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Spooky car wash is a haunting idea

Published Oct. 18, 2005

There are drive-through restaurants and drive-through convenience stores. There are drive-throughs at banks and even drive-through dry cleaners. But a drive-through haunted house?

In keeping with the Halloween spirit, that is exactly what Al Peura has planned for tonight and each night through Wednesday at his Spiffy Car Wash on State Road 50 in Spring Hill.

But it will be folks who aren't old enough to drive who get the most out of the haunted car wash.

Forty percent of Peura's revenues each night _ $2 of every $5 car wash _ will go to one of six Hernando County schools. In return, students are telling their friends and parents to take them to the car wash on their school's night. The activity is open to the public.

"We've drawn up some posters that the kids have been passing out . . . and we're going to have a lot of the kids dress up and go out there," said Debbie Walker, a room mother at Pine Grove Elementary School. Pine Grove will get a portion of Spiffy's Tuesday night revenues. "We're going to try and send the entire fourth grade to Sea World" with the Spiffy donation, Walker said.

Many of the 110 fourth-graders at Pine Grove took it one step further. They also sold $25 "tombstone" advertisements to local businesses and politicians. The tombstones are displayed outside the car wash.

Other schools that will get donations are Moton Elementary, St. Theresa Catholic School, J. D. Floyd Elementary, Central High and Springstead High.

Leave it to a car wash owner from Salem, Mass., site of the infamous witch trials of the late 1600s to come up with the idea for a haunted car wash.

"I was once a member of a Chamber of Commerce in (Connecticut) and helped out with a haunted house there," said Peura, 55. "That was very successful . . . so I thought we'd try something like that here."

But there will be more than spooks jumping out from the shadows in Peura's haunted car wash.

He has spent more than $500 on lighting and glow-in-the-dark buffers and even bought a barrel of glow-in-the-dark soap that will leave customers' cars glowing for a few hours after they get a wash.

Employees will dress up and hide throughout the car wash and will be lurking elsewhere in and around the building at 12125 State Road 50, near the High Point subdivision.