PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — With Halloween around the corner, there are lots of places to get your fright on.
In Port St. Lucie, there’s a haunted house operator who is inspiring South Florida by helping children overcome some real scary challenges.
There are the frightening faces, and discarded digits soon to be displayed throughout the Mercy Asylum, a haunted house in the making in Port St. Lucie.
Jacob Blake and his team are the visionaries here.
"We work together to create a whole experience that’s out of this world," said Blake.
The imaginary horrors are nothing compared to Jacob’s real life experiences.
He was 5 when he was diagnosed with a rare brain disorder. Survival wasn’t certain. It took a year for him to talk afterward.
"Got a wish from Make A Wish. It really changed my life. I met Cher, it shaped my whole future," he said.
For more than 15 years, he’s gotten joy creating scares for others.
"Me, my father, my mother.. the whole family decided to do a little walk through," he said.
That little walk through evolved from his own house, to a church, and now at a Port St. Lucie shopping center.
"After 2020, people are itching to do something that’s more impactful and local," said Blake.
This year, a personal tragedy added impact to this years house.
His father passed away suddenly.
It was determined later he had a rare vascular disease, one that also claimed the life of actor John Ritter.
"He was really the roots of building the grunt work and his community outreach he did in his own life showed me how important it is to selflessly give," said Blake.
So now, besides raising thousands for Make-A-Wish, Blake’s new non-profit is also generating money for the John Ritter Foundation.
"It gives us more power to give back locally," he said.
If you’d like to get your fright on and help two good causes, the scaring begins this Friday in St. Lucie Square behind the St. Lucie Draft House at US 1 and Kitterman Road.
For more information, go to mercyasylum.com.