available.